Red Raiders Win Big 12 Title on Home Track|
LUBBOCK, Texas - The Red Raider track and field team won its second Big 12 Conference title in program history Sunday, and did so in front of its home crowd at the Terry and Linda Fuller Track and Field Complex.
The Red Raiders scored a program -best 160.5 points over the three days of competition, and became the first Big 12 track and field team to win a conference title at home since Colorado in 2008.
"It was three special days," Texas Tech head coach Wes Kittley said. "It was just incredible. We were just as good as I've seen us all year long. The team just came together and it was just really special."
The Lady Raiders finished third in the women's team standings with 109.5 points marking their best showing since a runner-up performance in 2009 - also on the Fuller Track.
Senior Red Raider distance runner Kennedy Kithuka and junior high jumper Bradley Adkins each won individual Big 12 Championships Sunday as Kithuka completed the 5,000 and 10,000-meter sweep with a facility record performance in the 5k late Sunday. In his second dominating performance of the weekend, he took down a Fuller Track and Filed Complex record that had stood for 31 years, and now has six individual Big 12 track and field and cross country championships to his name. Kithuka broke a seven-year old Fuller Track record Friday with an equally overpowering performance in the 10,000-meters.
Meanwhile, junior thrower Kole Weldon was named the men's High Point Scorer after combing for 24 points with runner-up performances in each the shot put, hammer throw and discus. With the three-day effort, he became Tech's first High Point Scorer in program history while earning All-Conference honors in each of the three events for the second-straight season.
Adkins went on to win Tech's first conference high jump title since 2003 clearing a career-best 2.21-meters (7'-3.00"). He was followed by teammate JaCorian Duffield in second and freshman Dayton Fisher who tied for third as the jumpers combined for 23.50 points in the event.
Tech is the first team in Big 12 history to go 1-2-3 in the high jump at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships.
Weldon opened Sunday's competition with a runner up performance in the discus throw with a heave of 58.96-meters (193'-5") on his fifth attempt of the afternoon. The Lady Raiders went on to score 10 points in the women's triple jump as freshman Paetyn Revell finished fourth going 13.06-meters (42'-10.25") with a 4.5 meters-per-second tailwind - a mark that ranks No. 2 all time at Texas Tech under all conditions.
She was followed by teammate Gionna Jackson in fifth who went 13.03-meters (42'-9.00") and Viershanie Latham in eighth who went 12.12-meters (39'-9.25"). The Red Raiders picked up 11 points in the men's 110-meter hurdles as Tramaine Maloney and Shujaa Benson went 3-4 in the race - Maloney crossing 13.87 seconds and Benson following in 13.99.
The Lady Raiders, meanwhile, picked up eight points in the sprint hurdles led by sophomore school record holder Le'Tristan Pledger who finished third in 12.85 seconds - the second-fastest time under any conditions at Tech. She was followed by Shanice Stewart in seventh who crossed in 13.68 seconds.
Benson finished the meet with 15 points after winning the long jump Saturday, while Stewart combined for 13 points on the meet after also finishing sixth in the long jump and runner-up in the heptathlon.
Also in the field events, the Red Raiders picked up eight points in the men's pole vault as Kyle Thompson earned his first career All-Big 12 honors finishing fourth with a clearance of 5.19-meters (17'-0.25"). He was followed by teammate Kyle Padalecki in sixth who also cleared 17'-0.25", doing so on his final attempt for a new career-best.
After finishing second in the long jump Saturday, Jerome Wilson finished third in the triple jump Sunday with a career-best leap of 15.76-meters (51'-8.50"). He was followed by Derreck Edwards who finished sixth with a jump of 14.81-meters (48'-7.25"). Edwards, also a receiver on the Red Raider football team, finished sixth at the Big 12 Indoor Championships in March.
The Lady Raider 4x400 relay team closed out competition with a runner-up effort, finishing second with a time of 3:32.69 which broke the Fuller Track and Field Complex record from 2009. It marked the fastest time by a Lady Raider 4x400 relay team since 2005.
Cierra White led the Lady Raiders on the weekend combining for 16 points Sunday as she finished runner up in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dash. She clocked the fastest time ever under any conditions by a Lady Raider in the 200-meters, crossing the finish line in just 22.61 seconds behind a 4.3 meters-per-second tailwind.
Texas Tech will now shift its focus to the NCAA West Preliminaries scheduled for May 29-31 in Fayetteville, Ark.