Leon Johnson Invitational on Tap for Louisiana Tech
April 24, 2015
RUSTON, La. - The run up to the outdoor track and field postseason begins in Natchitoches Saturday when Louisiana Tech heads to the Northwestern State-hosted Leon Johnson Invitational at the Walter P. Ledet Track Complex.
Saturday's meet in Natchitoches will mark the second-to-last regular season meet of the 2015 outdoor season for Louisiana Tech, leading up to the 2015 Conference USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on May 15-17 in El Paso, Texas.
Hosting several Louisiana schools, the Leon Johnson Invitational will feature some of the state's best track and field athletes from Louisiana Tech, McNeese State, New Orleans, Nicholls State, UL-Lafayette and ULM. Tech is the highest-rated team in the meet with the Bulldogs ranked 73rd nationally while the Lady Techsters are ranked 98th.
Louisiana Tech's Jermey Hicks will make his second appearance in the 200m this year, having run 21.41 at the Florida Relays on April 4. While currently unranked, Hicks will face UL-Lafayette's Hanoj Carter in the race with Carter ranked 38th in the nation in the event with a 20.92 time. Hicks' personal best 200m time is 20.93.
Jarvis Gotch was ranked eighth in the world in the indoor long jump but has yet to record a mark in the outdoor season. With the season winding down, he will get another chance Saturday among stiff competition in a competition that features four jumpers ranked in the top 50 nationally separated by four inches. McNeese State's Kartavius Hamilton ranks 27th nationally with a season-best mark of 24-9.75 (7.56m) while Tech's Jarrett Samuels is 37th with a mark of 24-6.5 (7.48m) to his credit. Tied at 43rd in the nation is UL-Lafayette's Devin Davis and ULM's Corey Wesley with a mark of 24-5.75 (7.46m).
The women's long jump is shaping up to be just as tough of a competition with LA Tech's Mia Adams leading the field. Adams won the C-USA title during the indoor season and currently leads the league in the outdoor season while being ranked 32nd nationally with a mark of 20-1.75 (6.26m) but will be challenged by ULL's Tia Mitchell - a former Louisiana Tech jumper - who is ranked 36th with a jump of 20-1 (6.12m). ULM's Adriunna Brown is 54th nationally with a jump of 19-8.75 (6.01m) while two Tech jumpers ranked in the 70s - No. 71 Denisha Henix and No. 77 Charla Craddock - are primed to make a big leap up the national lists.
The Lady Techsters look to improve on its 28th-ranked 4x100m relay time after the quartet of Bianca Jackson, Brittany Walker, Craddock and Adams ran 44.79 in Baton Rouge on April 18. That mark dominates the field with McNeese State - ranked 83rd in the nation with a time of 45.59 - holding the next-best time.
UNO's Alexia Fortenberry is ranked 19th in the nation in the 100m hurdles with a time of 13.28 but should be challenged by two Tech hurdlers that are trying to reach the national rankings. Jackson has a career-best time of 13.56 while Marlesia Carey brings a personal best time of 13.77 in the event.
Action at the meet will begin at 10 a.m. for the field events starting with the women's discus and the men's shot put with running events starting with the 3,000m steeplechase at 1 p.m.
A link to live results can be found at LATechSports.com.
For complete coverage of Tech Track and Field and Cross Country, please follow @LATechTandF on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.
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