BATON ROUGE - For the second time in three weeks, the LSU Track & Field teams will travel to the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark., to compete in the 2012 Tyson Invitational scheduled for this weekend on Friday and Saturday on the campus of the University of Arkansas.
Friday's action is set for a noon CT start with the field events followed by the first events on the track at 1 p.m. The meet continues Saturday at 10 a.m. in the field and 10:30 a.m. on the track.
The highlight of this year's Tyson Invitational is certainly the 2012 USA Track & Field Classic scheduled to begin Saturday night at 5:15 p.m. The event features many of the nation's best college and professional athletes in action and is scheduled for a tape-delay broadcast on ESPN2 on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
This marks the second time in the last three weeks that the LSU Track & Field teams will compete as part of an elite field at the Randal Tyson Track Center following the Razorback Invitational on Jan. 27-28.
Fans of the LSU Track & Field program with a subscription to the Geaux Zone can watch both the Tigers and Lady Tigers in action at the Tyson Invitational by accessing the Geaux Zone homepage at www.LSUsports.net/live. As a fellow NeuLion client, the University of Arkansas will share the live video of this year's Tyson Invitational as part of its RazorVision premier feature.
Live updates throughout the meet will also be available on the official Facebook and Twitter pages for the LSU Track & Field program. To receive these live updates, fans are invited to like LSU Track & Field on Facebook and follow @LSUTrackField on Twitter. Additional coverage for the LSU Track & Field teams on Twitter will be provided by @WillStaffordLSU by sports information director Will Stafford.
Fans are also invited to join in the Twitter conversation throughout this year's Tyson Invitational by using the meet's official Twitter hashtag of #TysonInvite.
"This is always an interesting week for both of our teams as we go to the Tyson Invitational to compete as part of another NCAA Championships caliber field," said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver. "It's important for us to keep up our intensity level this week after already being on the road for the last few weeks, along with a big weekend for both of our teams last weekend in New York.
"This is another great opportunity for our teams to strengthen their postseason position at the NCAA meet about a month from now. We have another great chance to improve as a program."
The No. 2-ranked Lady Tigers and No. 3-ranked Tigers will have the opportunity to compete alongside an NCAA Championships caliber field again this season as LSU joins nine men's teams and eight women's teams currently ranked by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Joining the Tigers in Fayetteville are such squads as No. 1 Arkansas, No. 11 Oklahoma, No. 13 Nebraska, No. 16 Kansas State, No. 17 Wisconsin, No. 19 Ole Miss, No. 20 Iowa and No. 22 Georgia.
The Lady Tigers will also receive a preview of what to expect at the NCAA Championships by competing alongside such nationally-ranked programs this week as No. 3 Clemson, No. 4 Arkansas, No. 5 Central Florida, No. 6 Texas, No. 8 Texas Tech, No. 19 Oklahoma and No. 24 Kansas.
The LSU Track & Field teams have already qualified two entries to NCAA Indoor Championships for the 2012 campaign as they make the trip this weekend to Arkansas' Randal Tyson Track Center.
The Tigers have already recorded the No. 2-ranked performance this season in the 4x400-meter relay after senior Robert Simmons, senior Riker Hylton, senior Ade Alleyne-Forte and junior Caleb Williams posted a seasonal-best time of 3 minutes, 6.11 seconds at the Razorback Invitational two weeks ago. Lady Tigers junior Charlene Lipsey also clocked an NCAA Indoor qualifying performance in the 800-meter run with a personal-best time of 2:03.79 that also ranks No. 2 in the country for the 2012 indoor season.
The Lady Tigers have also been led in 2012 by the likes of sprint standouts senior Rebecca Alexander and junior Kimberlyn Duncan as each look to add their names to LSU's postseason roster this weekend.
Duncan enters the meet as the NCAA's No. 1-ranked performer in the 200-meter dash after running 23.22 seconds at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational a week ago for her seasonal best. She also clocked her seasonal best of 7.34 in the 60-meter dash last weekend for the NCAA's No. 9-ranked time this year.
Alexander enters the Tyson Invitational as the No. 2-ranked runner in both the 200 meters and 400 meters for the 2012 indoor season. She is poised to meet the NCAA qualifying standard in both sprints this week with seasonal bests of 23.49 in the 200 meters and 52.66 in the 400 meters.
Other Lady Tigers nearing NCAA Championships qualification as they compete at the Tyson Invitational on Friday and Saturday include senior Cassandra Tate in the 400-meter dash (53.13), sophomore Jasmin Stowers in the 60-meter hurdles (8.11) and the Lady Tigers' 4x400-meter relay team (3:35.41).
The Tigers are led by a trio of All-Americans who currently rank among the NCAA's Top 5 in their event for the 2012 indoor season. Junior Damar Forbes is the top-ranked Tiger as he enters the weekend with an effort of 26 feet, 0 ¾ inches in the long jump that ranks No. 2 nationally. Williams ranks No. 3 in the 400-meter dash (46.60), while senior Barrett Nugent ranks No. 4 in the 60-meter hurdles (7.72).
After competing this weekend at the Tyson Invitational, the Tigers and Lady Tigers will return home next weekend to play host to the LSU Twilight on Feb. 17 at the Carl Maddox Field House.