COLLEGE STATION – Texas A&M resumes the indoor track and field season after the winter break by hosting the Ted Nelson Invitational, a pair of separate team scored meets this Friday and Saturday inside Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium.
“We get our season started this weekend and get to see where we are,” noted Aggie head coach Pat Henry. “It’s about figuring out where we are right now and it’s a competitive track meet with some good teams coming in. People coming out to the meet with see some great competition.”
Action begins at noon both days with field events. On Friday prelims start at noon, while finals beginning at 1:30 p.m. On Saturday the prelims begin at 12:30 p.m. with finals starting at 2 p.m. Friday evening a pair of events, the
distance medley relay and 5,000 meters, will involve teams from both Friday and Saturday meets.
The Aggies will compete on Saturday among a field of teams that includes Abilene Christian, Baylor, Stephen F. Austin, Texas, Texas Arlington, Texas State and UTSA. Texas A&M will have a men’s distance medley relay race on Friday at 5 p.m.
“We accomplished things I thought we could at that time of the year when we had the Reveille Invitational in December,” noted Henry. “We’re moving in the right direction. I was very pleased with our relays at that meet, in addition to some good individual performances.”
Preseason national team rankings released on Thursday have the Aggie women at No. 3 with the A&M men No. 19. Data used to calculate the preseason rankings does not include relay performances from the previous season.
Among the men’s field competing at the Ted Nelson Invitational there are two ranked teams joining Texas A&M among the top 50 – No. 4 Texas and No. 40 Baylor. Joining the Aggie women in the women’s field are No. 12 Texas and No. 15 Baylor.
“The indoor season is a great part of our year, and is a huge developmental portion of the season,” stated Henry. “It develops you for the outdoor season and I still look at it that way. We’re still going to try to win indoors, there’s no question about it, but it’s still about the developmental part of each athlete.”
NCAA 800m champion Sammy Watson will race the mile distance this weekend while Tahar Triki, the NCAA champion in the triple jump, opens in the long jump. Jace Comick, the current US and collegiate leader at 200m with a 21.06, will race in the 60 and 200.
In the relays, the Aggies currently have the fastest times in the nation with the men at 3:07.48 and the women with a 3:35.25.
Friday’s meet will include the following teams: Houston Baptist, Incarnate Word, Lamar, Louisana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana Tech, McNeese State, New Mexico JC, Northwestern Louisiana, Prairie View A&M, Sam Houston State, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Texas Southern, UT Rio Grande Valley, Tillotson, and Western Texas College.