Aggies Head West To Face USC In Trojan Invitational

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LOS ANGELES, CA -- Texas A&M’s second week of action in the outdoor season will have the Aggies traveling to the west coast to participate in the Trojan Invitational hosted by USC on Saturday, March 24.

It will be the fifth outdoor meet of the season for the Trojans, while A&M competes in just its second outdoor event after winning team titles at the 55th Monterrey Tech Relays in Monterrey, Mexico, this past weekend.

Teams scheduled to be at the Trojan Invitational include Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge, Long Beach State, Michigan, New Mexico, and Washington State.

Action at Loker Stadium begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday and concludes around 4:30 p.m.

Texas A&M has five California natives on the roster and three will make a return trip to the Golden State. The trio making a trip back to their home state include: Khrystal Carter (San Jose), Ashika Charan (Claremont) and Zuheir Sharif (Elk Grove). They each placed among the top five at the California State meet in their respective events while also earning prep All-America honors.

In representing Texas A&M all three have recorded significant achievements to date.

Sharif reached a personal best of 52-1 ¼ (15.88) to win the Big 12 Indoor title and qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships, where he finished ninth with a 51-1 ¾ (15.59).

Charan, who was one of only two prep females to earn All-America honors in both the long and triple jump last season, was runner-up at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational with a season best of 20-6 ¼ (6.25) and finished second at the Big 12 Indoor meet with a mark of 20-5 ¾ (6.24). She just missed qualifying for the NCAA Indoor Championships by a centimeter.

Carter, who recently won the 100 meters in 11.77 after clocking a prelim time of 11.61 in Monterrey, placed sixth in the 60 (7.43) and fifth in the 200 (23.79) at the Big 12 Indoor Championships.

Host School: USC Trojans

The Trojans return 10 All-Americans from last season after the women’s team claimed runner-up honors at the NCAA Outdoor Championships while the men were ninth. The USC women also claimed the NCAA West Region title while the Trojan men were double champs at the Pac-10 conference meet and NCAA West Regional last season.

Noah Bryant, who recently won the NCAA Indoor shot put title, headlines the men’s squad along with Lionel Larry, an All-American in the 400 and 4 x 400 relay. Other returning All-Americans include Adam Midles (hammer), Duane Solomon (800) along with relay members DaSean Cunningham and Kai Kelley.

Carol Rodriquez leads the women’s team after setting school records of 22.23 (200) and 51.51 (400) last season and earning All-America honors in the 100, 200 and 4 x 100 relay. Rodriquez was part of a record setting sprint relay unit that recorded a time of 42.96. Other returning All-Americans include Candice Davis (100 hurdles, 4x1), Jessica Onyepunuka (4x1) and Eva Orban (hammer).

2007 National Leaders

A total of 13 current national leaders will be on display at the Trojan Invitational this weekend, six on the women’s side and seven on the men’s side. In addition there are another 30 athletes in the meet who currently rank among the nation’s top five.

Event leaders in the women’s competition includes USC’s Carol Rodriguez in the 100 (11.39) and 200 (23.06) as well as Candice Davis in the 100 hurdles (13.17) along with the 4 x 100 (43.61) and 4 x 400 (3:36.62) relays. Texas A&M has a national leader in Yasmine Regis with a mark of 42-7 in the triple jump.

The Aggie men have a pair of national event leaders in Zuheir Sharif with a mark of 51-10 ½ (15.81) in the triple jump along with the 4 x 400 unit of Bryant McCombs, Chris Dykes, Justin Oliver and Morquise Cleveland, who ran 3:07.31.

Brent Gray of Long Beach State currently leads both the 100 (10.29) and 200 (20.92). USC event leaders include Kai Kelley in the 400 hurdles (51.19), Will Denbo in the shot put (62-3 ¾ / 18.99) and Adam Midles in the hammer (225-2 / 68.64).

A&M Recap: Monterrey Tech Relays

A school record in the women’s 4 x 100 relay highlighted A&M’s effort at the 55th annual Monterrey Tech Relays in Mexico last weekend as the Aggies claimed a pair of team titles.

The foursome of Porscha Lucas, Tresha Henry, Katie Baker and Simone Facey won in 44.15 seconds to better the Aggie school record of 44.34 set during the Texas Relays last year. Right behind that quartet was another A&M foursome, which recorded a time of 44.48, the third fastest time on the Aggie all-time list. The crew consisted Sandy Wooten, Elizabeth Adeoti, Khrystal Carter and Rachel Foster.

Michelle Inocencio moved to No. 3 on the A&M javelin list when she won in Monterrey with an effort that measured 171 feet, 8 inches. She was one of three Aggies to earn a NCAA Midwest Regional qualifying mark in the javelin.

On the men’s side the A&M 4 x 400 squads ran the top two times in the nation for the young outdoor season. The winning time was 3:07.31 and consisted of Bryant McCombs, Chris Dykes, Justin Oliver and Morquise Cleveland. Running a 3:07.67 for runner-up were Marcus Pitre, Justin McQueen, Alfred Robinson and Nick Robinson.

Texas A&M totaled 16 victories in the meet while claiming 19 individual regional qualifiers along with five relays.