Lady Raider Relay Wins Big 12 Title Saturday

Texas Tech's Big 12 Champion 4x400 relay team of Montenae Roye-Speight, Cierra White, Christen Rivers and Amoy Blake.

March 1, 2014

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AMES, Iowa -   The Lady Raider 4x400 relay team capped off the 2014 Big 12 Indoor Championships Saturday with the program's first conference title in the event as the squad brought to a close the two-day meet at the Lied Recreation Center.

The relay, comprised of Montenae Roye-Speight, Cierra White, Christen Rivers and Amoy Blake crossed the finish line in 3:34.90, outlasting a squad from Texas on the final straightaway. The performance capped off a busy and competitive two days of competition at the conference meet in which the Red Raiders finished fourth in the team standings with 92 points while the Lady Raiders finished in sixth with 70.5.

"Overall, we competed hard and had a lot of good things happen," Texas Tech head coach Wes Kittley said. "Kole Weldon broke his own [weight throw] record, our high jumpers were jumping at 7-feet 5 inches - that was just a phenomenal competition. A lot of people had good efforts."

The 92 points scored by the Red Raiders are the second-most by a Texas Tech men's team at the Big 12 Indoor Championships in program history, just shy of the 93 points scored in 2008. Meanwhile, the Lady Raiders tallied the most by a women's squad at Texas Tech since 2011. Ten of those points came in the final event on the track with the victory in the 4x400 relay. 

"They really wanted to win that relay." Kittley said. "I thought it was the toughest they have run all year long. They just went after Texas."   

The Red Raider 4x400 relay team, comprised of Joseph Richards III, Kyle Collins, Dee Paul and Dwayne Extol, followed with a fifth place finish, crossing the finish line in 3:13.40.

Tech jumped out to a quick start by way of impressive showings in both the men's high jump and the men's shot put. The Red Raiders combined for 30 points between the two events as JaCorian Duffield, Bradley Adkins and Dayton Fisher went 2-3-5 in the high jump while Kole Weldon and Jorge Garcia went 2-5 in the shot put. 

In a thrilling, back-and-forth high jump competition, Duffield and Adkins both cleared the school record of 7-feet 3.75 inches. Duffield cleared the bar on his second attempt and went on to finish second, while Adkins cleared on his third and final try to finish third in the competition. It marked the first time in school history two Red Raiders have finished in the top-3 of the men's high jump at the Big 12 meet. Furthermore, it marked a new indoor collegiate-best for Adkins heading into the NCAA Championships in two weeks. 

Freshman Dayton Fisher, competing at his first Big 12 Championship, finished fifth while clearing a best of 6-feet 11 inches on his first attempt.

Duffield, Adkins and Iowa State's Cameron Ostrowski each missed on attempts at 7-feet 5 inches, but Ostrowski took home the title due to his first attempt clearance at 7-feet 2.50 inches earlier in the competition. 

One day after breaking his own school record in the weight throw, Weldon returned to the Lied Recreation Center Saturday and finished runner-up in the shot put with a throw of 19.80m (64'-11.50"). He was followed by teammate Jorge Garcia who finished fifth with a throw of 18.03m (59'-2") as the pair combined for 12 points in the event.

"It was really important," Garcia said. "Of course this is an individual sport, but as a team we had a chance to win and it feels really good to score points for the team."

Weldon combined for 16 points with his two runner-up performances over the weekend.

Moments later on the track, White earned her second-straight top-5 finish in the 60-meter dash at the Big 12 Championships as she opened the day with a runner-up performance crossing the line in 7.38 seconds. She went on to finish third in the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.63 and ran a leg on the Big 12 Champion 4x400 relay.  

White finished fifth in both the 60-meter dash and 200-meter dash in 2013. 

In the 400-meter dash, sophomore Joseph Richards III earned his second straight All-Big 12 Indoor honor finishing fourth in 47.02 seconds. He improved from a sixth place finish at the 2013 indoor conference meet. Meanwhile, Rivers finished fifth in the women's 400-meter dash crossing the finish line in 53.31 seconds marking a new indoor collegiate-best.

The Red Raiders went on to collect nine points in the 60-meter hurdles as Shujaa Benson took home a fourth place finish crossing the line in 8.03 seconds. He was followed closely by teammate Tramaine Maloney in fourth in 8.04 seconds.

In the women's 600-yard run, newcomer Montenae Roye-Speight clocked in an indoor collegiate-best finishing seventh in 1:22.16. It marked the sixth-fastest time in school history, besting her time from Friday's preliminaries.  Red Raider newcomer Alex Foster finished seventh in the men's 600-yard run where he crossed the finish line in 1:11.99.

In the men's mile run, senior Ezekiel Kissorio finished seventh in 4:19.88 to pick up two points for the Red Raiders.  

Sophomore Gionna Jackson continued her strong showing at the conference championship Saturday with a fourth-place finish in the women's triple jump. Jackson went an indoor collegiate-best of 12.29-meters (40'-4.00") on her final attempt of the competition. She was followed by freshman teammate Paetyn Revell in fifth who also record a collegiate-best mark going 12.18m (30'-11.50").

Viershanie Latham finished ninth going 11.60m (38'-0.75").

Between the women's long and triple jump, the Lady Raiders scored a total of 24 points over two days of competition.

In the men's 1,000-meter run, sophomore Nick Rivera clocked in indoor collegiate-best time of 2:24.76 to finish fifth overall. Rivera is now a two-time Big 12 Champion in the 800-meters and an All-Big 12 performer in the 1,000-meters.  Meanwhile, he's a member of the 2013 and 2014 All-Big 12 distance medley relays.

Tech went on to pick up five points in the five points in the men's 3,000-meter run led by newcomer  Evans Tuitoek who finished fifth with a time of 8:12.37 - marking the best time by a Red Raider in the event this season. He was followed by teammate Marcos Vallejo in seventh with a career-best time of 8:17.39. 




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