Events begin Thursday at 2 p.m. with the women's heptathlon and conclude Saturday night with the team trophy presentations.
Based on the performance lists generated by the Track and Field Results Reporting System, it's possible that ACU's 18-year reign on top of the men's standings could be jeopardized by Texas A&M-Kingsville. The Javelinas are very strong in the throws, hurdles, and jumps, but the Wildcats could close the competitive gap by qualifying multiple runners in the sprints, and doubling up their scores in the hammer, shot put and discus.
NCAA automatic qualifiers Nick Jones (shot put, discus) and Baptiste Kerjean (hammer) are both far and away the conference leaders in their respective events, but in order for the Wildcats to fully capitalize in the throws, they'll also have to receive career best performances from Milo Parsons and Aaron Bynum.
ACU's success as a team will also largely depend on the marks turned in by 2012 Indoor All-America and defending conference decathlon champion Parker Petty. Petty won last year's LSC title with 6,236 points, and currently has a season best of 6,845 points.
Matthew Stark, who finished third at the indoor LSC Invitational in the heptathlon, owns a season best decathlon score of 6,103 points.
The women's meet appears to be a battle between Angelo State, ACU and West Texas A&M, in which probably no more than 10 points will separate first-to-third place.
Midwestern State, which has dominated LSC cross country the past three years, but is fielding a track team at conference for the first time this year, is considered the wild card. The Mustangs will only have competitive runners in the distance events - 1500m, 5K, 10K and steeplechase - but they could drain off points from ACU and Angelo State, both of which are traditionally strong in the distances.
The Wildcats are fairly balanced as a team and almost guaranteed to score points in all but two events, but they'll need to receive more from defending conference 5K and 10K champion Alyse Goldsmith, and 2011 heptathlon winner Cassie Brooks. Goldsmith is currently ranked sixth in the 5K, and not at all in the 10K, while Brooks ranks sixth in the heptathlon after netting a season-best 4,257 points at Angelo State.
The throws should be very strong for ACU - a group led by Tara Riley, Alexis Wilder, Lauren Hartwick, Shalaina Lakey and Amelia Mitchell - and if they can score 45 or more cumulative points in the four events, then ACU has a good chance of winning the title.
The Wildcat women also will be bolstered by its top-ranked relays, which own season-best times of 46.28 and 3:43.95. Overall, ACU lays claim to the top time in seven running events as well as the nation's best triple jumper in Amanda Ouedraogo, whose season best jump of 43 feet-3.25 inches (13.19m) was recorded at the Texas Relays.
The ACU men are ranked second in both the 4x100m and 4x400m relays to Kingsville and Angelo State, respectively, with times of 40.39 and 3:10.42, but have the top-seeded athletes in the 800m (Banjo Jaiyesimi), 110HH (Dennis Bain), and long jump (LeVance Williams). Williams' season best in the long jump of 25-01.25 (7.65m) was posted at Baylor's Michael Johnson/Dr. Pepper Classic.