Lady Raiders Punch Ticket to Championships of America|
The Lady Raider 4x400 qualified for the Championships of America at the Penn Relays.
April 24, 2014
PHILADELPHIA - The No. 17 Lady Raiders helped to open competition Thursday at the 120th Penn Relays with both its 4x400 relay team and a pair of hurdlers competing throughout a full day of action at historic Franklin Field.
The Lady Raider relay team, consisting of Montenae Roye-Speight, Christen Rivers, Tiffany Tarver and Amoy Blake, finished third in its heat and seventh overall among the 87 teams with a time of 3 minutes 39.12 seconds. With the top-8 performance, the team qualifies for the Championships of America final scheduled for Saturday at 5:50 p.m. (EST). It marks the second straight appearance for the Lady Raiders in the finals of the Penn Relays 4x400 as the squad finished third in 2012.
"The kids didn't run their best but we are just thrilled that we made it into the top-8 and into the Championships of America final," Texas Tech head coach Wes Kittley said. "We will have some great competition Saturday, and I think we are going to run a lot better."
Tech battled back-and-forth with teams from Oregon and Penn State throughout their heat before taking the lead early in the third leg when junior Christen Rivers handed the stick to sophomore Tiffany Tarver. Tarver took the exchange and gave the Lady Raiders the lead in the opening portion of her leg, but Tech fell to third in the race as Penn State and Oregon pulled ahead after the fourth exchange.
Oregon won the heat in 3:34.49, while Penn State crossed in second at 3:34.92 - the two teams finished second and third overall respectively.
The Lady Raiders have clocked a season-best time of 3:32.86, a time that ranks No. 2 in the Big 12, with a squad of Roye-Speight, Rivers, Blake and junior All-American Cierra White at the Texas Relays in March. The team won Tech's first-ever Big 12 Championship in the event at the conference meet in early March.
Texas Tech kicked off Thursday's events earlier on the track competing in the 400-meter hurdles where Tarver won her heat with a time of 1:01.26. She finished 22nd overall while teammate Shaelyn Grant followed in 45th in 1:03.68. Grant, a true freshman, finished seventh in her heat.
Action is scheduled to resume at the Penn Relays Friday where Tech will open the day at 9 a.m. (EST) in the men's 400-meter hurdles featuring Red Raider senior and 2013 All-Big 12 performer Dwayne Extol.
Live results can be found at FlashResults.com while FloTrack will provide a live premium broadcast of the meet.