CORAL GABLES, FL -- The Aggie track and field squad will travel to the east coast this weekend for the Hurricane Alumni Invitational hosted by the University of Miami.
Texas A&M, with the men’s team ranked No. 4 nationally and the women’s squad ranked No. 5, will be competing among a group of schools that include Auburn, Florida Atlantic, Hampton, James Madison, Texas A&M – Corpus Christi, and Villanova. Post-collegians will also be included in some events, such as A&M grad Simone Facey in the women’s 200.
Field events start at 10 a.m. (CT) with the women’s javelin and men’s hammer while running events begin with the 4 x 100 relay at 3 p.m. (CT). Updates throughout the day will be available on twitter at @AggieTrk.
With the Aggies on the road each week of the outdoor season, Texas A&M has competed in front of large crowds at each venue they have traveled to in 2012. Recently, at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, there were 5,402 fans present for the Pepsi Team Invitational.
Earlier this season the three-time defending dual national champion Aggies drew very well at Arizona State and USC before performing in front of 39,270 spectators during the Texas Relays weekend. A couple more upcoming venues promise significant crowds in April as A&M visits LSU next weekend and wraps up the month in historic Franklin Field where over 110,000 fans attend the annual Penn Relays.
The Aggie men enter the Miami meet this weekend as collegiate leaders in six events – three individual events and three relays. Meanwhile, the A&M women have athletes ranked among the top five in six events.
Individual collegiate leaders for the Aggie men include Ameer Webb (20.46) in the 200, Michael Preble (1:46.43) in the 800 and Sam Humphreys (256-6 / 78.19) in the javelin. Preble and Humphreys both continue to be the U.S. leader in their respective events as well for the 2012 season.
While Webb and Humphreys compete in their primary events at Miami this weekend, Preble will run in his first open 400 of the season with teammates Deon Lendore and Oscar Ramirez. Preble posted a season best of 46.41 a year ago in Gainesville, Florida, at the Tom Jones Memorial meet.
In relay events the Aggies hold the top collegiate times in the 4 x 200 (1:21.21), 4 x 800 (7:15.99) and distance medley relay (9:35.36). The next time A&M competes in those three relay events will be during the Penn Relay Carnival at the end of the month in Philadelphia.
Currently the Aggies are ranked second collegiately in the men’s 4 x 100 (38.84) and third in the 4 x 400 (3:03.16). A&M posted their sprint relay time as runner-up to Auburn during the Texas Relays at the end of March. Auburn set a meet record and ran the fourth-fastest collegiate time ever with a winning mark of 38.30 in Austin.
Members of the Aggie 4 x 100 include Ricky Babineaux, Webb, Michael Bryan and Prezel Hardy, Jr. Babineaux and Webb will also run in the 200 while Bryan and Hardy, Jr. contest the 100 this weekend.
For the A&M women, Natosha Rogers is ranked second collegiately in the 5,000 (15:45.80) and third in the 1,500 (4:17.06) while Donique’ Flemings equals the third-fastest collegiate mark in the 100 hurdles (12.88w). Dominique Duncan currently is fourth (11.15w) in the 100 while Laura Asimakis is sixth in the javelin (170-4 / 51.93) and the women’s 4 x 100 ranks second (43.21).
In Miami, Asimakis and Aly Daily will contest their unique double of the pole vault and javelin. Joining them in the javelin are teammates Lauren Berg, Kelly Czumble and Bonnie Richardson. Flemings, who has produced times of 13.27, 13.41, 13.17 (prelim), 12.88w and 13.13w in winning four 100 hurdle finals this outdoor season, will run the 200 in addition to the hurdles.
The line-up for the women’s 4 x 100 includes LaKeidra Stewart, Olivia Ekponé, Duncan and Ashley Collier. Duncan will also run the 200 with Ekponé while Collier is scheduled for the 100. Running in both the 100 and 200 are Chandrell Stephens, Stewart and heptathlete Jena Hemann. Ekponé is also entered in the 400 with Kanika Beckles, Ibukun Mayungbe and Tiffany Singleton.
In throwing events, the Aggie pair of Casey Strong and Cole Knuth is in the hammer while the crew of Dalton Rowan, Ben Skrla, Humphreys and Knuth compete in the discus. Devin Bogert joins Humphreys in the javelin. For the women the tandem of Brea Garrett and Taylor Rosser take on the shot put field while Jill Hydrick tosses the discus.
Jumpers in the meet include Cameron Alexander and Tyler Lee in the men’s high jump, Hemann and Chelsea Utley in the women’s high jump, Haley Gooch in the triple jump and Dustin Phillips in the pole vault. The A&M long jump crew will include Babatunde Amosu, Olabanji Asekun and Jonathan Turner.
USTFCCCA NATIONAL TEAM COMPUTER RANKINGS
Men: 1. Florida; 2. Florida State; 3. LSU; 4. Texas A&M; 5. Arkansas; 6. Texas; 7. Arizona State; 8. Texas Tech; 9. Indiana; 10. Mississippi State; 11. USC; 12. Mississippi; 13. Oregon; 14. Arizona; 15. Nebraska.
Women: 1. Oregon; 2. LSU; 3. Clemson; 4. USC; 5. Texas A&M; 6. Arkansas; 7. Florida; 8. Oklahoma; 9. Texas; 10. Kansas; 11. Texas Tech; 12. Central Florida; 13. Arizona; 14. Georgia; 15. Arizona State.