COLLEGE STATION, TX -- The nationally ranked Aggies host their final home meet of the indoor season with the Texas A&M Invitational on Saturday at the Gilliam Indoor Stadium. Visiting teams in the scored meet include Cal State Northridge, Houston, Rice, TCU, Texas State and UTEP. Track events will start at 2 p.m. while field events begin at noon.
The A&M men remained ranked No. 3 nationally after winning a second consecutive team title at the Armory Collegiate Invitational in New York City last weekend. The Aggie women remained ranked No. 6 following a tie for fifth place with Arkansas and Connecticut at the Armory meet.
This A&M Invitational will see a majority of the Aggie squad in action as the team prepares for the SEC Indoor Championships, which will be held Feb. 22-24 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
There will also be a mix of Olympic development events featuring pro athletes, including former Texas A&M NCAA champions in Fabrice Lapierre, who will contest the long jump, Jessica Beard (400m) and Dominique Duncan (60m). The women’s Olympic development mile will feature 2011 NCAA 5,000m champ Jackie Areson of Tennessee.
A&M’s Casey Strong is currently riding a five-meet winning streak in the weight throw, having set his fourth school record with an improvement to 66-9.75 (20.36) this past weekend. Strong has improved his 2012 best of 61-10.25 by nearly five feet over the course of his winning streak this indoor season.
Brea Garrett returns to the weight throw ring at Gilliam, where she broke a 13-year-old record in the Aggies last home meet with a toss of 64-7 (19.68) to better the 63-6 mark set by Meshelle Trotter in 2000.
The Aggie men will have a solid contingent in the 400 with Carlyle Roudette, Bralon Taplin, Ricky Babineaux and Greg Coleman. Meanwhile, current world leader Deon Lendore will be on the A&M 4 x 400 relay.
Defending NCAA 200m champion Ameer Webb faces teammate Prezel Hardy, Jr. in the same section of the 200 on Saturday as they square off against the TCU tandem of Charles Silmon and Sam Watts. Depth in the event for A&M includes Aldrich Bailey, Jr. and Michael Bryan in another heat of the 200. This same group of sprinters will also contest the 60 meters.
In the women’s sprints Kamaria Brown and Ashley Collier are featured in the same section of the 200. The Aggie sprint crew also includes Olivia Ekponé, LaKeidra Stewart, Jennifer Madu, Chandrell Stephens, Ibukun Mayungbe and India Daniels in the one lap race. Most of that group will join Ashton Purvis in the 60 meters as well.
LaQue Moen-Davis continues to improve in the jumping events. She will triple jump again this weekend after winning the event in New York City with a best of 42-0.75 (12.82). Joining her in the event are teammates Jennifer Madu, Jordan Wilson, Melissa Mays and Haley Gooch. Moen-Davis will also run in the 60 hurdles along with Donique’ Flemings and Jena Hemann.
Henry Lelei just missed his school record in winning the 3,000 meters at the Armory. He races over that distance again this weekend with a slew of teammates. C.J. Brown will lead a crew of Aggies in the mile, which includes Colin Slattery, MacLean O’Donnell and Juan Blanco.
Following improved times in 5,000 last weekend the A&M tandem of Hillary Montgomery and Grace Fletcher will drop down to the mile and race with teammates Laura Craig and Johanna Galloway. Gabby Salazar, Tara Upshaw and Heather Sterling will contest the 3,000 meters.