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USU track: Utah State kicks off the 2016 outdoor season this weekend at the UC Irvine Invitational

Utah State's men's and women's track and field teams begin the 2016 outdoor season at the UC Irvine-hosted Spring Break Collegiate Invitational at Anteater Stadium on Friday and Saturday, March 18-19, in Irvine, California.

Entrants from 11 schools will accompany the Aggies at the Invitational this weekend.

Field events begin at 3 p.m. MT, on Friday, with the men's and women's hammer. Day one of track and field action will come to a close at 8:05 p.m., with the men's 5,000m.

Saturday's schedule begins at 11 a.m., with the men's and women's pole vault, while the meet will end with the men's and women's 4x400m relays at 5:05 p.m.

Utah State will showcase seven returning all-Mountain West performers from last season, including senior Parker Bluth, who earned first-team all-MW honors after winning the 100m, 200m and 4x400m (3:07.48), as well as being named the Outstanding Performer of the Meet, at the Outdoor Championships. The Aggie men also welcome back senior Cole Lambourne, who earned second-team All-American honors after finishing 15th in the 400m with a time of 46.53 at the NCAA Outdoor Finals.

Additionally, Utah State's Nic Bowens will return for his final season, after the senior redshirted during the 2015 outdoor season. Bowens owns Utah State's 100m record (10.13) and was named second-team All-American in the 200m during the 2015 indoor season.

On the women's side, senior Maci Bingham returns after placing second in the hammer with a personal-best toss of 61.30m at the Outdoor Championships.

Utah State's men placed fourth at the 2015 Outdoor Championships, while finishing runner-up by just one point to Air Force at the 2016 MW Indoor Championships.

The Aggie women also placed fourth at the 2015 Outdoor Championships, along with a ninth-place finish at the 2016 MW Indoor Championships.

The Mountain West Outdoor Championships will be held in Fresno, California, on May 11-14, just 11 days before the First Round of the NCAA Championships in Lawrence, Kansas, on May 26-28.

Doug Hoffman is the associate athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.