Lady Raiders Win UTSA Texas Challenge|
The Lady Raiders opened the 2014 outdoor season with a strong showing in San Antonio.
March 22, 2014
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The Lady Raider track and field team won the UTSA Texas Challenge Invitational Saturday and the Red Raiders finished second as the Texas Tech track and field program opened its outdoor season this weekend.
The meet, which featured teams from Texas, Texas A&M, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Houston and host program UTSA, capped off five days of training for Texas Tech as the squad transitioned from a successful indoor campaign.
"We had a good week of training," Texas Tech head coach Wes Kittley said. "I saw a lot of good things today. We had some good marks and some good personal-bests. That made me very pleased."
The Lady Raiders won the women's meet with 197.5 points while the Red Raiders came in second in the men's standings with 165 points.
The Lady Raiders' winning effort was capped off with a victorious effort in the 4x400 relay as the squad, comprised of Montenae Roye-Speight, Amoy Blake, Tiffany Tarver and Christen Rivers finished a full three seconds ahead of the field with a time of 3:41.09.The Red Raider 4x400 relay, comprised of Kyle Collins, Dwayne Extol, Tommy Brinn and Alex Foster, finished second in the men's race with a time of 3:09.89.
Lady Raider sophomore Le'Tristan Pledger lit up the track early in Saturday's events, easily winning the 100-meter hurdles with a new collegiate-best time of 13.16 seconds. The time marked the third-fastest in school history and jumped her to an early lead on the national qualifying list.
The Red Raiders and Lady Raiders also turned in impressive early performances in the 1,500-meter run as Nick Rivera and Sharlene Nickle opened their outdoor campaign with career-best times. Nickle finished second in the women's race clocking a 4:30.57, before Rivera also finished second in the men's section in 3:49.64.
The performance bested Nickle's previous personal-best time by six seconds and marked the best by a Lady Raider in the event since 2012.
Red Raider sophomore Bradley Adkins carried momentum from his indoor All-America campaign to Saturday's events as he took home a first place finish in the men's high jump. Adkins cleared a new outdoor career-best of 2.18-meters (7'-1.75"). He was followed by teammate JaCorian Duffield in second who cleared 2.13-meters (6'-11.75").
Meanwhile, junior Lady Raider Michaela Palu also cleared a career-best to win the women's high jump. Palu cleared a best of 1.77m (5'-9.75") on first attempt. Perhaps more impressive, she cleared each of the five previous bars on first attempt earlier in the competition.
Senior Caitlin Waters also turned in a career-best effort Saturday winning the women's 800-meter run. Waters crossed the finish line in 2:07.93 and was followed by Roye-Speight in third with a time of 2:12.65.
Sophomore Lady Raider Hannah Carson also had an impressive showing Saturday, winning the shot put and finishing second in the discus throw. Carson got a best throw off of 14.41m (47'-3.50") to win the shot put competition, while garnering second place honors with a throw of 50.92m (167'-0") in the discus.
Carson broke her own school record in the javelin Friday, winning the competition with a heave of 53.15m (174'-4").
Lady Raider sophomore Natalie Thompson opened Saturday's action with a strong conclusion to the heptathlon, winning the competition with a new career-best total of 4,840 points.
Thompson won the 100-meter hurdles (Friday), high jump (Friday), and completed Saturday's events with an outdoor collegiate-best effort in the 800-meter run crossing the finish line in 2:21.19. Thompson pulled away from the field early in the final event on the track before crossing the line a full seven seconds ahead of second place finisher Isabella Baptiste of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Thompson picked up 807 points with the 800-meter effort, solidifying her first place finish in the two-day, seven-event competition.
Lady Raider junior Cierra White swept the women's 100-meter and the 200-meter dash Saturday - winning the 100-meters in 11.47 seconds and the 200-meters in 23.04.
In his Red Raider debut, senior transfer Tommy Brinn took home a second place finish in the men's 800-meter run clocking a time of 1:51.90 to pick up eight points for the Red Raiders. He went on to run a leg on the Red Raider 4x400 relay.
Meanwhile, Shujaa Benson also picked up a second place finish for the Red Raiders as he picked up eight points in the 110-meter hurdles. Benson crossed the finish line in 14.10 seconds. He also picked up a first place finish in the long jump, going 7.37m (24'-2.25").
Texas Tech will compete next week at the Texas Relays in Austin.