AUSTIN -- The outdoor season opens this weekend for the Texas A&M track and field team as a group of 70 athletes compete in the Texas Invitational on Saturday, March 22, at Myers Stadium on the University of Texas campus.
Admission to the meet is free. Field events begin at 11 a.m. with the women’s hammer and men’s javelin while running events start at 1:30 p.m. with the steeplechase. The meet will conclude with the 4 x 400 relay at 5:30 p.m.
In addition to host Texas, other teams in the field include Angelo State, Houston, Incarnate Word, Pittsburg State (women), Rice (men), Sam Houston State, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, and Texas State.
Coming off an indoor season where both squads finished among the top 10 at the NCAA Indoor Championships, the Aggies change from seeking NCAA indoor qualifying standards to achieving marks that will place them in the field for the Midwest Regional.
Texas A&M women, who finished fourth at the NCAA Championships last season, head into the outdoor season with two team titles to defend from the Big 12 Championships and the Midwest Regional, along with the NCAA 4 x 100 relay title.
Three-fourths of the women’s relay unit that claimed the NCAA 4 x 100 Championship in a school record time of 43.05 seconds last season will run the first three legs on one of two sprint relays the Aggies have in the field on Saturday.
The trio of Elizabeth Adeoti, Porscha Lucas and Simone Facey will be joined by Allison George on one relay unit. The other squad will include Jessica Beard, Gabby Mayo, Khrystal Carter and Ashika Charan.
The Aggie men, meanwhile, seek to continue the momentum they gained during the indoor season which had them placing fourth in the Big 12 meet and tying for 10th at the NCAA Championships.
Two sprint relays and a pair of 4 x 400 units will compete on Saturday for the A&M men. One of the 4 x 100 squads includes sprinters Richard Adu-Bobie, Brandon Lowe, Dominique Stafford and hurdler Cade Liverman. The other will feature three jumpers in Zuheir Sharif, Tyron Stewart and Melvin Echard along with decathlete Trinity Otto.
While a majority of the A&M team competed indoors, javelin throwers finally get into competition this weekend. The Aggies will feature seven women and two men in the javelin field. Leading the group is two-time All-American Jessica Wingfield. Newcomers in the javelin are Laura Asimakis, who vaulted indoors, and Emalie Humphries, who will also contest the shot put and discus.
On the track a group of four Aggie men will make their debut in the steeplechase, hurdling barriers and a water jump over a 3,000-meter distance. The foursome includes Reid Doty, Dusty Langwell, Graham Northcutt and Ryan Snapp.
Following this meet in Austin, Texas A&M travels to Florida the following weekend (March 28-29) for the Florida State Relays in Tallahassee and then return to Austin for the 81st Texas Relays (April 2-5).