April 19, 2007
AUBURN, Ala. -
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The Auburn men's and women's track and field teams will hold their third and final home meet of the 2007 outdoor season when the Tigers host the Auburn Invitational Friday and Saturday at Hutsell-Rosen Track.
Only the hammer throw will take place on Friday, with the women starting at 3 p.m. and the men to follow. On Saturday, field events start with the javelin at 10:30 a.m., while running events begin at 12:30 p.m. with prelims in the women's 100m hurdles. The meet is scheduled to run until shortly after 6 p.m.
"We've got some good teams coming and it should be a good meet," said head coach Ralph Spry. "We're going to get some more of our key people who have been resting out there this weekend to start getting them prepared for the stretch run."
Auburn enters the meet with the Tiger men ranked No. 2 nationally and the women earning a No. 9 national ranking. Fellow Southeastern Conference schools Tennessee (men only) and Mississippi State highlight the list of teams scheduled to join Auburn at the Auburn Invitational. Other teams scheduled to compete include: Beville State, Birmingham Southern, Central Michigan (women), Charlotte, Columbia, Columbus State, Florida Atlantic, Gardner-Webb, Georgia Southern, Jacksonville State, Navy (women) South Alabama, Troy State, UAB and Wallace State.
Two of Auburn's individual national champions are slated to compete for the first time during the outdoor season. Donald Thomas, the 2007 NCAA Indoor champion in the high jump, will set his sights on Auburn's outdoor record of 7-3.75 after setting the indoor mark with a leap of 7-7.75 while winning the NCAA indoor title. Edis Elkasevic, the 2005 NCAA indoor and outdoor champion in the shot put, returns after missing much of the last two years battling injuries.
Auburn won 13 events and reached or improved on nine regional qualifying marks at last year's Auburn Invitational. On the women's side, Kerron Stewart (100m), Tamara Thomas (200m), Markita James (400m), Josanne Lucas (400m hurdles), Michelle Williamson (high jump), Katalin Mate (discus and javelin), Ronda Gullatte (hammer throw) and the 4x100m relay team were all victorious.
The men's team saw victories from Ty Akins (110m hurdles), Reuben McCoy (400m hurdles), Drew Lovette (pole vault) and the 4x100m relay team.
So far this season, Auburn has had 15 athletes (eight women, seven men) earn regional qualifying marks. Cory Martin (hammer throw) owns the top marks in the NCAA this season in his event, while Shamar Sands (110m hurdles) and Jacob Dunkleberger (hammer throw) have the second-best marks in the NCAA in their events. Five other Auburn athletes are ranked in the top ten nationally.
More information on the Auburn Invitational can be found by visiting Auburn's athletics website at www.auburntigers.com.