Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- LSU track coach Dennis Shaver will split his teams up for competitions this weekend at home and in New Mexico.

The LSU track and field teams will have the opportunity this weekend to get a sneak peek of the venue that will host the Southeastern Conference indoor championships for the first time next month.

After opening the indoor season last Friday in the Purple Tiger Invitational, the No. 3 Tigers and No. 7 Lady Tigers travel to Nashville, Tennessee, for the Commodore Invitational on Friday and Saturday at the Vanderbilt Multipurpose Facility. The facility will also host the SEC indoor championships Feb. 24-25.

Field events begin at 4 p.m. Friday with track events set for a 7 p.m. start. The meet conclude Saturday with field events at 10:30 a.m. and track events at 1 p.m. Live results will be available at

In addition to LSU, several other league schools will be able to get a feel for the new track. Also in the competition are Florida, Arkansas, Auburn, Missouri, Ole Miss and Tennessee.

LSU will be looking to build some momentum from its opening meet with more athletes getting on the track for the first time. Last week’s meet was held just four days after athletes returned to campus from the holiday break.

Two of the top performances were turned in by sophomore Kortnei Johnson and freshman Tonea Marshall. They turned in two of the top early-season marks in winning the 60 meters and 60-meter hurdles, respectively.

Johnson equaled her personal-best time of 7.33 seconds set at the SEC indoor meet last year and is fifth on the national list. Marshall’s time of 8.29 seconds in the hurdles put her sixth on the NCAA list and was the fastest season opener in that event for a freshman in school history.

Both are entered in their primary events this week as well as the 200 meters.

Competing for the first time this season on the women’s side will be Nataliyah Friar (long jump), Rushell Harvey (200), Aleia Hobbs (60) and Travia Jones and Rachel Misher (200 and 400).

LSU freshmen Nickolette Dunbar (shot put), Cassondra Hall (200), Ruby Stauber (800) and Christian Miller (triple jump) will also debut this weekend.

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