Tech Set For First Road Meet at Texas A&M

Texas Tech is set for its first road meet of the season at the Texas A&M Mondo Challenge.

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Jan. 24, 2013

 LUBBOCK, TEXAS - The Texas Tech track and field program is set for its first road test of the season this weekend as the Red Raiders and Lady Raiders travel to College Station for their first meet away from the Hub City.

After back-to-back home meets to begin the 2013 indoor season, both squads will compete at the two-day Texas A&M Mondo Challenge at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium in College Station.

The meet is scheduled to begin Friday evening at 6 p.m. and continue all day Saturday.

Featuring teams from the PAC 12, SEC and Big 12, the Texas A&M Mondo Challenge will serve as a Tech's first scored meet of the season as the Red Raiders and Lady Raiders will pair up with TCU to represent the Big 12 in a conference challenge throughout the weekend of competition.

Arizona State and USC will represent the PAC 12 while Texas A&M and Tennessee will represent the SEC.

Tech is coming off a successful showing at the Masked Rider Open last weekend in which two athletes broke school records and the men's distance medley relay squad clocked the fastest time in the nation.

Texas Tech will compete against two of the top-five teams in the country as the Texas A&M men's squad enters the weekend at No. 2 in the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll. The Aggie women enter at No. 4.

The Red Raider distance medley relay opened the Masked Rider Open finishing first overall in the event with a time of 9:55.87, later converted to 9:50.10 for altitude, which stands as No. 1 nationally entering this weekend. The squad, anchored by 2012 NCAA Cross Country Champion Kennedy Kithuka, is scheduled to compete again this weekend. 

Meanwhile, Lady Raider hurdler Katie Grimes enters the meet after again breaking her own school record in the 55-meter hurdles last weekend with a time of 7.67. Her converted 60-meter hurdles time of 8.27 ranks No. 8 nationally.

In the field events, sophomore Kole Weldon enters the Texas A&M Mondo Challenge after breaking the men's shot put record last weekend with a throw of 18.47m (60'-7.25"). His mark also ranks No. 8 nationally.



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.

At the Masked Rider Open -
Texas Tech claimed three of the top-four spots in the women's 200-meter dash last weekend at the Masked Rider Open led by senior Candace Jackson who clocked a career indoor best time of 23.88. Jackson was followed by teammate sophomore Cierra White in third who finished with a time of 24.18. Meanwhile, junior Amoy Blake finished fourth with a time of 24.32. Jackson's time ranks No. 20 nationally.

Red Raider Dwayne Extol finished fourth overall in the men's 200m with a time of 21.78.



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 and 60-meter hurdles will look to improve upon a stellar junior campaign. Grimes set the school record in the 55-meter hurdles (7.74) and the 60-meter hurdles (8.18).

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. 

At the Masked Rider Open -
In what is becoming one of the top storylines of the 2013 indoor season for Texas Tech, senior Katie Grimes put on yet another show at the Masked Rider Open this weekend. The Canyon, Texas native broke her own school record in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 7.67 to finish first overall. Grimes has twice broken the school record this season and enters the Texas A&M Mondo Challenge with a converted time of 8.27 to rank No. 8 nationally in the event. Grimes is undefeated in 2013.



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 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.

At the Masked Rider Open  -
Anchored by senior Kennedy Kithuka, the Texas Tech men's distance medley relay finished first overall at the Texas Tech Masked Rider Open last weekend. The squad crossed the line with a time of 9:55.87, later converted to 9:51.10 due to altitude, and enters the Texas A&M Mondo Challenge with the No. 1 time in the country.



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.

At the Masked Rider Open -
Texas Tech freshman Gionna Jackson picked up her second top-3 finish last weekend with a career-best mark of 5.61-meters (18'-5.00") to finish second overall. The jump marked her second leap of over 18-feet.



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.

At the Masked Rider Open -
A pair of Texas Tech jumpers cleared the seven-foot barrier last weekend led by sophomore Jacorian Duffield who finished second with a clearance of 2.18-meters (7'-0.25"). Freshman Bradley Adkins cleared his first collegiate bar over 7-foot finishing third on jumps and also clearing 2.18m (7'-0.25"). Duffield enters the Texas A&M Mondo Challenge ranked No. 10 nationally after clearing a height of 2.18m (7'-1.75") at the Texas Tech Open on Jan. 13.



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.

At the Masked Rider Open - 
Texas Tech claimed two of the top three spots in the women's pole vault last weekend led by freshman Shelby Poncik who cleared her first collegiate bar and finished second overall. Poncik cleared 3.75-meters (12'-3.50") and was followed by teammate and fellow freshman Haley Cook in third clearing 3.60m (11'-9.75"). Meanwhile the Red Raiders claimed four of the top-five spots in the men's pole vault led by senior Jeremy Doddridge who cleared 4.90m (16'-0.75"). Doddridge has cleared a season-best 5.05m (16'-6.75") this season. 



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").

 At the Masked Rider Open -
Texas Tech had an impressive showing last weekend in the throwing events as all three Red Raiders improved their marks from the season opener. The group was led by sophomore Kole Weldon who broke the men's school record in the shot put with a toss of 18.47-meters (60'-7.25") to finish first in the event. Meanwhile, junior Jorge Garcia and freshman Kyle Gooch also turned in season-best performances as Garcia went 17.32m (56'-10.00") to finish fourth and Gooch went 15.73m (51'-7.25") to finish sixth.



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.

 At the Masked Rider Open - 
Both Texas Tech 4x400 relays improved last weekend on their times from the season-opener while the men's distance medley relay recorded the nation's leading team. Anchored by 2012 NCAA Cross Country Champion Kennedy Kithuka, the men's DMR finished with a time of 9:55.87, later converted to 9:51.10 to rank No. 1 nationally. The Lady Raider 4x400 relay ran a season-best time of 3:37.34 last weekend and enters the Texas A&M Mondo Challenge ranked No. 3 nationally, while the Red Raider 4x400 squad ranks No. 12 nationally with a season-best time of 3:12.88.







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