Kithuka Breaks School Record in Mile Run
Kennedy Kithuka ran Texas Tech's first-ever sub-four-minute mile Saturday at Texas A&M.
Jan. 26, 2013
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Perhaps Friday night's record-setting performance in the distance medley relay wasn't enough for rising Red Raider star Kennedy Kithuka.
Less than 24 hours after breaking the school record as the anchor leg of the top distance relay in school history, Kithuka turned in another dazzling performance on the track Saturday.
The Thika, Kenya native ran the first ever sub-four-minute mile in Texas Tech history and broke the school record in the process by crossing the finish line, full grin and all, with a time of 3:59.53.
"It was just an outstanding performance by Kennedy," Texas Tech Head Cross Country Coach and Assistant Track and Field Coach Jon Murray said. "Breaking the four-minute barrier has always been a magical barrier for a middle-distance runner, and for Kennedy to do it is another tribute to his great ability. He handled the pressure of the competition with ease."
The stellar performance, in which he finished first overall, highlighted the final day of action at the Texas A&M Mondo Challenge this weekend in front of a crowd of over 1,600 inside the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium.
"We had several good performances today," Texas Tech Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Wes Kittley said. "Kennedy was just awesome in mile. [Senior] Katie [Grimes] had another solid performance. It was good to get some experience on a banked track, and several of our newcomers learned a lot this weekend.
Senior Katie Grimes opened Saturday's action and continued her spectacular 2013 indoor campaign by remaining undefeated with a first place finish in the women's 60-meter hurdles. The Canyon, Texas native crossed the line in 8.18 seconds tying her school record mark set last season.
Grimes has now broken or matched a school record in three consecutive meets to open her 2013 campaign.
"She just ran a fantastic race," Texas Tech Associate Head Coach Dion Miller said. "Katie continues to improve each week, and she ran a great race against great competition today. She ran like a senior today, and has a lot left in her."
After finishing first overall in the preliminaries with a time of 8.27, Grimes cruised past 2012 First Team All-American and Big 12 100-meter hurdle champion Donique Flemings of Texas A&M in the finals. The win marked her second consecutive victory in the 60-meter hurdles at the Texas A&M Mondo Challenge while her time of 8.18 was just .02 off the meet record set in 2010.
Both the Red Raider and Lady Raider 4x400 relays also impressed as the full day of competition drew to a close. The men's squad ran a season-best time of 3:11.09 to finish third overall. Meanwhile, the women's relay also earned a top-three finish crossing the line third with a time of 3:37.92.
Texas Tech picked up a first place finish in the men's high jump as sophomore Jacorian Duffield earned his second victory of the season. The Schertz, Texas native cleared a bar of 6'-11.50" on his second attempt to lead the field of seven.
In the women's sprints, sophomore Cierra White ran a season-best 23.85 in the 200-meter dash to finish second overall. White paced her heat finishing first overall and was followed by All-American Candace Jackson who finished fifth overall with a time of 24.05. Meanwhile, newcomer Amoy Blake finished third overall in the women's 400-meter run with a time of 54.45.
In the men's pole vault, returning indoor All-American Kyal Meyers finished second overall clearing a bar at 5.19-meters (17'-0.25"). Meyers cleared the bar on his first attempt marking his eighth clearance over 17-feet during his indoor career.
Freshman Nick Rivera turned in an impressive performance in the men's 800-meter run. After running on the record-breaking men's distance medley relay team Friday night, the La Puente, Calif., native finished first in his heat and fourth overall crossing the line with a time of 1:52.58. Rivera pulled ahead in the final 50-meters of the race to finish ahead of Josh Hernandez of Texas A&M in the second of two heats during his first 800-meter race of the season.
Rivera was followed by teammate Kendall McVey who finished ninth with a season-best time of 1:54.51.
In the women's 800-meter run, junior Caitlin Waters recorded a new indoor personal-best finishing sixth overall with a time of 2:14.44.
Texas Tech will return to action next weekend as the program hosts the Red Raider Open in Lubbock.