Tech Hits the Road for the Lobo Invite|
Jan. 29, 2009
LUBBOCK, Texas -
The Week Ahead
The No. 7 Red Raiders and No. 11 Lady Raiders travel to Albuquerque, N.M., to compete in the Lobo Invitational with the women's pole vault starting on Friday at 3 p.m. MST.
The group of student-athletes will be smaller than normal as the distance runners and throwers are staying to train in Lubbock. The sprinters, men pole vaulters and jumpers compete on Saturday starting at 10 a.m. The women begin the pole vault on Friday at 3 p.m.
Tech will be able to run on a banked track for the first time this season and the experience is valuable as the Big 12 Championships and NCAA Championships will both be ran on a banked track at Texas A&M.
Live results of the meet can be found by going to www.recordtiming.com and a final recap with results will be available at www.texastech.com.
Senior Sally Kipyego ran her first automatic mark of the season at the Texas Tech Invitational. She won the 5,000m in an Athletic Training Center record of 16:07.12. Ozie Okolie set a new school record in the weight throw. She won the event with a personal-best and ATC record of 66'-3.75". The men's 4x400M ran its first provisional mark of the year and Tech finished the meet with 11 titles.
The Red Raiders and Lady Raiders stayed in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association indoor rankings compiled by Tom Lewis, after two weeks of competition. The men jumped up from No. 11 to No. 7 and the women fell back three spots to No. 11. The men are the second-ranked Big 12 team and the women are the third-ranked team.
Texas Tech has 10 entries on the National Performance List. Gil Roberts is No.2 on the 400M list with a time of 46.59. Gilbert Limo is ninth in the mile with 4:03.25 and Omo Osaghae is second in the 60M hurdles with a time of 7.72. The men's 4x400M relay ran a 3:10.14 which is eighth overall. Harrison Benjamin is currently 12th with a throw of 59'-7". Sally Kipyego is the top 5,000m runner with a 15;54.36 and Lillian Badaru is second with a 16:21.59. The women's distance medley relay is first with a time of 11:15.40. The Lady Raiders have three throwers on the list as Patience Knight is second in shot put with a mark of 54'-9.25" and D'Andra Carter is 11th with a throw of 51'-2.75". Ozie Okolie is fifth in the weight throw with a distance of 66'-3.75".
Another School Record in the Books
Junior Ozie Okolie bested her school record in the weight throw by two feet and provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships with the throw of 66'-3.75".
Big 12 AOW
Sophomore Gil Roberts earned his first Big 12 Athlete of the Week honors for his performance at the Texas Tech Invitational on Jan. 17th. He won the 400M in impressive fashion with a NCAA provisional and personal-best time of 46.59.
School Record Broke
Omo Osaghae broke a year-old school record held by former teammate Shawon Harris on Sat., Jan. 17th. He won the 55M hurdles with a NCAA provisional and personal-best time of 7.17.
Star Studded Returners
Texas Tech has a total of eight All-Americans returning for the 2009 season. The group is highlighted by eight-time NCAA champion Sally Kipyego. Two-time All-American throwers Patience Knight and D'Andra Carter are the other women retuning. The men have Anthony Flemons, Tim Foster, Rodney Mims, Omo Osaghae and Gil Roberts.
History in the Making
Senior Sally Kipyego is entering her final season as a Lady Raider and has the potential to make history. During the fall, the Kenyan native became the first male or female in Division I history to win three-straight NCAA cross country individual championships. Kipyego has eight NCAA individual titles and could tie Wisconsin's Suzy Favor who has the most female individual titles in track & field and cross country NCAA history with nine.
Tech has 27 newcomers for the season. The men boast the fifth-best recruiting class in the nation by Track and Field News and the class is highlighted by Markus Henderson, Jamele Mason and Brandon Tucker. The women have a strong group of freshmen and transfers. Lillian Badaru has already made a name for herself as she earned her first All-American honor in cross country last fall.
The Texas Tech track program added a new face as Roy Williams, a former TCU All-American, was hired to coach sprints and relays. Williams spent the last three years at the University of Texas at Arlington as the associate head coach of sprints, relays, jumps and hurdles. He coached an Olympic qualifier in the 200M and 4x100M relay and an All-American in the 110M hurdles during his tenure.
This season marks the 10th year that head coach Wes Kittley has been with the Texas Tech track & field program. Since then his program has seen nine NCAA champions and 97 All-American honors.