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A&M hosts NCAA Indoor Friday and Saturday

COLLEGE STATION – As of Wednesday morning less than 200 reserved seats remain for this weekend’s NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships being hosted in the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium on the Texas A&M University campus.

Action will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 11 and conclude Saturday, March 12 evening around 7:30 p.m. A full schedule can be found on the www.ncaachampionships.com or www.aggieathletics.com websites.

Texas A&M sold out the Saturday portion of the NCAA Indoor Championships when they last hosted the meet in 2009.

The Aggies will have 16 entries in the meet and are predicted to place third in the chase for team titles by Track & Field News in both the men’s and women’s field. The A&M men finished second a year ago while the Aggie women were runner-up in 2009.

Texas A&M men will have 10 entries in seven events while the women have six entries in five events this weekend. T&FN has tabbed the Aggies favorites to win three events – women’s 200, women’s 400 and the men’s 4 x 400 relay.

In the men’s field for A&M are Gerald Phiri (60, 200), Prezel Hardy, Jr. (60), Tabarie Henry (400, 4×400), Demetrius Pinder (400, 4×400), Bryan Miller (400, 4×400), Tran Howell (4×400), Michael Preble (800, 4×400), Joey Roberts (800), Wayne Davis II (60 hurdles), and Julian Reid (triple jump).

The women’s field will include Jeneba Tarmoh (60, 200, 4 x400), Dominique Duncan (200), Jessica Beard (400, 4×400), Gabby Mayo (60 hurdles), Ibukun Mayungbe (4×400), and Andrea Sutherland (4×400).

Florida men and Oregon women head to College Station as defending champions and prohibitive favorites to defend those titles at Gilliam this weekend. They were each No. 1 in the national team rankings, by a comfortable margin, when USTFCCCA updated the rankings based on entries into the NCAA Championships.

Track & Field News predicts the Gators (72 points) to handle the challenges presented by LSU (48), Texas A&M (38), Oregon (32) and BYU (29) for the men’s championship.

The monthly magazine favors the Aggies 4 x 400 to successfully defend its NCAA Indoor title over Baylor and Arkansas. Last year A&M recorded a school record of 3:04.40 for the victory and enter the weekend with a nine-meet indoor winning streak dating back to last season.

Other points the Aggies are predicted to score include Phiri finishing fourth (60) and fifth (200) with the tandem of Henry and Pinder placing third and fifth in the 400. In the 800, where A&M has seen a recent surge with a pair of runners clocking 1:47s, the duo of Preble and Roberts are tabbed for fifth and eighth place.

Seventh-place efforts are predicted for Davis II in the 60 hurdles, where his career best of 7.75 placed second at the Big 12 meet, and Reid in the triple jump, also a Big 12 runner-up (52-11) in his first meet of the season after battling through an injury.

The triple jump could be a big part of Florida’s point production. They are predicted to repeat a 1-2-3 finish they enjoyed in the SEC meet. Christian Taylor, who holds the Gilliam facility record, leads the trio that includes Will Claye and Omar Craddock. A sweep of the top three positions in the triple jump would garner 24 points for the Gators.

Track & Field News tabs the Ducks (57 points) as favorites over the Arkansas (40), Texas (38), Texas A&M (36) and LSU (33) for the women’s championship.

The two-point difference between the Aggies and the Longhorns in the women’s field may come down to the final event, the 4 x 400 relay, where T&FN has Arkansas as the favorite with Texas second and the Aggies third.

Texas A&M women lead the nation this season with a 3:30.70 mark, set in defeating Arkansas in New York City, and they also set a Big 12 meet record of 3:32.85 in defeating Texas at the conference meet. The Aggies motivation of running at home with Beard on the anchor should make for an interesting outcome.

Beard, who has three silver medals and one bronze from previous NCAA 400 finals, is favored to claim her first individual gold. She has led the nation the whole indoor season and set a Big 12 meet record of 51.68 while earning conference Performer of the Year honors.

Tarmoh is the favorite in the 200 after posting a 22.88 to win the Big 12 title and is also tabbed for third place in the 60, where she has a season best of 7.24. Duncan is predicted to place fifth in the 200.

South Carolina’s LaKya Brookins, who won the 60 meters at Gilliam in 2009, leads the women’s field this season with a 7.14. In the 200, LSU will challenge Tarmoh with a trio of sprinters who clocked some of the fastest times of the season during the SEC meet – Kimberlyn Duncan (22.78), Semoy Hackett (22.84) and Rebecca Alexander (22.96).

Missing in the 60 hurdles top eight predictions is Mayo, who brings in 8.15 credentials from this season along with her A&M school record of 8.05. The field of 16 hurdlers is separated by 0.16 of a second from the leading 8.01 by Ohio State’s Christina Manning to 8.17.

Oregon women will be led by defending champion Brianne Theisen in the pentathlon along with a crew of talented distance runners that includes Jordan Hasay, Anne Kesselring, Alex Kosinski and Laura Roesler, who provide scoring potential from the 800 to the 3,000 and includes a potent distance medley relay.

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Posted by on Mar 10 2011. Filed under Sports.
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