News from MSU Media Relations--March 30

The lastest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...

Track & Field
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's track and field team will host the 2007 Bulldog Invitational on Saturday, March 31, at the W.O. Spencer Stadium/Carl Maddox Track with events slated to begin at 9 a.m. The meet will be in conjunction with MSU's Super Bulldog Weekend activities on campus.

Prior to Saturday's collegiate meet, MSU will host the Bulldog High School Invitational on Friday, beginning at Noon at the track facility. The event features around 30 teams from the state of Mississippi and the surrounding region.

Joining State this weekend in both men and women competitions will be the University of Memphis, in-state foe Mississippi Valley State and Southeast Missouri State. Wallace State (Ala.) Community College will compete on the men's side while Alcorn State and Bevill State are slated to appear on the women's side.

"We are very excited about the home meet," said MSU head coach Al Schmidt. "It gives our kids a chance to compete in front of their friends and family. It's going to be exciting this weekend with the Super Bulldog Weekend activities going on as well. The high school meet will be a chance for us to see a lot of athletes from the state and surrounding areas." MSU, who is coming off a successful weekend at the Alabama Relays, enters the Bulldog Invitational with eight NCAA Regional qualifying marks after three meets. Highlighting the men's squad is the 4x400-meter relay team. The foursome consists of Arthur Davis, Bruce Davis, Nathan Daniels and Ezra Jones. This past weekend at Alabama, the team recorded the fastest time in the nation at three minutes, 6.87 seconds in the relay event. They have earned regional marks in all three meets this season. The 4x400-meter relay is scheduled for 4 p.m. CST at the Bulldog Invitational.

On the women's side, MState senior Nicola Wilson leads the Southeastern Conference in the shot put with a throw of 49 feet, two and a quarter inches. She posted the mark at the Georgia Relays. Last weekend in Tuscaloosa, Ala., the Lady Bulldogs captured three relay events on the final day. Sophomore Marrissa Harris has earned two NCAA marks in the long jump and the 110-meter hurdles. Her mark of 20-01 ¾ in the long jump ranks second in the SEC in the event.

Former MSU standout Tiffany McWilliams will compete in the women's 800-meter run which is set to begin at 2:15 p.m.

Live scoring of the event will be available on the official web site of Mississippi State Athletics - www.MStateAthletics.com.

Following this weekend's action, the Maroon and White will travel to Austin, Texas for the storied Texas Relays on April 4-7.


Men's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State men's tennis team will be back in SEC play Friday, as they take on the Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville, Ark., at 2 p.m. The Bulldogs (5-9, 2-4) are coming off two wins last weekend at home against Kentucky and Vanderbilt.

State enters Friday's match, led by reigning SEC player of the week recipient Ivan Bjelica. The junior from Belgrade, Serbia is 22-10 this season, including a 10-1 mark at the #1 singles position. Bjelica has also accumulated a 5-1 record in SEC competition. Sophomore Ryan Farlow has won two straight matches and has upped his dual match record this season to 9-3. Freshman Chris Doerr is coming off a pair of wins this past weekend and improved his dual match record to 5-1. Freshman Artem Kuznetsov snapped a seven match losing skid this weekend as he won a match at the #3 position while junior Philippe Frayssinoux also picked up a win at the #2 spot.

Arkansas (7-15, 0-6) is coming off a pair of losses this past weekend at Florida and at South Carolina. The Razorbacks are led this season by sophomore Blake Strode. The Saint Louis, Mo., native is 12-7 this season at #1 singles and is 21-10 overall. In doubles, UA's tandem of Strode and Colin Mascall are 13-4 at the #1 spot and are 17-5 overall.

Mississippi State leads the overall series with Arkansas 18-6. The Bulldogs also hold a 7-2 advantage in matches played in Fayatteville. In the meeting last season, Arkansas won a close 4-3 decision in Starkville.

Following Friday's match, the Bulldog netmen will return home to face #13 LSU on Sunday. Match time is slated for 1 p.m. at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.


Women's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's lady netters host Southeastern Conference foe Arkansas on Friday, March 30, as part of opening-day festivities of Super Bulldog Weekend. The match against the visiting Lady Razorbacks is slated for 2 p.m. CT at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre on campus.

The Lady Bulldogs (5-8, 1-5 SEC) come into Super Bulldog Weekend with a No. 71 national ranking and the No. 55 doubles tandem of Renee Joseph and Daniela Juskova. During last weekend's competition, State dropped 6-1 decisions to top 25 SEC foes, falling to No. 22 Kentucky on Friday and No. 18 Vanderbilt on Sunday. MSU's Martina Banikova defeated both her singles opponents, besting UK's top player, Kim Coventry, and then upsetting VU's 32 nd-ranked Amanda Fish.

No. 55 Arkansas (6-8, 0-6 SEC) comes into this weekend having lost 6-1 to 34th -ranked South Carolina, and 7-0 to No. 2 Florida, last weekend. Lady Back Ela Kaluder, ranked 25th nationally is 11-3 in dual matches this spring (3-3 SEC).

"This is obviously a big weekend for us," said MSU Head Coach Tracy Lane. "We are excited to be hosting Arkansas on Super Bulldog Weekend. It is going to be another tough match - no conference matches are easy."

After Friday's play, the Lady Bulldogs travel to Baton Rouge, La., to face No. 40 LSU on Sunday, April 1. The match versus the Lady Tigers is set for 1 p.m. CT at the W.T. "Dub" Robinson Tennis Stadium.


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