The LSU track and field teams are set to make their second trip to the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark., in three weeks as the University of Arkansas hosts the Tyson Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
Friday’s afternoon session kicks off at noon, followed by the evening session at 6 p.m. Saturday’s action starts with field events at 11 a.m., followed by track events at 1 p.m.
The No. 3-ranked Lady Tigers are among 10 women’s teams, and No. 6-ranked Tigers are among eight men’s teams nationally-ranked in the latest Top 25 power rankings released Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
After capturing their sixth women’s team title in 12 seasons at the Armory Collegiate Invitational this past weekend, the Lady Tigers will face another tough field, including No. 1 Kansas, No. 4 Arkansas, No. 5 Oregon, No. 9 Central Florida, No. 14 Texas, No. 19 Baylor, No. 20 South Carolina, No. 21 Florida State and No. 25 Auburn.
The Tigers will square off against a field including No. 1 Arkansas, No. 4 Oregon, No. 9 Auburn, No. 11 Texas, No. 12 Mississippi State, No. 16 Florida State and No. 22 Oklahoma.
LSU has placed 10 athletes and two relays in the top 10 of the national rankings through four meets.
The Tigers have the nation’s No. 5-ranked mile relay team while running an indoor seasonal-best of 3 minutes, 7.74 seconds at the Texas A&M Triangular meet on Jan. 19. The Tyson Invitational field features four men’s relay teams ranked among the top 15 nationally. The Tigers join No. 3 Arkansas (3:06.26), No. 8 Baylor (3:10.48) and No. 15 Oregon (3:10.83).
The Lady Tigers are among five of the NCAA’s top 10 4x400-meter relay teams competing this weekend as they own the nation’s No. 6-ranked performance in 2013 at 3:36.45. They will look to improve in the event while racing No. 2 Texas (3:31.69), No. 3 Arkansas (3:35.25), No. 9 South Carolina (3:37.69) and No. 10 Texas Tech (3:37.78).
LSU has turned in 12 performances that rank among the NCAA’s top 10, other athletes look to join their teammates in NCAA qualifying position with top 20 rankings this season.
In the long jump, Keri Emanuel set an indoor personal record of 20 feet 4 ¼ inches to rank No. 11 nationally this season. Emanuel already ranks No. 4 in the country with a seasonal-best mark of 42-8 ¾ in the triple jump.
Also owning the NCAA’s No. 11 ranking in his event this season is Tiger senior Caleb Williams, who will run the 400-meter dash on Friday afternoon with a seasonal-best of 46.98 seconds.
Three other Tigers own NCAA top 20 rankings this season as senior Rynell Parson is currently tied for No. 15 in the 60-meter dash with a best of 6.68, sophomore Andreas Duplantis is tied for No. 16 overall in the pole vault with an indoor PR of 17-5 and sophomore Aaron Ernest is tied for No. 19 nationally with a best of 6.69 in the 60 meters.
LSU CONCLUDES ROAD SWING AT MISSOURI: In Columbia, Mo., the eighth-ranked LSU gymnastics team will wrap up a four-week road stint at 6:30 p.m. Friday against Missouri in the Hearnes Center.
Live audio will be available starting at 6:25 p.m. inside the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net/live.
The meet marks the first meeting between LSU and Missouri in Columbia since Jan. 18, 199,8 when LSU competed in the Shakespeare’s Festival meet hosted by Missouri.
LSU (6-2, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) will look to keep Missouri (1-5, 0-3) from picking up its first conference win as a member of the SEC.
LSU is coming off a 195.875-195.250 win at Kentucky last week in a meet in which the Tigers swept the individual titles.
Last week, Rheagan Courville won the all-around with a 39.225 and the beam title with a career-high 9.95, while Randi Lau won vault with a 9.90, Sarie Morrison won bars with a 9.85 and Lloimincia Hall won floor with a 9.875.
LSU enters the meet as the second-ranked team nationally on vault with a 49.320 average and the No. 4 team on floor with a 49.290 mark.
Missouri is coming off a 196.725-194.575 loss at home to Auburn.
DOUBLEHEADER START TIME MOVED UP: Because of the threat of rain, the No. 25 LSU men’s tennis team’s first doubleheader of the season has been moved to an earlier start time Sunday.
The Tigers (3-1) will face No. 56 Rice (2-3) at W.T. “Dub” Robinson Stadium Sunday at 11 a.m., followed by a match against Prairie View (0-2) at 3 p.m.
Free pizza will be available.