COLLEGE STATION – Texas A&M will play host to a pair of scored indoor track and field meets this Friday and Saturday as 21 collegiate teams visit Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium for the A&M Team Invitational.
Friday’s action begins at noon with field events and running prelims while the finals on the track start at 1:30 p.m. The field of 12 teams will include Houston Baptist, Lamar, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, North Texas, Northwestern State, Prairie View A&M, Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, Texas-Pan American, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, and Texas Southern.
Saturday’s 10-team field will have the Aggies facing Abilene Christian, Baylor, Louisiana Tech, Rice, SMU, TCU, Texas State, UT-Arlington and UT-San Antonio. Field events begin at noon, sprint and hurdle prelims start at 12:30 p.m. and the running finals open with the mile at 2 p.m.
Two events, the 5,000 meters and distance medley relay, will feature athletes from both meets competing on Friday evening starting at 4:30 p.m.
This marks the sixth season of indoor track and field on the A&M campus as Aggie head coach Pat Henry starts his 10th season with the program. The first nine seasons under Henry have produced seven national championship team titles along with 15 conference championships.
“We have a great facility, so I feel it’s appropriate for us to put on a meet that involves another group of schools besides ourselves,” noted Henry. “We want to have home track meets in a time frame where a fan can come and watch, without having to be here the whole day.
“The second day is when a majority of the Aggies will compete against a field of 10 schools. It’s very manageable to have a meet with 10 or 12 teams each day rather than one meet with 22 schools. It’s a great way for us to open the indoor season.”
All three Aggies recently named to The Bowerman Award preseason watch list will compete Saturday. Wayne Davis II headlines the 60 hurdles, Kamaria Brown challenges a solid 200m field that includes A&M record holder Ashton Purvis and Deon Lendore will anchor an Aggie 4x400 relay.
Coming off a stellar cross country season Isaac Spencer transition to the indoor track season by running the mile as well as the lead-off leg, 1200 meters, in the distance medley relay. Spencer qualified for the NCAA Championships in cross country as did Hillary Montgomery, who will compete in the mile.
Joining Spencer in Friday’s distance medley relay are Greg Coleman on the 400m leg, Josh Hernandez covering the 800m with Alex Riba anchoring the mile leg. The women’s distance medley foursome includes Katie Willard (1200), Shamier Little (400), Sophie Blake (800) and Grace Fletcher (1600).
School record holder in the weight throw, Brea Garrett and Casey Strong will each attempt to improve on the record marks they established last season. Jena Hemann, the Aggie record holder in the pentathlon will toss the shot put on Friday and then high jump Saturday as well as run in the 60 hurdles.
A pair of SEC Freshman Athletes of the Year in 2013, Jennifer Madu and LaQue Moen-Davis, will each contest a jumping event for the Aggies. Madu will long jump and run in the 200 while Moen-Davis headlines the triple jump and competes in the 60 hurdles.