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Tech Has Fast Start to NCAA Championships
 


Terra Evans anchored the Lady Raiders to a second place finish as they qualified for the finals of the 4x100 relay Wednesday at the NCAA Championships.

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June 6, 2012

- Gil Roberts


DES MOINES, Iowa - Short of breath and grasping for the rails just after crossing the finish line, senior Terra Evans described her performance moments earlier on the trademark blue track of Drake Stadium as the best 100-meter relay leg of her already decorated career.

On the opening day of the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships the senior pushed past anchor legs from Stanford, Arkansas and Auburn to secure a spot for the Lady Raiders in the finals of the 4x100 relay. Evans pushed from fifth all the way to second in just 100 meters as she crossed the line with a time of 43.99 in second place to automatically qualify for Saturday's finals.

It marked the first of three qualifying performances on the day for Tech as seniors Gil Roberts and Jamele Mason also punched their ticket to the finals of the NCAA Championships at Drake Stadium.

"Overall I thought it was a good day," head coach Wes Kittley said. "A lot of great things happened for us."

The final round of the women's 4x100 relay is scheduled for 11:10 a.m. on Saturday.

"My teammates helped me get into a good position," Evans said. "From there I just ran my leg. It was really important to get in the top-two so that we could be assured that we were in the finals. They just got me in good position so that I was able to get us second place."

The Lady Raiders last qualified for the finals of the 4x100 relay in 2010 which featured the same relay that qualified Wednesday. The relay is comprised of Evans, Erica Alexander, Candace Jackson and Taylor Evans.

Roberts ran a personal-best and school record time of 44.84 in the men's 400 meter dash moments later to secure his spot in the finals. The five-time All-American finished third in his heat, but qualified with the third-best time overall in one of the fastest 400 meter heats ever at the NCAA Championships. The finals of the 400 meter dash are scheduled for Friday at 6:55 p.m.

The time broke his previous school-record and personal-best time of 44.86 set in 2009 at the Big 12 Championships.

"The goal was just to get in the finals," Roberts said. "I was trying to set up a good race, I got out really hard, but didn't finish as strong as I would like to. It's the preliminaries though and I got the third-fastest time going in. I'm just focused on the finals now and I'm happy that I got in."

To close the night for Tech, senior Jamele Mason qualified for the finals by placing second in his heat with a season-best time of 49.49. The finals of the 400 meter hurdles are scheduled for Friday at 5:35 p.m.

"I'm really pleased with Jamele," Kittley said. "It was his best run all year and he looked really good."

Texas Tech will resume action at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships tomorrow at 1 p.m. as school-record holder Precious Nwokey begins competition in Day 1 of the women's heptathlon.

 

 

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