College Station, Texas -
The Auburn track and field team opens the 2018 Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships Saturday at the Gilliam Indoor Stadium on the Texas A&M campus.
Auburn sends 19 men and 15 women to this year's championship, which includes 15 that will be making their first appearance at the conference indoor meet. A total of 23 athletes will compete during Saturday's first day of competition.
The Tigers enter the weekend eight athletes and three relays ranked among the top eight within the SEC, including four that are ranked in the top 10 nationally.
Sophomore Akeem Bloomfield is ranked first in the SEC and second nationally in the men's 400m with a school-record time of 45.02 set two weeks ago at the Tiger Paw Invite. The Jamaican national record holder indoors at 400m, Bloomfield will be vying to become Auburn's first indoor champion in the event since Avard Moncur claimed gold in 2001.
Fellow Jamaican Nathon Allen, the 2017 NCAA Outdoor runner up at 400m will also run in the event. Allen has competed just once during the indoor season.
Sprinter Raheem Chambers holds the SEC's No. 2 time in the 60m with a time of 6.60 and could become the Tigers' first SEC champion in the event since 2010. Xavier Coakley and Chris Stone are ranked seventh in the league in the 60m hurdles and heptathlon, respectfully, while Wesley Curles is eight in the mile.
On the women's side, senior sprinter Jonielle Smith leads the way with the SEC and nation's third best 60m mark in 2018 at 7.18. Redshirt freshman Natalliah Whyte is fifth both in the league and country in the same event with a time of 7.19.
Freshman Tori McKinley, the Tigers' No. 3 performer all-time in the shot put, enters the meet ranked eighth in the SEC with a mark of 15.53m/50-11.5.
Saturday's action will begin at 3 p.m. CT with the men's 60m hurdles prelims and the women's pole vault. Saturday's action will be air online on SEC Network Plus. Live results can be found at www.flashresults.com.