Pledger Breaks Women's Hurdle Records

Le'Tristan Pledger broke the school and ATC facility record in the women's 55-meter hurdles Friday.

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Jan. 31, 2014

LUBBOCK, Texas  - It didn't take long for Texas Tech to light up the track inside a bustling Athletic Training Center Friday during the first of two days of action at the Masked Rider Open.

In fact, in the very first heat of the first event on the track, Texas Tech sophomore Le'Tristan Pledger took down the school record in the women's 55-meter hurdles. But that wasn't all. Pledger went on to break her own record again in the semifinals with a blistering time of 7.59 seconds - which leads the country in the event entering the weekend.

"I was just overwhelmed with joy," Pledger said after finishing first overall in the semifinals of the event.

Pledger's school record also broke a five-year-old facility record - one of five to fall on the day. A national qualifier in the 100-meter hurdles and long jump during the 2013 outdoor season, Pledger did not go on to compete in the finals Friday, but her performance jumpstarted what would be a strong opening day for the Tech program.

The busy day of action opened with a strong showing by three Lady Raiders in the women's pentathlon. Shanice Stewart, a sophomore transfer from San Bernardino Valley College, led the trio scoring 4,000 points on the day - which ranks No. 5 nationally and No. 4 all-time at Texas Tech. Her five-event day was highlighted by a leap of 6.30-meter (20'-8.00") to win the long jump. The impressive leap itself ranks No. 4 nationally on the indoor performance list.

Stewart won the pentathlon with her even 4,00 points while Natalie Thompson finished fifth with 3,293 points while Kayla Coley finished eighth (3,087 points), and Madeline Raney 10th (2,838 points ).

Later on the upper level of the Athletic Training Center, Lady Raider sprinter Christen Rivers won the women's 600-yard run with a time of 1:22.78 - marking a new season-best. She was followed by teammate Montenae Roy-Speight who finished second with a time of 1:23.19.

In the men's field events, Tech senior Kyal Meyers took home a first place finish in the men's pole vault as the only athlete to clear 5.10-meters (16'-8.75") on the day - doing so on his first attempt. It marked a season-best for the senior.

He was followed by Kyle Thompson in third and Kyle Padalecki in fourth who both cleared season-bests on the afternoon - Thompson over at 4.90-meters (16'-0.75") and Padalecki at 4.80-meters (15'-9.00").

Tech's Gionna Jackson picked up her second win of the season in the women's long jump as she went 5.82-meters (19'-1.25") on her first attempt of the evening. She was followed by teammate Paetyn Revell in second who went a career-best 5.73-meters (18'-9.75").

Aliyah Harmon and Amani Nesmith both followed with career-best performances. Harmon finished fifth going 5.53-meters (18'-1.75"), while Nesmith finished seventh with a jump of 5.39-meters (17'-8.25"). Harmon and Nesmith have both improved their marks in each of the last three weeks in the long jump.

The strong performance in the long jump was preceded by Lady Raider Hannah Carson continuing her strong season in the shot put with a career-best toss of 13.89-meters (45'-7.00") - which was good enough for a fourth place finish in the event.

Earlier Friday, Tech's Tramaine Maloney advanced to the finals of the men's 55-meter hurdles where he finished third overall. He clocked a 7.56 in the semifinals marking his top performance of the afternoon.

Kole Weldon finished second in the men's shot put with a throw of 18.00-meters (59'-0.75").

Events at the Masked Rider Open will resume at 9 a.m. inside the Athletic Training Center with the conclusion of the men's heptathlon. Action on the track will begin at 11 a.m. with the start of the women's 200-meter dash. 




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