JONESBORO, Ark. (ASU) - The Arkansas State University men's and women's track & field teams will open their 2013 outdoor season this weekend (March 22-23) at the LSU Relays in Baton Rouge, La.

The two-day non-scoring meet, which will be held at the 5,280-seat Bernie Moore Track Stadium on the LSU campus, gets underway this Friday (March 22) at 4 p.m. (CT) with the pole vault, shot put, and hammer throw events. The women's discus starts Saturday's (March 23) action at 10 a.m. (CT) and concludes at 4:10 p.m. (CT) with the running of the men's 4x400-meter relay.

"We just came out of a good indoor season with a conference title and a good showing at nationals," said ASU head coach Jim Patchell. "The outdoor season brings in a few events that we are fairly strong in such as the 400 hurdles, discus, and hammer throw. We are looking forward to getting the outdoor season underway at LSU this weekend. This is a good opener for us and we should have good weather as well."

Both the ASU women's and men's outdoor teams are listed in the first edition of the 2013 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Computer Preseason Rankings as released this Tuesday (March 19). The women's team, which claimed the 2013 Sun Belt Conference (SBC) Indoor Track and Field Championship title, ranks 60th among 202 NCAA Division I teams while the men's squad is 96th in the 200-team field. The first regional rankings for the outdoorseason will be released April 2.

Individually for the Red Wolves, junior Sharika Nelvis is ranked tied for sixth in the 100-meter hurdles (11.36), 16th in the 100-meter dash (11.36), 28th in the 200-meters (23.35), and 35th in the long jump (6.13m). The two-time (20012 and 2013) USTFCCCA Indoor Track All-America Second-Team selection and 2013 Sun Belt Conference's Most Outstanding Women's Indoor Track Athlete, Nelvis claimed first-team All-SBC recognition and was the top points leader at the 2013 conference indoor meet. Senior Julia Agawu, a 2013 All-SBC Indoor Track First-Team selection, is listed 33rd in the discus (51.55m). In the men's preseason rankings, senior Solomon Williams ranks 15th in the 110-meter hurdles (13.78) while junior Richie Chavez is 22nd in the shot put (18.43m). Junior Chris Nicasio is 27th in the hammer throw (61.84m), junior Ethan Sandusky is tied for 43rd in the pole vault (5.20m), and junior Joey Meyer ranks 45th in the 400-meter dash (46.72).

For the fourth consecutive season, the NCAA East and West Preliminary Rounds will be utilized to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Using a descending order list, the top-48 athletes in each event will participate in two rounds (first round and quarterfinals) during the preliminary round. Twelve competitors from each individual event and 12 teams from each relay event will advance from each preliminary championship competition to the NCAA Championships. There are no qualifying marks used during the outdoor season.

The 2013 NCAA West Preliminary Round will take place May 23-25 in Austin, Texas with the University of Texas hosting the event. The 2013 NCAA Championships will be conducted June 5-8 at the University of Oregon's historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

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