BATON ROUGE - Members of the LSU Track & Field program will have one final tune up before the start of the championship season next weekend as they return home to play host to their annual LSU Twilight meet on Friday afternoon at the Carl Maddox Field House in Baton Rouge.
The afternoon session kicks off at 12:30 p.m. CT with the field events followed by the start of the evening session at 5:15 p.m. with the first events on the track.
Fans can receive live updates of the Tigers and Lady Tigers throughout Friday's action at the LSU Twilight by liking LSU Track & Field on Facebook and following @LSUTrackField on Twitter.
Friday's event marks LSU's home opener for the 2013 indoor season as the Tigers and Lady Tigers have been on the road for each of the first five weeks of the campaign while competing in a host of elite meets featuring many the premier programs in collegiate track and field this season.
They are making their final preparations for the championship season as the University of Arkansas will play host to both the SEC Indoor Championships on Feb. 22-24 and NCAA Indoor Championships on March 8-9 at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville. The Tigers and Lady Tigers have already made two appearances at the Randal Tyson Track Center during the 2013 indoor season at the Razorback Invitational on Jan. 25-26 and the Tyson Invitational on Friday and Saturday of last weekend.
With their performance through the Tyson Invitational last weekend, the Lady Tigers are the nation's new No. 1-ranked squad this week with the release of the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Top 25 power rankings on Monday. The Tigers have earned a No. 14 national ranking in this week's USTFCCCA Top 25 men's power rankings.
They will welcome a host of men's and women's teams to Baton Rouge that includes their Southeastern Conference rivals from Mississippi State. The Bulldog men have been ranked as high as No. 12 this season and the Bulldog women are currently ranked No. 25 nationally in this week's USTFCCCA Top 25 power ranking.
Other combined programs scheduled to compete at the LSU Twilight on Friday include Arkansas Baptist, Hinds Community College, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Loyola-New Orleans, McNeese State, Northwestern State and Southeastern Louisiana to highlight the field.
Friday's competition at the Carl Maddox Field House will also feature the men from New Orleans and Southern and the women from Nicholls State and Tulane.
LSU's junior All-America hopeful Denise Hinton is among the Lady Tiger stars ready to compete in her first home meet of the season as she enters the competition as the NCAA's No. 7-ranked thrower of the 20-pound weight while already tying her school record of 69 feet, 9 ¾ inches in a runner-up finish at the Armory Collegiate Invitational on Feb. 2.
Hinton is poised to strengthen her NCAA qualification for the second year in a row as the women's weight throw begins at 1:30 p.m.
A trio of Lady Tigers is also looking to add its name to the NCAA Championships field in the long jump as senior Brittany Porter and juniors Keri Emanuel and Lynnika Pitts take flight for the event beginning at 4:30 p.m. Pitts and Emanuel have already proven themselves as All-America contenders in the triple jump as Pitts has jumped a lifetime personal best of 43-1 as the NCAA's No. 5-ranked performer and Emanuel has posted an indoor best of 42-8 ¾ as the NCAA's No. 7-ranked performer in the event this season.
The men's long jump will also feature a world-class competition with the likes of post-collegiate athletes Kyron Blaise, Jeremy Hicks and Fabrice Lapierre in the field.
Blaise and Hicks are a pair of former Tiger All-Americans as Blaise earned a trio of All-America honors in 2011 and 2012 and Hicks claimed four All-America selections during his four-year collegiate career of 2006-09. The 2010 U.S. Indoor long jump champion, Hicks even claimed the NCAA Indoor silver medal in the event during his senior season in 2009.
Lapierre is an Australian international who has represented his country at the highest levels of the sport with an appearance at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Owning a lifetime PR of 27-6 ¾ on his resume, Lapierre is a former NCAA champion at Texas A&M and 2010 World Indoor Champion in the long jump.