Houston Invitational Next Venture For No.2/No. 3 Aggies

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HOUSTON -- A final regular season meet will have Texas A&M, No. 2 in the men’s rankings and No. 3 in the women’s, competing at the Houston Invitational hosted by the University of Houston. The Big 12 Championships will follow two weeks later on May 16-18 in Boulder, Colorado.

In addition to the Aggies and the host Cougars, the Houston Invitational will include the following teams: Incarnate Word, Prairie View A&M, SFA, Sam Houston, Southern-New Orleans, Rice, Texas, Texas Lutheran, Texas State, Texas Southern, and UT-Pan Am.

A few field events are being contested Friday, such as the pole vault, shot put and javelin, while the rest of the meet starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday and will conclude around 6 p.m. A group of 50 Aggie athletes will be competing this weekend.

Chad Brown won the men’s javelin competition, reaching a distance of 211-2 (64.37) for the victory. Jonathan Ochoa of Texas State was the runner-up with a throw of 203-4. Brown became the third Aggie to qualify for the NCAA Midwest Regional in the javelin.

Laura Asimakis and Jennifer Davidson finished as the top two collegians in the women’s pole vault as both cleared 12-7 ½ (3.85). Asimakis placed second overall based on fewer misses while Davidson finished third with a career best clearance that earned her a regional qualifying mark.

In the men’s pole vault Brett Bennett placed ninth with a clearance of 15-7 (4.75). Current collegiate leader Jason Colwick, of Rice, won the event with a mark of 18-0 ½ (5.50).

The field at Houston will also include post-collegians preparing for this summer’s Olympic Trials. Standouts in the field include the past two NCAA Champions in the 400 meters in A&M’s Clora Williams (2006) and South Carolina’s Natasha Hastings (2007) along with former Cougar Ebonie Floyd, the 100 and 200 NCAA Midwest Champion in 2007. Another former Aggie NCAA Champion competing this weekend is Fabrice Lapierre, the 2005 NCAA long jump winner.

Also running in the sprint races is Monique Hennegan, the 2004 Olympic Trials champion who placed fourth at the Athens Olympics. The 100 hurdles will feature Jenny Adams, who competed for Houston and placed fifth in the 2004 Olympic Trials.

The Aggies head into this weekend leading the Big 12 in nine events. Texas A&M women will travel to Boulder as the defending Big 12 Champions after winning the school’s first-ever outdoor title last May in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Aggie women have claimed the past three conference titles, with the 2008 Big 12 Indoor trophy serving as its latest conquest.

Following is a list of the events A&M leads with their respective marks:

200 – Porscha Lucas, 22.69
400 – Jessica Beard, 52.04
4 x 100 – Texas A&M, 42.69
4 x 200 – Texas A&M, 1:30.96
4 x 400 – Texas A&M, 3:32.21

100 – Gerald Phiri, 10.20
4 x 100 – Texas A&M, 38.83
Long jump – Julian Reid, 25-3 ¼ (7.70)
Triple jump – Julian Reid, 54-3 ¾ (16.55)

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