Tech Sends Three to NCAA Championships

Gil Roberts was one of three Tech athletes to qualify for the finals of the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines.

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May 26, 2012

AUSTIN, Texas - Gil Roberts wanted to provide a spark for the Texas Tech track and field program Friday night at Mike A. Myers Stadium. With a second place finish in the quarterfinals of the 400 meter dash, and a ticket officially punched to the finals of the NCAA Outdoor Championships, the decorated senior did just that.

Roberts crossed the finish line first in his heat with a time of 45.41 during the first quarterfinal race of the evening to secure his trip to Des Moines.

Tech went on to qualify a total of three athletes for the finals of the NCAA Championships set for June 6-9 in Des Moines, while four athletes moved on to the quarterfinals to be held Saturday in the final day of competition.

"Every year it's a new year," Roberts, a senior and five-time All-American, said. "You're trying to get in every year. We had a good start to the weekend with Jamele [Mason] and I. We're trying to provide good leadership from the seniors and we're trying to start it off for us and get some of us into the finals from our team - and I'm there."

Teammates Jamele Mason (400 meter hurdles) and Terra Evans (100 meter dash) also qualified for the national championships on Friday. Mason finished second in his heat of the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 49.91 behind only Amaechi Morton of Stanford - who entered the meet as the national leader. The time was Mason's third-fastest of the season and he will be making his third trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Evans, meanwhile, finished fourth in her heat and 10th overall in the 100 meter dash with a time of 11.39.

"Those were the highlights of the day for us," head coach Wes Kittley said. "I'm proud of all of them, and excited to see how our group competes tomorrow."

Evans, a senior, will be making her third appearance at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

"It feels great," Evans said. "It just feels great to be able to come back and get there during my senior year."

Texas Tech advanced Shane Brathwaite, Katie Grimes, Taylor Evans and Cierra White out of the first rounds of their respective events Friday afternoon.

Evans and White both advanced to the quarterfinals of the 200 meter dash, while Brathwaite advanced in the 110 meter hurdles and Grimes advanced in the 100 meter hurdles. Both Brathwaite and Grimes won their heats.

The quarterfinals of the 110 meter hurdles will be held Friday at 7:05 p.m., while the quarterfinals of the 100 meter hurdles will follow at 7:20 p.m. The top-12 finishers will qualify for the finals of the NCAA Championships at Drake.

The quarterfinals of the women's 200 meter dash will follow at 7:35 p.m., with the top-12 advancing to Drake.

Senior Rose Tanui qualified for the finals of the NCAA Championships Thursday in the women's 10,000 meter run. She finished seventh overall in the late race with a time of 34:07.94.

"She had an outstanding effort," assistant coach Jon Murray said. "It was tough conditions with the humidity and the heat. It was very competitive. To run as fast as she did in those conditions is just outstanding."

Action at the track will begin tomorrow at 11 a.m. with the men's discus.




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