BATON ROUGE - Members of the LSU Track & Field teams will kick off the indoor season with a trip to Birmingham, Ala., for the second-straight season as they compete against a strong season-opening field at the second-annual Crimson Tide Indoor Opener being held Saturday at Fair Park Arena.
The action at this year's Crimson Tide Indoor Opener is set to begin Saturday morning at 11 a.m. CT with the first field events of the day followed by the first prelims on the track at 11:30 a.m.
Fans can follow the action from Birmingham with live updates by liking LSU Track & Field on Facebook and following @LSUTrackField on Twitter as a member of the team's social media networks.
The Tigers and Lady Tigers are ready to start their march toward the 2013 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships as they have just eight weeks to prepare for the national meet. The University of Arkansas will play host to the event March 8-9 at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville.
The LSU squads enter the season ranked among the premier programs nationally again as the Lady Tigers are ranked No. 4 and the Tigers are ranked No. 10 in the preseason Top 25 power rankings released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for the 2013 indoor season.
LSU took its place on the medal podium at the NCAA Indoor Championships a year ago after the women took home the third-place team trophy for the third-straight season. The Tigers also finished among the top-five teams nationally with a top-five finish in the final men's team standings. The LSU men have now claimed a top-five finish at the NCAA meet in each of the past five seasons.
Saturday's Crimson Tide Indoor Opener will welcome an impressive field with five men's teams and four women's teams ranked in the USTFCCCA Top 25 power rankings.
The 10th-ranked Tigers will compete alongside the likes of No. 2-ranked Florida, No. 11-ranked Auburn, No. 16-ranked Florida State and No. 20-ranked Mississippi State, as well as Alabama, Georgia Tech, Samford, South Florida and Southern Miss. Joining the fourth-ranked Lady Tigers in the women's field is No. 5-ranked Florida, No. 14-ranked Texas and No. 24-ranked Auburn, as well as Alabama, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, Samford, South Florida, Southern Miss and Tulane.
The Tigers and Lady Tigers feature four returning All-Americans scheduled to make their debut in their primary events at the Crimson Tide Indoor Opener on Saturday afternoon, including seniors Kimberlyn Duncan in the 60-meter dash and Caleb Williams in the 400-meter dash, junior Jasmin Stowers in the 60-meter hurdles and sophomore sprint star Aaron Ernest in the 200-meter dash.
Duncan, the two-time defending NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor champion in the 200-meter dash, had her first All-America finish in a 60-meter dash as a junior in 2012. Stowers won her second All-American honor in the 60-meter hurdles as a national finalist a season ago.
Williams is sure to lead the Tigers as one of the premier quartermilers throughout the 2013 season after he took home a fifth-place finish in the 400-meter final at the NCAA Indoor Championships last year.
Ernest emerged as one of the nation's top young sprinters during the outdoor season a season ago when he swept sprint silver medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes and anchored the United States to the gold medal in the 4x100-meter relay at the IAAF World Junior Championships. While he has his eye on a first All-America honor indoors, Ernest reached All-America status in the 100 and 200 outdoors in 2012.
After competing in the Crimson Tide Indoor Opener on Saturday, the Tigers and Lady Tigers will head to College Station, Texas, next weekend to compete with Arkansas and Texas A&M in the Texas A&M Tri-Meet in a much-anticipated scored competition on the second weekend of the season.