BATON ROUGE – Texas A&M makes a trek into the Louisiana bayou this weekend for the LSU Alumni Gold Invitational held on Saturday at the Bernie Moore Track Stadium. In addition to Texas A&M, with the men ranked No. 1 and the women ranked No. 2, and the host Tigers, other teams scheduled to compete at the LSU Alumni Gold Invitational include Alabama, Houston, Harvard, Illinois, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana Tech, Minnesota, South Florida, Southern Mississippi, Texas State and Tulane.
Action begins early with a 9 a.m. start for field events along with a 10:30 a.m. start for B sections of running events. The A sections in running events begin at 1:30 p.m. along with invitational sections of the long jump. Live results will be available through www.lsusports.net and updates from the meet will be available on twitter through @aggietrk.
Deon Lendore is set to run his first open 400 of the outdoor season after running on relays the past few weeks. Joining Lendore in the 400 are Ricky Babineaux, Aldrich Bailey, Jr. and Carlyle Roudette.
The hurdles will feature a pair of Olympians among the collegians. In the 110 hurdles the Olympic champion and world record holder Aries Merritt is scheduled to compete along with Aggie Wayne Davis II. LSU alum Lolo Jones will run in the 100 hurdles that also includes A&M’s Donique’ Flemings.
Flemings is also entered in the 400 hurdles where she will face the 2012 NCAA champion in LSU’s post-collegian Cassandra Tate as well as the defending NCAA 400m champion in Ashley Spencer of Illinois.
LSU’s Kimberlyn Duncan, the 2012 Bowerman Award winner, headlines the women’s 100 which will include the A&M trio of Jennifer Madu, India Daniels and Chandrell Stephens.
In the men’s 100 a pair of sprinters who were world leaders in consecutive weeks are scheduled to race one another with Aggie Ameer Webb (10.14) and Diondre Batson of Alabama (10.06). Also in the field are LSU’s Aaron Ernest as well as A&M’s Prezel Hardy, Jr. and Michael Bryan. Doubling up in the 200 are Webb and Hardy with Jermaine Davis joining them in that event.
Five Aggie female sprinters are in the 200 meters with Kamaria Brown leading the crew in her native Baton Rouge. Brown is joined by Ashley Collier, Olivia Ekpone, Ashton Purvis and LaKeidra Stewart.
Henry Lelei will drop down in distance again, this time running in the 800 meters with teammate Josh Hernandez and Hector Hernandez. The A&M trio will race against Ryan Lynn of Illinois and Alabama’s miler Robbie Farnham-Rose. Lelei produced a school record 8:32.94 in Oregon two weeks ago, which stood as the world leader for 2013 until this week, and posted a 3:44.78 to win the 1,500 at Arkansas this past week.
Shelbi Vaughan and Jill Hydrick will compete in a field of 18 discus throwers in the first event of the meet while Dalton Rowan and Ben Skrla are among a field of 11 throwers in the men’s discus. The Aggie women will have a group of six throwers in the javelin that includes Kendall Munoz, Krystyn Bradley, Jean Deason, Kelly Czumble, Jena Hemann and Annie Kunz.
Hemann and Kunz, who will compete in the heptathlon during the SEC Championships in May, are also in the long jump this weekend.
Casey Strong, who improved his school record in the hammer to over 201 feet last week, will be among a field of 16 at LSU that includes SEC foes Elias Hakansson of Alabama and Jeremy Tuttle of LSU. Hakansson ranks second in the conference with a best of 211-3 while Strong ranks fifth (201-5) and Tuttle is sixth (201-0).
In the women’s triple jump LaQue Moen-Davis headlines a crew of five Aggies, which also includes Madu, Melissa Mays, Haley Gooch and Jordan Wilson, in the event as they continue a season-long duel with the LSU tandem of Keri Emanuel and Lynnika Pitts.
Moen-Davis leads the SEC and is second in the NCAA with her 44-2.75 mark from the Texas Relays while Emanuel ranks third in the conference with a 42-8.75 and Pitts is sixth at 41-7.75. The other four A&M jumpers currently rank among the top 12 in the SEC with Madu (41-6) seventh, Gooch (40-11.75) eighth, Wilson (40-6.25) 10th and Mays (40-3.5) 12th.