Tech Primed For Saturday Season Opener

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Jan. 11, 2013

LUBBOCK, Texas - The Texas Tech track and field program officially begins its 2013 indoor season Saturday as the Red Raiders and Lady Raiders host the Texas Tech Open inside the Athletic Training Center.

The single-day meet is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. with running events following at 11:30 a.m. A total of 30 teams and over 500 athletes will compete alongside Tech in the first of back-to-back home meets to open the 2013 season.

"We're very excited for this meet." Texas Tech head coach Wes Kittley, who begins his 14th season on Saturday, said. "It's going to be a really great opportunity for newcomers, and for both our men's and women's teams to lay a foundation for the entire indoor season."

Texas Tech returns a total of eight All-Americans for the 2013 campaign, including five who earned All-America honors during the 2012 indoor season.

Texas Tech Breakdown

Returning All-Americans Candace Jackson, Olivia Lewis and Cierra White will highlight the Texas Tech sprints in 2013. Jackson, an eight-time All-American, returns after helping guide the Tech indoor 4x400 relay to All-America First Team honors during the 2012 indoor season. Jackson earned second team All-America honors during the 2011 outdoor season in the 400m. The Dallas native enters the 2013 indoor season with a personal-best of 7.03 in the 55-meter dash and a personal-best of 53.85 in the 400-meter.

Lewis was also a member of the Lady Raider 4x400 indoor relay team in 2012 and enters 2013 with a personal-best of 54.91 in the indoor 400-meter. White, who had a breakout 2012 as one of the top young sprinters for the Lady Raiders enters with a personal-best time of 7.03 in the 55-meter dash and a personal-best time of 23.62 in the 200-meter.

Meanwhile, senior sprinter Isaiah Gill will anchor the Red Raider sprinters, and be a veteran on the relay teams. Gill finished third last year at the Big 12 Championships in the 400-meter dash, and enters the 2013 season with a personal-best time of 46.89 in the event.

Senior Lady Raider Katie Grimes highlights the Texas Tech hurdlers in 2013. The returning All-American and school record holder in both the 55-meter hurdles (7.74) and 60-meter hurdles (8.18)will look to improve upon a stellar junior campaign.

Meanwhile, the Red Raiders will welcome newcomer Tramaine Maloney, cousin of former Red Raider hurdler and 2012 Olympian Shane Brathwaite. Brathwaite along with Jamele Mason, the 2012 NCAA 400-meter hurdle runner-up and Puerto Rico Olympian, graduated following the 2012 season.

2012 NCAA Cross Country Champion Kennedy Kithuka will lead the pack of Texas Tech distance runners as the 2013 track and field indoor season arrives. Kithuka, who was named the 2012 Male Athlete of the Year for the 2012 cross country season and appears on The Bowerman Men's Preseason Watch List, went undefeated in seven meets including the NCAA Championship. Kithuka captured indoor national titles in both the 3,000-meter run and as a member of the Distance Medley Relay in 2012 while at Wayland Baptist. He also won national titles in the 10,000-meter run and the 5,000-meter run during the 2012 outdoor season.

The Red Raiders also return the services of senior Ezekiel Kissorio who emerged during the 2012 outdoor season finishing sixth at the Big 12 Championships in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. The Lady Raiders return the services of Chelsea Scott and Rachel Folan, both seniors who competed at the Big 12 Championships last season. Caitlin Waters, a junior, also returns after garnering two top-five finishes in the 800-meter run last season.

Horizontal Jumps
Texas Tech welcomes back senior Bryce Lamb a three-time All-American and two-time Big 12 Champion in the long jump. Lamb earned All-America First Team in the indoor long jump last season after advancing to the NCAA Championships and finishing third overall with a mark of 7.86-meters (29'-9.50"). Lamb turned in a season-best mark of 7.94m (26'-0.75") while his collegiate-best is a school record of 8.14m (26'-8.50") which he recorded to win the 2010 Big 12 Indoor Championships during his freshman campaign.

The Lady Raiders return the services of Avril McGhee in 2013 who had a breakout freshman campaign as a talented triple jumper. McGhee finished fifth overall at the 2012 Big 12 Indoor Championships while turning in a season-best mark of 12.35m (40'-6.25").

High Jumpers
Texas Tech will return a young crop of talented high jumpers in 2013. The Red Raiders will be led by sophomore Jacorian Duffield who advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championships as a freshman and ended his outdoor year with four clearances over seven-feet. Duffield meanwhile cleared a season-best indoor bar of 2.17m (7'-1.50") at the Red Raider Open which marked the second-highest indoor clearance by a Red Raider in nine years.

Meanwhile, the Lady Raiders return freshman Michaela Palu who redshirted during the 2012 indoor season before competing during the outdoor season. Palu cleared a season-best height of 1.71m (5'-7.25") to finish first overall at the LSU Invitational before clearing a bar of 1.70m (5'-7.00") at the Big 12 Championships.

Pole Vaulters
Texas Tech junior Kyal Meyers returns to the pole vault runway for Texas Tech in 2013 after earning All-America honors during both the indoor and outdoor seasons a year ago. Meyers, the 2011 Big 12 indoor champion, finished 11th overall at the NCAA Indoor Championships last season and cleared six bars over 17-feet - including a personal best mark of 5.38m (17'-7.75"). Seniors Jeremy Doddridge and Boston Spiva also return for the Red Raiders.

Texas Tech will return a balance of talent in the throws as 2011 All-American and Big 12 Shot Put Champion Ifeatu Okafor returns for her senior indoor season. Okafor recorded the fourth-best throw in school history at the 2011 Big 12 Championships - a personal-best mark of 17.10m (54'-1.25").

Meanwhile, the Red Raiders return the services of sophomore Kole Weldon who is coming off a freshman outdoor campaign where he advanced to the NCAA Championships. Weldon enters the 2013 indoor season with a personal-best indoor shot put mark of 17.59m (57'-8.00") and a personal-best indoor weight throw mark of 17.20m (56'-5.25").

Texas Tech's Lady Raider 4x400 relay team earned All-America First Team honors in 2012 after finishing seventh overall at the national meet. The Lady Raiders return both seniors Candace Jackson and Olivia Lewis from that squad which recorded two of the top-five times in school history during the 2012 season.




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