Texas Tech is set to host the annual Masked Rider Open this weekend inside the ATC
Jan. 30, 2014
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LUBBOCK, Texas - The Texas Tech track and field program returns home this weekend for the two-day Masked Rider Open set for Jan. 31-Feb. 1 inside the Athletic Training Center.
The Red Raiders and Lady Raiders enter the meet fresh off a strong performance at the highly-competitive Texas A&M Triangular last week in College Station.
"I think we are going to see a lot better marks," Texas Tech head coach Wes Kittley said. "We are in the third week, and we have about a thousand athletes coming so there will be some good competition."
At the premier dual meet in College Station, two Red Raiders set meet records while three Lady Raiders jumped into the top-16 of the national performance list. Tech enters the meet with a total of six individual athletes along with the Lady Raider 4x400 relay ranked in the top-16 of the national indoor qualifying list.
The Masked Rider Open serves as the second of three home meets scheduled for the 2014 indoor season.
The Red Raiders and Lady Raiders will compete once more inside the Athletic Training Center Feb. 14 at the Red Raider Open. The Red Raider Open will be held simultaneously with the Tyson Invitational (Feb. 14-15) in which Texas Tech athletes are also scheduled to compete.
Events at the Masked Rider Open are scheduled to begin at 4:30 Friday inside the Athletic Training Center. Tickets for the meet are priced at $5 for adults and $3 for youth and seniors.
Texas Tech enters the Masked Rider Open with a group of strong Lady Raider sprinters led by junior star Cierra White. The Philadelphia native is receiving votes on the 2014 Bowerman Women's Preseason Watch List and last week clocked a career-best of 23.53 in the 200-meter dash. The time puts White at No. 6 on the national indoor qualifying list for the event and No. 1 in the Big 12. Meanwhile, teammate Christen Rivers continued her strong start to the 2014 indoor season, recording a season-best of 53.86 in the 400-meter dash - which ranks No. 13 on the national indoor list and No. 2 in the Big 12. For the Red Raiders, Joseph Richards III clocked a season-best in the 400-meter dash at the Texas A&M Triangular with a 47.93, which entering this week stands at No. 5 on the Big 12 descending order list.
Tech sophomore Le'Tristan Pledger continued her strong 2014 indoor season clocking an 8.26 in the 60-meter hurdles at the Texas A&M Triangular. Pledger, a 2013 national qualifier in the 100-meter hurdles, finished second at the A&M Triangular and enters the Masked Rider Open at No. 12 on the national indoor qualifying list - and No. 2 in the Big 12. Meanwhile, Shujaa Benson currently paces the Red Raider hurdlers, and returns to the track where he clocked his season-best with a time of 7.40 in the semifinals of the 55-meter hurdles at the Texas Tech Open (1/17). Pledger enters the Masked Rider Open with three of the top-6 times in school history in the 55-meter hurdles.
Tech sophomore Nick Rivera clocked a career-best of 4:09.05 in the mile run at the A&M Triangular to finish second in the event and move to No. 2 in the Big 12. Rivera, the 2013 indoor and outdoor 800-meter champion, enters the Masked Rider Open with the Red Raiders' top times in the mile and the 1,000-meter run. Meanwhile, three Red Raiders (Jonathon Lira, Brendan Devlin and Seraiah Pineda) clocked indoor career bests in the 3,000-meter run at the A&M Triangular Saturday in College Station. Marcos Vallejo enters the Masked Rider Open with the top time on the squad in the 3,000-meter run with a season-best of 8:33.32 which he recorded at the A&M Triangular in a fifth-place effort. Lady Raider Madeline Livergood also turned in an impressive performance in College Station recording a career-best indoor time of 10:24.90 and finishing third in the 3,000-meter run. Meanwhile, Sharlene Nickle finished second in the mile run with a season-best of 4:54.69.
Red Raider Shujaa Benson enters the Masked Rider Open No. 4 in the Big 12 in the men's long jump after going a season-best 7.36-meters (24'-1.75") at the Texas Tech Open (1/17). For the Lady Raiders, sophomore Gionna Jackson enters the weekend No. 3 in the conference with a season-best leap of 5.86-meters (19'-2.75") at the season-opening Texas Tech Open. Meanwhile, Le'Tristan Pledger, a national qualifier in the long jump during the 2013 outdoor season, enters the meet with a season-best jump of 18-feet 9.75 inches. Red Raider newcomer Derreck Edwards, a wide receiver on the Tech football team last fall, opened his 2014 indoor season with an impressive jump of 14.69-meters (48'-2.50") - good for No. 2 in the Big 12 in the event.
Texas Tech had a record showing in the high jump to kickoff the 2014 indoor season led by junior JaCorian Duffield who broke a 30-year-old school record in the event. Duffield went 2.23-meters (7'-3.75"), and with the clearance enters the weekend at No. 3 on the national indoor qualifying list and No. 1 in the Big 12. Duffield was followed by sophomore teammate Bradley Adkins in second with a career-best clearance of 2.20-meters (7'-2.50"). Adkins enters the Masked Rider Open at No. 5 on the national indoor list and No. 2 in the Big 12. The pair enter this week after going 1-2 in the high jump at the Texas A&M Triangular. Duffield has now gone six consecutive meets of clearing at least 7-feet. Meanwhile freshman Dayton Fisher went 6'-10.25" in his career debut and is also in the top-5 of the Big 12 list at No. 5. Junior Michaela Palu enters the Masked Rider Open fresh off a career-best performance at the Texas A&M Triangular last week where she finished second in the competition after clearing 1.68-meters (5'-6.00"). Meanwhile, the Lady Raiders have found success in the pole vault this season as Reece Timmons won the event at the Texas Tech Open with a season-best clearance of 3.80-meters (12'-5.50"), while Haley Cook went on to take home second at the A&M Triangular with a career-best clearance of 3.78-meters (12'-4.75").
Texas Tech junior Kole Weldon and senior Jorge Garcia have anchored the Tech throwers in 2014. Weldon enters the Masked Rider Open after breaking the meet record at the A&M Triangular with a heave of 18.81-meters (61'-8.50") to win the competition. He also recorded a career-best in the weight throw with a toss of 18.89-meters (61'-11.75") to finish second. That mark registered at No. 3 all-time for a Red Raider indoors. The performance came after opening the season with a toss of 18.89-meters (61'-11.75") in the shot put at the Texas Tech Open, which ranks No. 2 all-time at Texas Tech indoors and currently ranks No. 7 nationally. Meanwhile, Garcia opened his 2014 season with a career-best throw in the shot put at the Texas Tech Open, finishing second with his toss of 17.88-meters (58'-8.00"). For the Lady Raiders, Hannah Carson enters the Masked Rider Open after two strong showings in the shot put. She finished third at the Texas Tech Open and third at the Texas A&M Triangular while boasting a season-best toss of 13.22-meters (43'-4.50").
The Lady Raider relay team, which enters the week at No. 9 on the national indoor performance list, returns to the track where the squad clocked a season-best time of 3:37.80 (converted to 3:39.12 for altitude). The squad, comprised of Montenae Roye-Speight, Cierra White, Amoy Blake and Christen Rivers won the event at the Texas Tech Open (1/18). At the Texas A&M Triangular, the squad shuffled to Montenae Roye-Speight, Cierra White, Amoy Blake and Tiffany Tarver, and finished third with a time of 3:39.12. The men's 4x400 relay squad, comprised of Joseph Richards III, Kyle Collins, Dwayne Extol and J.W. Smith, clocked a season-best of 3:15.77 at the A&M Triangular, which stands at No. 5 in the Big 12 entering the weekend.