Eight Texas Tech Athletes Ranked in National Top-20 This Week
Kennedy Kithuka enters this week with the No. 2 time in the men's 3,000-meter run after breaking the school record Saturday.
Feb. 4, 2013
LUBBOCK, Texas - On the heels of a successful weekend of competition across the country a total of eight Texas Tech athletes and two relay squads appear among the top-20 of the national indoor qualifying list.
School record holders Kennedy Kithuka and Katie Grimes highlight the list as both own top-five marks, Kithuka in the 3,000-meter run and Grimes in the 60-meter hurdles. Kithuka broke the school record and remained unbeaten during his Texas Tech career with a first place finish at the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational Saturday where he crossed the line with a time of 7:50.26.
Entering this week time ranks No. 2 nationally in the event. Kithuka, the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Champion, is also ranked No. 12 in the mile run after breaking the school record in the event at the Texas A&M Mondo Challenge on Jan. 26.
Grimes, a returning All-American, remains near the top of the national rankings at No. 4 with her school record time of 8.18 in the 60-meter hurdles. Grimes recorded the time in a first place finish at the Texas A&M Mondo Challenge earlier this year.
The men's distance medley relay team enters the week ranked No. 6 nationally with a season-best and school record time of 9:41.55. The squad clocked the time in a first place finish at the Texas A&M Challenge on Jan. 25. Meanwhile, The Lady Raider 4x400 relay team enters the week ranked No. 12 nationally with a season-best time of 3:37.78.
Lady Raider sophomore Christen Rivers jumped into the top-15 on the national indoor qualifying list after finishing fifth in the finals of the 400-meter run at the Armory Collegiate Invitational in New York this weekend with a time of 53.66. Rivers, who also competes on the Lady Raider 4x400 relay team, enters this weekend with the 13th fastest time in the nation.
Texas Tech freshman LeTristan Pledger also jumped into the national rankings with leap of 6.13-meters (20'-1.50") in the women's long jump at the Armory Collegiate Invitational.
Texas Tech sophomore Kole Weldon also moved up in the national rankings after breaking his own school record in the shot put Saturday at the Red Raider Open. Weldon recorded a throw of 18.47-meters (62'-0.25") which ranks No. 12 on the national indoor qualifying list.
Returning All-American pole vaulter Kyal Meyers also recorded a season-best mark this weekend clearing 5.32-meters (17'-5.50") at the Red Raider Open. The mark ranks No. 15 nationally.
In the men's high jump sophomore Jacorian Duffield remains in the top-20 with his mark of 2.18-meters (7'-1.75") recorded at the Texas Tech Open on Jan. 12. Meanwhile, Lady Raider sprinter Cierra White ranks No. 20 in the women's 200-meter dash with a time of 23.83 in a seventh place finish this weekend at the Armory Collegiate Invitational.
The top-16 individuals in each event on the national indoor qualifying list qualify for the 2013 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships scheduled for March 8-9 in Fayetteville, Ark.
The Red Raiders and Lady Raiders return to action this weekend with the squads compete at the Tyson Invitational Feb. 8-9.