Texas Tech is primed for two road meets this weekend in both New Mexico and Boston.
Texas Tech Notes | New Mexico Classic Meet Information | Boston Valentine Invite Meet Information
New Mexico Classic Meet Program | Live Results
Feb. 6, 2014
LUBBOCK, Texas - The Texas Tech track and field team is set to hit the road this weekend as the Red Raiders and Lady Raiders are scheduled to compete at both the New Mexico Classic and Boston Valentine Invitational.
Both meets are scheduled to begin Friday and continue through Saturday afternoon.
"We are excited about the opportunity both of these meets provide our athletes," head coach Wes Kittley said. "The New Mexico Classic and Boston Valentine Invitational are each highly-competitive and will provide our student-athletes an opportunity to put up good times and marks as we continue to progress throughout the season."
The majority of Texas Tech athletes are scheduled to compete at the New Mexico Classic, while seven distance runners will make the trip to Boston. Joining Texas Tech at the New Mexico Classic will be several Division I programs including Arkansas and Texas.
Texas Tech enters the meet after a strong showing at the Masked Rider Open last week where sophomore Le'Tristan Pledger broke the school record in the 55-meter hurdles and a handful of athletes jumped further up the national indoor qualifying list.
In all, Tech enters the weekend with nine individual and relay performances in the top-16 of the national indoor performance list.
Friday's events at the New Mexico Classic are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
Texas Tech enters the weekend 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 at the Texas A&M Triangular (1/25) clocked a career-best of 23.53 in the 200-meter dash. The time puts White at No. 9 on the NCAA national indoor qualifying list for the event, No. 9 on the IAAF World Rankings and No. 1 in the Big 12. Meanwhile, teammate Christen Rivers has also had a strong 2014 indoor season, recording a season-best of 53.86 in the 400-meter dash - which ranks No. 3 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 47.05, at the Masked Rider Open last week.
Tech sophomore Le'Tristan Pledger
enters the weekend after breaking the school record twice in the 55-meter hurdles at the Masked Rider Open. Pledger, a 2013 national qualifier in the 100-meter hurdles, finished first in both the preliminaries and semifinals of the event - clocking a 7.64 and 7.59 respectively. Both were school records. Her time of 7.59 converted to 8.19 in the 60-meter hurdles and currently stands at No. 6 nationally and No. 2 in the Big 12. Meanwhile, Shujaa Benson
currently paces the Red Raider hurdlers, and enters the weekend with a season-best of 7.40 in the 55-meter hurdles (1/17 TTU Open) and 8.08 in the 60-meter hurdles (1/25 Texas A&M Triangular).
Sophomore Nick Rivera is scheduled to open up in the 800-meters this weekend as he is set to compete in the event at the Boston Valentine Invitational on Saturday. In 2013 as a freshman, Rivera became the first Red Raider in school history and first Big 12 athlete since 2008 to sweep indoor and outdoor conference titles in the event. Joining Rivera in Boston will be teammate Ezekiel Kissorio who is also scheduled to compete in the mile run. Meanwhile, Marcos Vallejo is scheduled to run in the 3,000-meters and Brendan Devlin in the 5,000-meters. For the Lady Raiders, Jocelyn Caro and Sharlene Nickle will compete in the 3,000-meter run and 5,000-meter run respectively - each for the first time this season.
Texas Tech sophomore newcomer Shanice Stewart enters the weekend after an impressive performance in the long jump last week. Competing in the pentathlon, Stewart went a Lady Raider season-best 6.30-meters (20'-8.00") to win the event and leap to No. 6 nationally in the event. Stewart went on to went the pentathlon with 4,000 total points, which ranks No. 11 nationally. Meanwhile, Shujaa Benson enters the weekend leading the Red Raiders in the long jump with a season-best leap of 7.36-meters (24'-1.75") at the Texas Tech Open (1/17). In the triple jump Derreck Edwards went a season-best of 14.69-meters at the Texas A&M Triangular (1/25), which ranks No. 2 in the Big 12 this week. For the Lady Raiders, Viershanie Latham enters the weekend with a season-best effort of 12.09-meters (39'-8.00") in the triple jump - good for No. 5 in the Big 12.
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 and 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 weekend at No. 5 on the national indoor list and No. 2 in the Big 12. The pair went 1-2 in the high jump at the Texas A&M Triangular. Duffield, who did not compete last weekend, has now gone six consecutive meets of clearing at least 7-feet. Meanwhile freshman Dayton Fisher went a season-best of 2.11-meters (6'-11") at the Masked Rider Open last week which puts him at No. 5 in the conference. Sophomore Natalie Thompson enters the weekend after clearing a career-best of 1.69 (5'-6.50") at the Masked Rider Open in the pentathlon - the performance marks the best by a Lady Raider this season in the high jump. Meanwhile, junior Lady Raider Michaela Palu enters the weekend fresh off back-to-back career-best performance at the Texas A&M Triangular and Masked Rider Open as she went 1.68-meters (5'-6.00") at both. The Lady Raiders have also found success in the pole vault this season, and just last week sophomore Haley Cook cleared a career-best 3.90-meters (12'-9.50") to finish first at the Masked Rider Open in Lubbock. That mark ranks No. 4 in the Big 12 this week. Meanwhile, freshman vaulter Reece Timmons has cleared 3.80-meters (12'-5.50") - good for No. 6 in the conference. At the Masked Rider Open, Red Raider senior Kyal Meyers cleared a season-best of 5.10-meters (16'-8.75"), which leapt the 2011 Big 12 Indoor Champion in the event to No. 10 in the conference.
Texas Tech junior Kole Weldon and senior Jorge Garcia have anchored the Tech throwers in 2014. Weldon enters the weekend after breaking the meet record at the A&M Triangular in the shot put with a heave of 18.81-meters (61'-8.50"), and recording a season-best at the Masked Rider Open in the weight throw with a toss of 18.98-meters (62'-3.25"). Weldon enters the weekend with a season-best of 19.63-meters (64'-5") in the shot put which ranks No. 7 nationally. Meanwhile, Garcia enters the weekend after recording a career-best throw of 17.91 (58'-9.25") in the shot put at the Masked Rider Open. For the Lady Raiders, Hannah Carson enters the Masked Rider Open after recording a season-best throw of 13.89 (45'-7.00") in the shot put last week at the Masked Rider Open.
The Red Raider 4x400 relay team enters the New Mexico Classic fresh off its season-best performance at the Masked Rider Open. The squad, comprised of Joseph Richards III, Kyle Collins, Dee Paul and Dwayne Extol, clocked a time of 3:10.14 to finish second at the meet. Meanwhile, the Lady Raiders have two performances this season which rank in the top-16 nationally, led by the team's time of 3:38.24 (converted) at the Texas Tech Open (1/18) which stands at No. 12 on the national indoor qualifying list entering this weekend. The squad consisted of Montenae Roye-Speight, Cierra White, Amoy Blake and Christen Rivers.