Tyson Invitational on Tap for Tigers
Edis Elkasevic

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Feb. 8, 2007

AUBURN - The Auburn track and field teams will travel to Fayetteville, Ark., for the 2007 Tyson Invitational this weekend. The two-day meet is Auburn's fourth of the season and its last before the SEC Championships on Feb. 23-25.

The meet will be Auburn's largest of the season as more than 30 teams will be represented. The Tiger men will get the chance to compete against 16 top-25 teams and the women will see 12 top-25 teams. The Southeastern Conference will also be well represented as Florida, Georgia, LSU, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and hosting Arkansas will be in attendance.

The Auburn men are ranked No. 1 in the nation for the second straight week and should get a boost this weekend from the return of junior thrower Edis Elkasevic, who redshirted in 2006 and sat out the first three meets of 2007. Senior Mark Johnson will also look to improve his standing for nationals in the pole vault, and junior Aharon Conerly will compete for the first time this season in the 400m.

The Auburn women fell two spots to No. 10 in this week's rankings despite two automatic qualifying times from senior Kerron Stewart in the 60m and the 200m last weekend. Auburn will look to add freshman Danielle Gilchrist to the qualifiers list in the 60-meter hurdles and improve the qualifying marks of sophomore Raevan Harris in the high jump, junior Tracy Ann Rowe in the 60m and the 200m and senior Michelle Vaughn in the triple jump.

The collegiate portion of the meet opens at 10 a.m. Friday with the men's pole vault. Saturday's action starts at 10 a.m. with the men's and women's high jump and the women's 3000m run. Live results are available online at www.flashresults.com.


Auburn at the Tyson Invitational
The Auburn track and field teams travel to Fayetteville, Ark., for the Tyson Invitational this weekend, Feb. 9-10. The meet, held at the Randal Tyson Track Complex on the campus of the University of Arkansas, is Auburn's fourth of the season and its last before the SEC Championships on Feb. 23-25. Nineteen Tigers will compete in 14 events.

History at the Tyson Invitational
Auburn has made the trip to Fayetteville for the Tyson Invitational every season since 2001. The meet is never scored, but a few current Tigers have experienced success there. In 2006, Kerron Stewart set a personal best in the 200m with a time of 22.97, and Michelle Williamson won the college high jump with a mark of 1.74m (5-8.5). Cory Martin was second in the weight throw (21.53m, 70-7.75) and third in the shot put with a then-personal-best 18.42m (60-5.25) throw.

Auburn in the Polls
The Auburn men's team finds itself atop the Trackwire 25 for the second straight week after adding an automatic qualifier and improving a provisional qualifier's mark last weekend at the Indiana Relays. The women fell two spots to No. 10 in the Feb. 6 rankings despite a strong performance from Kerron Stewart in Bloomington, Ind. Trackwire takes the top-12 times in each event to predict the order of finish were every team to compete at the same meet.

The Competition
Auburn will face its toughest competition of the season this weekend at the Tyson Invitational. Sixteen of the 27 men's teams ranked in Trackwire's Top 25 are sending athletes to Fayetteville this weekend, while 12 of the women's top-25 teams will send representatives.

Last Week at the Indiana Relays
Auburn registered three automatic qualifying marks, improved an existing provisional mark and broke the tape in five events last weeked at the Indiana Relays. Kerron Stewart ran her best events for the first time this season and posted automatic qualifying marks in both, running a 7.27 in the 60m and a 23.25 in the 200m to win both events. Jake Dunkleberger threw the 35 lb. weight 21.60m (70-10) in the event prelims to earn himself a spot in the NCAA Championships before finishing second to teammate Cory Martin in the finals. Ty Akins posted a time of 7.80 in the 60m hurdles finals to improve his provisional time and win that event, and Michelle Vaughn jumped 12.90m (42-4) in the triple jump to take top honors in that event.

Last Week at the Meyo Invitational
Four Tigers seperated from the group and traveled to Notre Dame for the Meyo Invitational last weekend. Freshman Sabrina Fischer ran a time of 2:16.77 in the 800m to finish 27th, while Laurel Pritchard ran a time of 17:26.37 in her first 5000m race to place 12th. On the men's side, freshman Felix Kiboiywo posted a season-best 4:05.49 in the mile to place ninth in that event. Junior Jordan Davis ran an 8:13.37 to improve his 3000m time by more than four seconds and finish 15th.

