STARKVILLE, Miss. – Traveling to College Station for the 2014 Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships, the Mississippi State women’s track and field team is set to compete in a meet that will showcase eight of the nation’s Top 25 women’s teams.
Hosted by Texas A&M, the event is slated for Thursday, Feb. 27 through Saturday, March 1 at the Gilliam Indoor Track and Field Stadium.
“We feel confident heading into SECs,” MSU coach Steve Dudley said. “The women have made great strides this season, and that is evident through the broken records and national attention.”
Dudley’s squad enters the weekend ranked 23rd in the country, as the Bulldogs seek to better last year’s 11th-place finish that garnered 18 points.
“Just as with many sports, the SEC is top of the line in competition,” Dudley said. “When we compete this weekend, we will be competing amongst the best.”
All-American Erica Bougard will start the Bulldogs off on Friday in the pentathlon competition. Bougard, the defending national pentathlon champion, finished second in the event at last year’s SEC Indoors, winning the 60-meter hurdles and the long jump. The Byhalia, Miss., native enters the meet ranked No. 3 in the event, just behind Kendell Williams and Lucie Ondraschkova of Georgia.
Freshman Rhianwedd Price will look to make an impact for State in her conference-championships debut. The newcomer ranks No. 25 in the women’s one mile and sits second on the school’s all-time indoor performance list after clocking a 4:39.37 at the Tyson Invitational.
The women’s distance medley relay, comprised of Bougard, Price, Katie Huston and Ocian Archer seek to continue its winning ways as the quartet competes on Saturday. The group recently broke an 11-year-old school record with a time of 11:15.34 two weeks ago in Fayetteville.
Off the track, Ebony Brinker enters the meet ranked No. 30 in the nation and sixth in the conference in the triple jump. Her season-best leap of 41-08.50 also marked a career best for the Pontotoc, Miss., native.
Bougard will also see individual field action as she competes in the long jump. After already qualifying for NCAA Indoors in the event earlier this season, the No. 5 leaper aims to top Georgia’s Chanice Porter and Florida’s Robin Reynolds to win the event.
The meet will begin at 1 p.m. on each day of the competition. ESPNU will show a live streaming on Friday, Feb. 28 from 1:55 p.m. – 6:35 p.m. and on Saturday, March 1 from 12:50 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. A 90-minute broadcast of the Championships will air on Monday, March 10 at 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
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