Closse Captures Second-Straight Big 12 Title
Kelly Closse captured her second-straight Big 12 title in the weight throw Friday.
Feb. 24, 2012
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Texas Tech track and field team completed the opening day of competition at the Big 12 Indoor Championships Friday inside the McFerrin Athletic Center on the Texas A&M campus.
Senior Kelly Closse secured her second consecutive Big 12 title in the weight throw competition with a winning toss of 70'-8.50". The mark broke the Big 12 Indoor Championship record set in 2008.
"I'm thrilled," head coach Wes Kittley said. "I was thrilled that she defended her title and that she set a new meet record."
Closse currently ranks No. 3 in the country in the event, and has automatically qualified for the NCAA national meet which will be held March 9-10 in Boise, Idaho.
"It just means I've been working hard and it paid off," Closse said. "I'm going to try and do better at nationals. I'm really happy about it because I knew not to be overwhelmed and feel pressure because I won last year. I'm really happy with what I did."
Tech will have a total of 11 athletes competing in the final round of competition to be held Saturday.
The No. 12 Lady Raiders enter Saturday's final day of competition in third-place in the team standings with a total of 31 points. The Red Raiders enter Saturday in eighth-place with a total of 15 points. Kansas leads the women's competition with 52 points while Texas leads the men's competition with 39.5 points.
"I felt like we qualified pretty well," Kittley said. "Everyone qualified like I thought they would. I feel pretty good about tomorrow. We still have a lot of bullets to fire, and we have a lot of quality tomorrow. I'm just hoping that we have a chance to finish in the top two or three."
Senior transfer Precious Nwokey grabbed a second place finish in the women's indoor pentathlon with a final score of 3,961 points - matching her point-total from the Texas A&M Mondo Challenge on Jan. 27. Nwokey opened her day by winning the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 8.45. She later garnered a fourth-place finish in the shot put with a throw of 11.61m (38'-1.25") and a fifth-place finish in the long jump with a mark of 5.51m (18' - 1.00").
Nwokey also grabbed a fourth-place finish in the women's long jump competition with a mark of 5.88 meters (19'-3.50").
Defending Big 12 indoor pole vault champion Kyal Meyers placed second in the event behind Texas' Maston Wallace. Meyers cleared the bar on his second attempt at 5.30 meters (17'-4.50"), but couldn't clear the following mark of 5.40 meters (17' - 4.50").
The Red Raiders had two point-earners in the men's long jump. Freshman Michael Menefield garnered a fourth-place finish with a mark of 7.28 meters (23' - 10.75") while teammate, senior Dellon Williams, finished in eighth with a mark of 7.09 meters (23' - 3.25").
"I was really pleased," Kittley said of the long jump competition.
Senior Nick Green began competition in the men's heptathlon Friday and after four events will enter Saturday's competition in ninth-place with 2,708 points.
The women's distance medley relay team, comprised of senior Devin Bailey, senior Taylor Evans, junior Caitlin Waters and senior Caroline Jepleting garnered a fourth-place finish with a time of 11:24.67.
Jepleting also placed in first in the preliminary round of the women's mile with a time of 4:47.58, and will compete in the finals Saturday.
Meanwhile, Rose Tanui finished in sixth-place in the women's 5,000 meter run with a time of 16:19.83.
Sophomore Reid Strong ran a season-best time in the mile with a mark of 4:11.71 and finishing in 10th-place. Senior Logan Culotta also ran a season-best time in the 1,000 meter run with a time of 2:30.88.
On the women's side, Rachel Folan captured a season-best time of 2:56.48 in the women's 1,000 meter run.
Competition will resume Saturday beginning at 3 p.m. at the McFerrin Athletic Center.