Charlie Thomas Invitational features a trio of top 10 ranked teams

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- A trio of nationally-ranked top 10 teams are featured in the Charlie Thomas Invitational hosted by Texas A&M in the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium this Friday and Saturday.

No. 1 Arkansas, No. 3 Aggies and No. 5 Texas headline the women’s field while the men’s field includes No. 5 Houston, No. 7 Texas A&M and No. 8 Texas. Other schools in the team scored meet include Cincinnati, Rice, South Plains Junior College, Stephen F. Austin, Texas Arlington, TCU and UTSA.

Multi-events, a pentathlon and heptathlon, start things off at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, followed by 5,000m races at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday the heptathlon continues at 10:30 a.m., field events begin at 12:30 p.m. and running finals start at 2 p.m.

On Friday, the Aggies will have Nathan Hite and Landon Malouf competing in the heptathlon while Texas A&M alum Shaina Burns, who placed sixth in the 2018 SEC pentathlon, is among a field of 13 in the pentathlon at the Charlie Thomas Invitational.

The 5,000m will include an Aggie crew of Ashley Driscoll, Kelsie Warren, Abbey Santoro and Julia Black. In the men’s race the A&M squad includes Brandt Preston and Zephyr Seagraves with Jacob Perry competing unattached.

Jazmine Fray, the collegiate holder in the women’s 800m, races at that distance for the first time this season in Saturday’s action.

The top ranked Razorback women feature the U.S. and collegiate leader in the 60 meters with Kiara Parker, who has run 7.15, along with Payton Chadwick, who is currently second in the 200 (22.97) and the 60 hurdles (8.01).

Texas A&M have Brenessa Thompson, Diamond Spaulding and Amber Ivy scheduled to race in the 60 while Spaulding and Ivy will also contest the 200m.

Arkansas women are also currently second fastest in the 4x400 relay at 3:31.26 while the Aggie women are third best this season with a 3:31.57.

In the men’s sprints Houston’s Mario Burke is currently tied for second on collegiate 60m list with a 6.56. In the 200, the Cougars will have Kahmari Montgomery, who previously won SEC 400m indoor and outdoor titles at Missouri, racing along with teammate Obi Igbokwe, a recent transfer from Arkansas.

Aggie Jace Comick, who ran an indoor career best of 21.01 in Lubbock, competes in the 200m again this weekend.

Texas A&M’s Jacob Wooten will have another meet record to chase in the pole vault. His season best of 18-3 ¾ (5.58) is currently tied for fifth among collegians. The meet record of 18-3 ¼ (5.57) was set in 2017 by Adrian Valles of Cincinnati.

Gabe Oladipo is scheduled to compete in the shot put and weight throw. In the shot he will renew a rivalry from this high school days against Adrian Piperi of Texas, who currently ranks fifth among collegians at 65-11 ½ (20.10).

Another featured event is the women’s high jump with 2018 NCAA Outdoor high jump champion Alexus Henry of Texas Arlington facing Cincinnati’s Loretta Blunt, the NCAA runner-up indoors and outdoors in 2018, who set the meet record of 6-0 ½ (1.84) a year ago. Henry, who won the Sun Belt pentathlon in 2018 with a career best score of 3,895 points, will also compete in the multi-event this weekend.

SFA’s Nastassja Campbell broke the American junior record in the pole vault when she competed at Gilliam during the Ted Nelson Invitational with a clearance of 14-4 ¾ (4.39). Houston’s Taylor Scaife sports a women’s weight throw best of 74-3 ¾ (22.65), which ranks second among collegians.