COLLEGE STATION – In the final meet prior to hosting the SEC Indoor Championships later this month, the Aggies will host the Texas A&M Invitational with a start time of 1 p.m. on Saturday inside Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium.
Teams competing in the scored meet include Cal State Northridge, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, Rice and Texas State. Live results from the meet are available on www.flashresults.com and a live webcast is available through www.aggieathletics.com.
Texas A&M enters the meet with the women’s team ranked No. 3 nationally and the men ranked No. 4. Other teams in the national team computer rankings include Florida and Georgia. The Gator men are No. 2 and the women are No. 4 while the Bulldog women are No. 5 and the men at No. 22.
This weekend provides a final opportunity for athletes on the bubble of making their respective conference teams a chance to get their name in the discussion. SEC schools will need to select a squad of 27 per gender to compete in the SEC Indoor Championships that Texas A&M will host from Feb. 27 to March 1.
“This is our last rehearsal,” noted Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry. “It’s the last time you have the opportunity to take some educated chances inside your own event. This is the time of the year where things have got to come together. We will decide who makes the SEC team after this meet. As a result this makes for a great competition this weekend.”
A week after producing the national leading mark of 74-4.5 (22.66) in the weight throw, Aggie Brea Garrett will face a field that includes Jayla Bostic of Florida and Georgia’s Asianna Covington. Bostic is currently 10th in the nation at 68-5.25 with Covington at 65-7.75.
Casey Strong, with a season best of 66-2.5, headlines the men’s weight throw field, which includes challengers in Darian Brown of Texas State (65-4.25) and Georgia’s Alex Poursanidis (64-3.25).
Isaac Spencer will lead a crew of six Aggies competing in the men’s 3,000 meters as they race a pair from Rice in John Cavallo and Travis Roberts as well as a Clemson pair of Clayton Wilson and Evan Abdullah. The women’s 3,000 meters includes four A&M runners, led by Amanda Jenkins and Karis Jochen.
After setting significant career best times in the 3,000 and 5,000 meters over the past two weeks, Aggies Hillary Montgomery and Grace Fletcher will race the mile distance this weekend. Earlier this season Montgomery set a mile PR of 4:53.37 while Fletcher clocked a PR of 4:56.05. They will be joined in the first section of the mile by teammates Sophie Blake and Ashley Chamberlain.
Middle distance races offer competitive fields in the 800 meters. Josh Hernandez (1:49.15) and Hector Hernandez (1:49.95) lead the Aggies in the men’s race against Clemson’s Aaron Ramirez and Alex Weinheimer of Rice.
Aliese Hyde (2:10.02) and Katie Willard (2:12.48) lead the A&M crew in the women’s 800 as they face Clemson’s trio of Brianna Blanton (2:09.88), Lindsey Bellaran (2:12.08) and Nia Fluker (2:13.09).
The men’s 60 hurdles will feature the top two collegiate hurdlers in the nation with A&M’s Wayne Davis II and Florida’s Eddie Lovett. They met in the same final a couple of weeks ago in Arkansas, but a cramp early in the race prevented Davis from finishing while Lovett won the race in 7.73. Aggie newcomer Andries van der Merwe will make his debut in the hurdle race after competing in the 60 meters last week.
Lovett is the defending SEC and national champion in the 60 hurdles with Davis finishing as the runner-up in each meet. Outdoors, Davis is the defending SEC and national champion in the 110 hurdles with Lovett claiming the runner-up spot in each race.
In the 60 meters the A&M men will feature Michael Bryan, Prezel Hardy, Jr. and Shavez Hart as they face a field that includes Clemson’s Reggie Lewis, Florida’s Antwan Wright and Dedric Dukes, as well as Georgia’s Johnathan Smith and Jamario Calhoun.
Aldrich Bailey, Jr. joins Hardy in the same section of the 200 meters as they race Oklahoma’s Waymon Storey and Georgia’s Jonathan Smith. Bryan is stationed in section two with Florida’s Arman Hall and Clemson’s Tevin Hester. The third section includes A&M’s Hart and Jermaine Davis facing Dukes of Florida and Georgia’s Aryian Evans.
Kamaria Brown will race in the 200 meters along with Ashton Purvis, Janeil Bellille, Aaliyah Brown and Ibukun Mayungbe. The field they face includes Kyra Jefferson and Destinee Gause of Florida along with Oklahoma’s Daye Shon Roberson.
Aaliyah Brown will also run in the 60 meters against Gause and Shayla Sanders of Florida along with Leshel Vines of Cal State Northridge.
Olivia Ekpone and Shamier Little will team up for the Aggies in the 400 against Florida’s duo of Ebony Eutsey and Robin Reynolds. The men’s 400 will have A&M’s Carlyle Roudette and Deon Hickey squaring off against Ethan Baker of Oklahoma, Florida’s Nick Uruburu and Georgia’s Reggie Glover.
Gator Marquis Dendy, the defending NCAA Indoor long jump champion, will headline both the long jump and triple jump. The Aggies will have Jonathan Turner and Olabanji Asekun in the both events.
The women’s triple jump features the top two collegiate marks this indoor season in LaQue Moen-Davis of A&M, currently second in the nation with a 44-3.25 (13.49), and Florida’s Ciarra Brewer, who leads the collegiate list with a 44-5.5 (13.55). Aggie Jennifer Madu will long jump against Florida’s Lorraine Graham and Clemson’s Mimi Land.
Georgia’s Morgann Leleux, a two-time SEC champion and NCAA runner-up, is the top pole vaulter at the A&M Invitational with a season best of 14-1.75 in a field that includes Clemson’s Lauren Terstappen (13-5.25), A&M’s Brittany Wooten, who set a career best of 13-4.5 last week, and Mckenzie Johnson of Rice (13-2.5).