Weldon Finishes Third in Shot Put

Kole Weldon finished third in the shot put Wednesday at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

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June 6, 2013

EUGENE, Ore. - With yet another historic performance on the national stage, sophomore thrower  Kole Weldon highlighted Texas Tech's opening day of competition at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. 

On a warm and clear afternoon at Historic Hayward Field, the Jacksboro, Texas native and former walk-on closed the full day of competition with the best-ever performance by a Red Raider in the shot put at the national outdoor meet. Weldon, the reigning NCAA Indoor Runner-Up, launched a third attempt 19.28-meters (63-feet 3.25 inches) - a throw that later secured him the top-3 finish.

The performance garnered the Red Raiders six points on the first of four days of competition in Eugene.

"I'm really proud of Kole," head coach Wes Kittley said. "In a year and a half he has been pretty special for us, and only being a sophomore he has some great things ahead."

Texas Tech wrapped up the opening day of action after qualifying both sophomore Cierra White (100m) and senior Isaiah Gill (400mH) for finals to be held Friday.

Meanwhile, freshman Le'Tristan Pledger became the first Lady Raider to advance to the finals of the women's long jump since 2005. Pledger finished tied for eighth in the trials with a best jump of 6.29m (20'-7.75") before falling to ninth in the finals based on jumps. 

White was the first Texas Tech athlete to punch her ticket to the finals qualifying in the women's 100-meter dash. The Big 12 Champion in the event overcame a slow start and flew across the final 50-meters of the track to cross the finish line in 11.19 seconds. White finished fourth in her heat but seventh overall in the event to advance to the finals based on time.

"It's a huge accomplishment," White said. "Last year, I didn't even make it here in the 100m. To know I worked hard, and that it all has come together in the end just makes me very proud."

The best finish by a Lady Raider in the 100-meter dash at the NCAA Outdoor Championships came in 2010 when Terra Evans finished fifth.  White has gone a season-best 11.09 seconds this year at the Red Raider Open (April 25), which broke the school record and finished the regular season as the No. 4 time in the country.

Later on the track, Gill qualified for the finals of the men's 400-meter hurdles finishing eighth overall with a time of 50.51 - his second best of the year.

"It feels good," Gill said. "It's my last year, so my goal was to try and make it to the finals to be able to say I did something for myself and for the team."

Texas Tech has now advanced a Red Raider to the finals of the 400-meter hurdles in four consecutive NCAA Outdoor Championship meets dating back to 2010.

The Lady Raider 4x100 relay team of White, Candace Jackson, Olivia Lewis and Amoy Blake opened the running events Wednesday afternoon on the Hayward Track. The squad finished seventh in its heat with a time of 45.03 - their third-fastest performance of the season.

Freshman Hannah Carson finished 15th in the women's javelin throw. The current school record holder recorded a best throw of 47.32-meters (155'-3") on her second attempt of the afternoon. 

In the semifinals of the women's 400m dash, sophomore Christen Rivers finished seventh in her heat, 22nd overall, with a time of 53.82 seconds. Rivers was making her debut at the NCAA Outdoor Championships after grabbing the final qualifying spot at the NCAA West Preliminaries in Austin in May.

Texas Tech continues action at the NCAA Championships Thursday beginning at 4 p.m. on ESPN3. 




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