Kennedy Kithuka Becomes 5,000-meter NCAA Champion

Kennedy Kithuka won the NCAA Indoor 5,000-meter title Friday.

March 8, 2013


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The Red Raiders opened up with an explosive first day of competition. Texas Tech senior Kennedy Kithuka and sophomore Kole Weldon made school history today at the 2013 Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Texas Tech senior Kennedy Kithuka had an outstanding day of competition becoming a 2013 NCAA Indoor Champion in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 13:25.38. Kithuka is the first men's Red Raider in school history to become a national champion in the event. The time of 13:25.38 is also a new personal best for the Texas Tech senior.

"It was a good meet today. My Plan was to become a national champion today and represent Texas Tech, my family, and my coach and that is what I did today" Kithuka said after the race.

Texas Tech sophomore Kole Weldon had a great finish to his indoor season breaking his own school record with a mark of 20.02-meters (65'-08.25") and finishing second in the nation. Weldon is the first men's thrower in school history to finish in the top eight at nationals in the shot put.

"I knew all year I could throw that far" Weldon said after the competition. "I set my goals high and I believed in myself. I didn't put myself down when I wasn't hitting what I knew I could achieve. I stayed with my technique and I got more efficient every week and came in and showed what I could do."

Weldon is the first Red Raider in school history to earn All-America First Team honors in the men's shot put.

Meanwhile, Lady Raider Katie Grimescontinued her dominant season in the 60-meter hurdles breaking her own school record in the event with a time of 8.15 in the semifinals. Grimes also finished in the top eight and will compete in the finals on day two of competition. The Texas Tech senior earned All-America Second Team honors in the 2012 Indoor Championships.

Texas Tech Head Coach Wes Kittley was elated with his team's day of success.

"It was outstanding day of competition for the Red Raiders today. We had an NCAA runner-up, NCAA champion, and another athlete in the finals tomorrow. Kole Weldon started us off with a huge personal best. Coach Felkins has done a great job with Kole and I couldn't be more proud of him. I don't think I've been in a national meet that we've had a better first day."

As the end of the first day of competition comes to a close, the Texas Tech men's team is sitting in second place with a total of 18 points.

Texas Tech returns to action Saturday at 2013 Indoor Track and Field Championships for the final day of competition with events beginning at 11 a.m.




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