Duffield Makes History Friday in Eugene
Sophomore Jacorian Duffield made Texas Tech history in the high jump Friday at the NCAA Championships.
June 7, 2013
EUGENE, Ore. - In front of a near-capacity crowd at Historic Hayward Field on another warm June afternoon a pair of Texas Tech sophomores and a seasoned veteran put on a show at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Duffield matched Tech's highest finish in school history in the high jump where he cleared 2.50-meters (7-feet 2.50 inches) on his first attempt. The performance secured sole possession of 7th place in the highly-competitive field, one that featured two medalists from the 2012 London Olympics.
"It was good to see JaCorian set a personal-best today and set the highest finish we have ever had at the national meet," head coach Wes Kittley said. "Experience is everything. He got it at this meet last year, and didn't score. Experience played such a big part today. He got in there and competed the best I have seen him compete all year."
Duffield's 7th place finish in the high jump is the best outright finish by any Red Raider in school history at the NCAA meet. Former Red Raider Darrell Roddick tied with Nick Ross (Arizona) for 7th in 2010.
Earlier on the track, White closed her remarkable season with a 6th place finish in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.32 seconds which ties for the fifth-fastest wind-legal performance in school history. She already owns the top-3 times in school history in the event.
"I felt like my start was much better than it was during the preliminaries," White said. "I just tried to get out a little harder, stay relaxed and finish strong."
In the final race of his Texas Tech career, Gill got out to a strong start in the 400-meter hurdles and later crossed the finish line in 50.44 seconds - the second fastest time of the 2013 season, and the third fastest of his career.
"It was a good performance," Gill said. "I went out there and gave it my all and was still able to finish. It feels good to be able to say I did it and made it here and am one of the top hurdlers in the country."
Texas Tech has now advanced at least one 400-meter hurdler to the final round of the NCAA Championships in four straight national meets dating back to 2010.
Duffield's clearance of 7'-2.50" in the high jump is the best by a Red Raider in school history at the NCAA Championships while also matching his career-best set last year. On Friday, the Schertz, Texas native cleared three of the four bars in the competition on his first attempt before being eliminated at a school record height of 2.24m (7'-4.25").
His only two misses came at the third round of the competition when the bar surpassed 7-feet for the first time at 7'-0.25".
"I've been priding myself on clearing good bars early," Duffield said. "I knew once I had to third attempt 7-feet, that to get to the top, I would have to clear 2.20m on my first attempt. That was my main focus, to clear it on my first attempt, and I was able to do that."
Also in the high jump, Texas Tech freshman Bradley Adkins finished 20th clearing 2.10m (6'-10.75"). Texas Tech was one of just three schools to feature multiple athletes in the competition, while Duffield was the highest placing underclassman of the 24 competitors.
Sophomore Kole Weldon, who finished third in the shot put on Wednesday, finished 14th in the discus Friday with a best throw of 56.63m (185'-9") on his first attempt.
Duffield and Gill combined to give the Red Raiders four points on the day, which brings the squad's total to 10 after three days of competition - good for 17th place. Meanwhile, White got the Lady Raiders on the board with 3 points to put the squad in 36th place overall in the women's standings.
The NCAA Outdoor Championships conclude Saturday at Hayward Field. Texas Tech did not advance athletes into Saturday's events.
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