Tech Turns in Productive Opening Day at Tyson

Red Raider Shujaa Benson advanced to the finals of the 60-meter hurdles and the long jump Friday in Arkansas.

Feb. 14, 2014

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.  - Texas Tech wrapped up a busy and highly-competitive first day of action at the 2014 Tyson Invitational Friday inside the Randal Tyson Track Center on the Arkansas campus.

A plethora of season-bests and nationally ranked performances highlighted Tech's opening day on the track. In all, the Red Raiders posted 10 season-best marks while the Lady Raiders posted five season-best marks.

"We had a productive first day," Texas Tech associate head coach Dion Miller said. "We saw a lot of great things out of both teams, and look forward to another strong day at the track tomorrow."

Junior sprinter Christen Rivers got things off to a fast start on the Razorback track as she clocked a new personal-best time of 53.40 in the 400-meter dash. The time marked the fastest by a Lady Raider since 2005, and the fifth-fastest all-time at Tech.

She finished 12th overall in the event Friday and moved to No. 2 all-time at Texas Tech in the event behind Licretia Sibley who set the school record of 52.41 during the 2005 season. Newcomer Montenae Roye-Speight also clocked a season-best crossing the finish line in 53.42 seconds - marking the eighth-fastest 400-meter dash all-time a Tech.

For the Red Raiders, Dwayne Extol also had a strong showing in the 400-meter dash clocking a season-best of 48.33 to finish 25th overall.

Later on the track, newcomer Trevor Mackey continued his strong indoor season, clocking a season-best of 6.88 in the preliminaries of the men's 60-meter dash. He went on to finish 21st in the semifinals with a time of 6.89.  

Texas Tech's Jonathan Lira won the college division of the men's 5,000-meter run in an impressive race crossing the finish line with a career-best time of 14:53.19 - which ranks No. 4 in the Big 12. It marked the best time by a Red Raider in the event this season, and is the 10th-fastest time in Tech history.

Tech's Shujaa Benson highlighted the crop of Tech hurdlers Friday as he turned in three strong races en route to finishing fifth in the finals. The junior clocked a season-best in the preliminaries cruising over the straight-away of hurdles and crossing the finish line in just 7.80 seconds. Benson went on to clock a 7.88 in the semifinals before finishing fifth in the finals with a 7.91.

Benson also competed in the long jump where he recorded a career-best leap of 7.54-meters (24'-9.00") to place fifth overall in the competition.

Tech advanced all four athletes out of the preliminaries of the 60-meter hurdles in each of the men's and women's races including Lady Raider sophomore Le'Tristan Pledger who broke the school record in the event just last week. On Friday, Pledger finished first overall in the preliminaries with a time of 8.12 seconds before tumbling over the fourth hurdle in the semifinals.

Lady Raider Shanice Stewart followed Pledger in the preliminaries with a season-best time of 8.51 seconds. Stewart went on to finish 22nd in the semifinals with a time of 8.63.

Tech junior Cierra White advanced to the finals of the women's 60-meter dash Friday where she finished fifth overall with a time of 7.39 seconds. Her time marked the fourth-fastest all-time by a Lady Raider in the event. She now owns three of the top-four times in the Tech record book for the 60-meter dash. 

Tech turned in two strong performances in the college division of the 800-meter run as both senior Lady Raider Caitlin Waters and junior Red Raider Kendall McVey turned in career-best performances. Waters finished eighth in the women's race with a time of 2:10.53 - the best by a Lady Raider in the event this season.

Meanwhile, McVey finished 13th in the men's race crossing the finish line in 1:52.49.

Later in the distance events, Lady Raider freshman Jocelyn Caro turned in a strong performance in the women's 5,000-meter run finishing second with a time of 17:04.69. It marked the fastest time in the event by a Lady Raider since 2012. The time puts her at No. 2 in the Big 12.

Texas Tech senior Ezekiel Kissorio closed the events on the track with season-best performance in the men's mile run. Kissorio jumped out to an early lead in the race and never looked back before crossing the finish line with a time of 4:05.84 - a time that ranks No. 2 in the Big 12.

Just before Kissorio's win, Lady Raider Sharlene Nickle clocked  a career-best time of 4:48.63 in the women's mile run.

Texas Tech will return to the Randal-Tyson track for the final day of competition tomorrow with events scheduled to begin at noon.


In the opening day of action at the Don Kirby Collegiate Elite, Texas Tech sophomore Bradley Adkins recorded a career-best leap in the men's high jump. The 2013 outdoor national qualifier cleared 2.21-meters (7'-3.00") on his first attempt inside the Albuquerque Convention Center.

The clearance moves Adkins into a tie for No. 6 on the national indoor qualifying list.

Adkins is one of just five  Red Raiders to clear 7-feet 3 inches or high in school  - a list that includes current teammate and school record holder JaCorian Duffield




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