Odom Opens Championships with School-Record Prelim Time|
June 7, 2007
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The opening day of the 2007 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships ended with seven Red Raiders advancing in their respective events. In the early part of the day, Marlon Odom broke open the 110M hurdle competition by resetting his own school record. As the night came to a close, Texas Tech's three-time national champion Sally Kipyego started her quest for two titles as she competed in the 5000M prelims.
Kipyego succeeded in her first step to a possible dual-title meet, as she qualified for the women's 5000M finals in Wednesday's final event. The product of Marakwet, Kenya, notched a time of 16:03.39 behind teammate Irene Kimaiyo to run the second-best prelim time.
In the same heat, junior Kimaiyo finished with the top prelim time to qualify for Friday's finals. Kimaiyo of Nairobi, Kenya, ran a mark of 16:03.32, her second best mark of all time. Kimaiyo will be running the finals of the 5000M for the second time outdoors, as she advanced to the finals in 2006, finishing 16th.
Senior Odom finished the 110M hurdles preliminaries with another school record in the event, as he clocked the second-fastest prelim time with a 13.52. He most recently set the same record with a run of 13.54 at the Midwest Regional on May 26th. In the semifinals, Odom finished fifth to qualify for the finals which are set for 5:35 p.m. Friday. The Killeen, Texas, native ran a mark of 13.58, the fourth-fastest wind-legal time in school history. Odom will be running in the third outdoor finals of his career, closing his tenure at Tech that has already seen three All-American honors as well as four Big 12 titles.
Two Red Raider women advanced in field events, including sophomore D'Andra Carter who threw the top discus distance in the 28-athlete field. In her second NCAA Championships experience, Carter had a top mark of 177'-11" while her sister, Michelle Carter of Texas, finished in second with 177'-4". The Red Oak, Texas, native was one of only two underclassmen to qualify for Friday's 3:15 p.m. final field of 12.
Sophomore Patience Knight finished 27th with a distance of 149'-1" in the discus. The product of San Antonio, Texas, finished her season on Wednesday, marking her second appearance at nationals. Her top throw of the year was 171'-6" to place fourth at the Big 12 Championships and seal an at-large bid to track and field's premier event.
Senior Lacy Wilson also moved on to Friday's final, as she qualified in the women's high jump. Wilson and 13 others will compete at 5:15 p.m. after clearing 5'-9.75" or better. The 2007 indoor All-American Red Raider cleared 5'-10.75" on her first attempt to tie for first with 10 other competitors. Wilson cleared her first attempt at 5'-8.5" but did not get the 5'-9.75" bar until the third try. Having qualified for the outdoor championships for three-consecutive years, this year marks the first that Wilson will be competing in the finals of the event.
On the men's side, senior Seth Harris earned his spot in the men's pole vault final to take place on Friday at 6:15 p.m. Harris of Boyd, Texas, made the 16-man field after clearing a height of 16'-10.75". The 2005 All-American pole vaulter passed at the 16'-4.75" height and made his third attempt at his final height of the day. Harris finished sixth in 2005, clearing 17'-4.5".
Moving onto the semifinals in the men's 800M was senior Zach Glavash. The reigning Big 12 champion and Midwest Regional runner-up clocked the third-fastest opening round time after running 1:48.40. The time sits as Glavash's fourth-best mark during his two-year Tech career. Glavash and 15 others will run in the semifinals at approximately 4:50 p.m. on Thursday.
Tech's three women pole vaulters finished their 2007 campaign on Wednesday after missing the cut which included 13 student-athletes. Junior Kelley Schulz was the only Red Raider to clear a height as she went over on her second attempt at 12'-9.5", tying for 14th. Senior Lindsey Walesheck and sophomore Amanda Alley each no heighted, closing their first outdoor national meet.
Walesheck finishes her Tech career with her best season in a Red and Black uniform, as she is the current indoor school record holder with a height of 13'-5.25". The Cedar Park, Texas, native also earned her first national qualifications as she competed in both the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships. Prior to the 2007 season, Walesheck's best mark was 12'-7.5"; she cleared 13'-1.5" twice during outdoor and greater than 13 feet on three occasions indoor.
Also closing a remarkable year was freshman Ozie Okolie in the women's hammer throw. Okolie finished 23rd in her first national outing with a throw of 182'-9", tying her third-best mark. The Red Raider out of Houston, Texas, went on a record-setting campaign during her first competition season with Tech. In only her second meet, Okolie threw for 178'-1" to reset the school record. She then threw better marks on four occasions, including the national meet. She finished as the Midwest Region runner-up with her personal best toss of 199'-11" after earning third place at the conference meet with 193'-9".
In men's field events, senior Jamie Robinson (javelin) and junior Bobby Evers (long jump) finished competition on Wednesday. Robinson finished with a throw of 201'-11" to place 20th. The Anson, Texas, native closes his Tech years after earning his first Big 12 title in the event with a personal best throw of 222'-10". Evers had a mark of 22'-5.75" to finish 25th in the event. The Brownwood, Texas, native had his best mark of the season two weeks prior to the Championships at the Midwest Regional with a runner-up distance of 24'-4.5".
The NCAA Championships continue on Thursday with the opening round of Tech's Bryan Scott in the 400M hurdles. Glavash will compete in the 800M semifinals and Kevin Chelimo and Sally Kipyego will each run in Tech's first final event as the night closes with the men's and women's 10000M. For live results online, please visit www.flashresults.com. A complete Texas Tech recap can be found at the Red Raiders' official athletic website, www.texastech.com.