Auburn Athletes in the Dandy Dozen
After improving his provisional 60m hurdles time at the Indiana Relays, Ty Akins has joined seven other Tigers in Trackwire's Dandy Dozen. Auburn has six men and two women on the event lists, including four men in the No. 1 spot.

Ty Akins                60m Hurdles             9th
Jacob Dunkleberger      Weight Throw            4th
Edis Elkasevic          Shot Put                1st
Cory Martin             Weight Throw            1st
Shamar Sands            60m Hurdles             1st
Donald Thomas           High Jump               1st

Women Kerron Stewart 60m 2nd 200m 2nd Michelle Vaughn Triple Jump 4th

Auburn All-Americans
Auburn has ten All-Americans currently on the 2007 roster, eight on the men's team and two on the women's squad. For the men, seniors Edis Elkasevic and Jacob Dunkleberger and junior Cory Martin have eight All-American honors, seven SEC championships and two NCAA championships between them in the throwing events. Senior Shamar Sands and juniors Ty Akins and Reuben McCoy have four All-American honors between them in the hurdle events, while transfers Mark Johnson and Donald Thomas earned All-America status before coming to the Plains. Six-time All-American sprinter Kerron Stewart is joined by All-American triple jumper Michelle Vaughn for the women.

SEC Honors
Through three weeks of competition for Auburn, three Tigers have been named SEC performers of the week. Cory Martin was named SEC Male Field Athlete of the Week on Jan. 23rd for his record-breaking toss in the weight throw at the Clemson Invitational. Martin recorded a mark of 23.12m (75-10.25) in the season-opening meet, which broke the school record. Donald Thomas took the same honor a week later after breaking the school record with his 2.3m (7-6.5) high jump at the Diet Pepsi Invitational. Shamar Sands was named SEC Male Runner of the Week on Jan. 30th for his 7.70-second 60-meter dash at the Diet Pepsi Invitational. Auburn had just one athlete take an SEC weekly honor last season.

Edis Returns
After redshirting during the 2006 season and sitting out the first three meets of the 2007 season, junior Edis Elkasevic will compete at the Tyson Invitational. Elkasevic's performance in the shot put from the 2005 season still has him ranked No. 1 in Trackwire's Dandy Dozen for this year, and his performance this season will give the Tigers' even more strength in the field events.

Vaulting In
Aside from Edis Elkasevic, the only Auburn field-event competitor this weekend without an automatic bid to nationals is Mark Johnson. Johnson has a provisional mark in the pole vault of 17-0.75, which places him in a tie with 13 other athletes for 16th place nationally.

New to the Plains
Two Auburn transfers have quickly made their presence felt on the Auburn squad. Sophomore Donald Thomas, a Lindenwood University transfer, broke a 19-year-old school record and posted an automatic qualifier in the high jump in his first meet as an Auburn Tiger. For the women, junior Tracy Ann Rowe has qualified provisionally in the 60m and the 200m after transfering to The Plains from Barton County Community College (Kan.).

In addition to the transfers, three freshmen have made strong first impressions through the early weeks of the indoor season. Felix Kiboiywo ran a season-best 4:05.49 in the mile at the Meyo Invitational, which puts him third in the SEC in that event. Danielle Gilchrist has three top-five finishes in three meets in the hurdles, and Laurel Pritchard posted a 17:26.37 at the Meyo Invitational, which places her sixth in the SEC this year.

Headed Elsewhere
Felix Kiboiywo and Jordan Davis will venture with Coach Peter Watson to the Huskey Invitational this weekend, leaving the rest of the Tigers in Fayetteville, Ark. Davis will compete for the third time this season in the 3000m, while Kiboiywo will look to improve his time in the mile from a week ago. The Huskey Invitational won't be lacking in competiveness though, as seven other top-25 teams will be in attendance.

Follow the Tigers on the Web
Live results from the 2007 Tyson Invitational will be available at www.flashresults.com. Shortly after each event is completed, the results will be posted online.