BATON ROUGE - LSU Track & Field athletes are poised to position themselves for NCAA Championships qualification this weekend as they make their annual trip to The Armory in New York for an exciting two days of action at the Armory Collegiate Invitational being held Friday and Saturday.
This year's competition kicks off Friday with the field events at 8:30 a.m. CT followed by the first events on the track at 9:15 a.m. Saturday's action begins on the track at 7:30 a.m. and in the field at 7:45 a.m.
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 to track the Tigers and Lady Tigers.
Fans are also invited to join the Twitter conversation during this year's Armory Collegiate Invitational by using LSU Track & Field's official Twitter hashtag for the meet at #LSUArmory.
"This is a meet that both of our teams look forward to each season. The Armory is an iconic venue for this sport and creates a tremendous environment in which to compete year in and year out," said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver. "It's hard to believe, but we're now into the second half of the indoor season. It will be important for each of our athletes on the trip to take advantage of this opportunity to compete.
"We feel like we've gotten better as a team each week to this point in the season. We need to continue our progression and take another big step forward this week as we head toward the postseason."
The first weekend in February attracts many of the nation's elite programs to The Armory each season for what has evolved into a competitive scored meet with the Armory Collegiate Invitational.
The 2013 edition of one of the nation's leading indoor meets is no exception as the No. 5-ranked Lady Tigers and the No. 6-ranked Tigers compete against an NCAA Championships caliber field featuring an impressive field with more than 100 programs from across the country. That includes its combined total at 19 teams ranked in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Top 25.
The Tigers are set to face such teams as No. 1 Arkansas, No. 2 Florida, No. 3 Texas A&M, No. 4 Oregon, No. 11 Texas, No. 15 Mississippi State, No. 19 BYU, No. 20 Stanford and No. 22 Oklahoma.
The Lady Tigers face such nationally-ranked teams as No. 1 Clemson, No. 2 Kansas, No. 4 Arkansas, No. 6 Texas A&M, No. 7 Florida, No. 14 Texas, No. 16 Stanford and No. 21 South Carolina.
LSU Track & Field has enjoyed tremendous success over the years since first competing at the Armory Collegiate Invitational in 2002 as the Tigers and Lady Tigers have combined to win nine team titles at the meet. The Tigers have won four men's team titles with their last coming in 2011 as they seek their second victory in three seasons. The Lady Tigers own five women's team titles with their last back in 2008.
The Tigers scored 75 points in two days of action a year ago to finish runner-up to the 85 points scored by Texas A&M in the race for the men's team title. The Lady Tigers took home a third-place finish after they scored a total of 60 points to finish behind Clemson (93) and BYU (64).
"We're heading to New York this weekend with specific goals in mind about what we want to achieve for both of our teams," Shaver said. "This is always a tremendous event with good competition across each of the event areas, so we'll have an opportunity to position ourselves well for the postseason."
Lipsey set the Armory Collegiate Invitational meet record in winning the women's 1,000-meter run a year ago with a record-setting time of 2 minutes, 44.34 seconds in the race. Forbes captured the men's long jump crown with a winning jump of 26 feet, ¾ inches to lead the Tigers to their runner-up finish.
A three-time NCAA silver medalist in the long jump during his collegiate career, Forbes is ready to make his 2013 season debut as a national championship contender in the event. Forbes has primarily lined up in the 60-meter dash through three meets while setting a personal best of 6.77 seconds.
LSU Track & Field will feature a star-studded cast this weekend as six other athletes and two relays teams that rank among the Top 10 of the NCAA rankings will be in action.
Lady Tiger junior Natoya Goule, the reigning SEC Women's Runner of the Week, will line up in the 400-meter dash just one week after claiming the No. 1 ranking in the NCAA in the 800 meters after claiming a victory at the Razorback Invitational with a season-opening run of 2:03.49.
The Lady Tigers will also feature senior Kimberlyn Duncan as the NCAA's No. 3-ranked performer in the 60-meter dash with a personal best of 7.22, junior Keri Emanuel as the No. 4-ranked triple jumper this season with an indoor PR of 42-8 ¾, junior Denise Hinton as the NCAA's No. 8-ranked weight thrower at 67-6 and junior Jasmin Stowers as the No. 10-ranked 60-meter hurdler with a best of 8.25.
After competing at the Armory Collegiate Invitational this weekend, the Tigers and Lady Tigers will head back to the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark., to compete at the Tyson Invitational that will run from Feb. 8-9. The University of Arkansas will also play host to the SEC Indoor Championships from Feb. 22-24 and the NCAA Indoor Championships from March 8-9.