Red Raiders, Lady Raiders to Compete Across the Region|
Texas Tech Notes | Media Interviews
Texas Tech is set to compete across the region this weekend.
Feb. 13, 2014
LUBBOCK, Texas - The Texas Tech track and field program is set to disperse its athletes to three separate meets across the region this weekend as the Red Raiders and Lady Raiders continue to pursue national qualifying marks.
Tech, after a strong showing at both the New Mexico Classic and Boston Valentine Invitational last week, will host the Red Raider Open Friday inside the Athletic Training Center while also sending athletes to the highly-competitive Tyson Invitational and the Don Kirby Collegiate Elite.
"We're trying to put our athletes in the best meet for them to succeed." Texas Tech head coach Wes Kittley said. "We're confident these meets will provide just that."
While the Red Raider Open is set for one day of competition, both the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark. and the New Mexico Don Kirby Collegiate Elite will take place both Friday and Saturday.
Field events at the Red Raider Open are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. Friday with running events scheduled to begin at 4:30 - both of which will take place inside the Athletic Training Center on the Texas Tech campus.
Texas Tech enters the weekend with five Lady Raiders ranked in the top-16 of the national indoor qualifying list in their respective events and three Red Raiders appearing in the top-16.
Lady Raider sprinter Cierra White along with teammate Le'Tristan Pledger and Red Raider thrower Kole Weldon are each coming off record-breaking performances last week at the New Mexico Classic. Weldon broke two school records in each the shot put and the weight throw. The Jacksboro, Texas native broke his own previous record in the shot put while taking down U.S. Olympian in the discus Jason Young's previous record in the weight throw. Meanwhile, White broke the school record in the 60-meter dash while Pledger broke her second hurdle record of the season.
The Tech sprinters turned in a successful showing at the New Mexico Classic last week led by All-American Cierra White. White continued her historic 2014 campaign clocking a school record in the 60-meter dash and personal best in the 200-meters. The junior took down the school record twice in the 60-meter dash, first in the preliminaries with a 7.35 before besting it in the finals where she finished runner-up with a time of 7.32 seconds. Her performance broke the previous school record of 7.37 set in 2011 by former Lady Raider Terra Evans. Earlier in the meet she clocked a new personal-best in the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.52, which ranks No. 2 in school history. She enters the week with the top-2 times in school history in the 60-meter dash and four of the top-5 in the 200-meters. White went on to help the Lady Raider 4x400 relay team record a season-best time of 3:34.08 - which ranks No. 3 in school history and currently sits at No. 7 nationally. Meanwhile, sophomore Joseph Richards III also had a strong meet in New Mexico clocking a season-best of 47.02 in the 400-meter dash where he finished runner-up. The time is the best by a Red Raider in the event this season. He also clocked a season-best of 21.48 in the 200-meter dash on Friday. Red Raider newcomer Trevor Mackey, a transfer from South Plains and 2012 Olympian in the 200-meter dash for the Bahamas, turned in a strong debut finishing second in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.23 seconds. That marks the best performance in the event by a Red Raider since the 2011 season.
For the second consecutive week sophomore Lady Raider Le'Tristan Pledger turned in a record-breaking performance in the hurdles. One week after breaking former teammate Katie Grimes' record in the 55-meter hurdles at the Masked Rider Open (Jan. 31), the Kansas City product took down Grimes' record in the 60-meter hurdles last week. Pledger broke Grimes' previous mark of 8.15 seconds with a blistering 8.07 in the preliminaries at the Albuquerque Convention Center. She then clocked an 8.10 to finish third overall, and first among collegians, in the finals. Pledger now owns each of the top-2 performances in school history in the event entering the Tyson Invitational. Her season-best, converted to 8.09 for altitude, stands at No. 4 nationally. Meanwhile, sophomore Red Raider Tramaine Maloney turned in a season-best performance in the 60-meter hurdles clocking a season-best of 8.02 to finish runner up in the finals.
Tech sophomore Nick Rivera, the 2013 Big 12 indoor and outdoor 800-meter Champion, opened up in the event last week at the Boston Valentine Invitational and did so with a career-best performance. The La Puente, Calif. native finished 16th overall at the meet with a time of 1:51.30, which stands at No. 2 in the Big 12 this week. The performance marks the fastest time by a Red Raider in the event since the 2010 season. Rivera became the first Big 12 athlete since 2008 to sweep the conference indoor and outdoor championships in the 800-meters last season. Rivera is schedule to compete this week in the 800-meters at the Tyson Invitational. Meanwhile teammate Brendan Devlin clocked an indoor career-best in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 15:05.84, which enters the week at No. 5 on the Big 12 list. Lady Raiders, Sharlene Nickle (3,000-meters) and Madeline Livergood (5,000-meters) also clocked career-best times in Boston.
Lady Raider Shanice Stewart leads the Tech horizontal jumpers entering the week at No. 7 on the national indoor qualifying list. The newcomer, a transfer from San Bernardino Valley (Calif.), went a season-best 6.30-meters (20'-8.00") in the pentathlon at the Masked Rider Open. The mark currently ranks No. 2 in the Big 12 and landed her at No. 4 on the all-time Texas Tech indoor performance list. Last week, Stewart finished third in the long jump with a leap of 6.18-meters (20'-3.50") - a mark that ranks No. 5 at Tech. Stewart is scheduled to compete in the long jump this weekend at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville. Meanwhile, Derreck Edwards enters the week No. 5 in the conference in the triple jump with a season-best leap of 14.69-meters (48'-2.50") while Shujaa Benson sits at No. 6 in the long jump with a season jump of 7.36-meters (24'-1.75").
Texas Tech enters this week as the only school in the nation with two men's high jumpers ranked among the top-10 nationally. Red Raider junior JaCorian Duffield and sophomore Bradley Adkins each boast marks in the top-10 of the national indoor qualifying list - Duffield at No. 4 with a school record jump of 2.23-meters (7'-3.75") and Adkins at No. 6 with a season-best 2.20-meters (7'-2.50"). The pair currently rank 1-2 in the Big 12 in the event. Duffield's jump at the season-opener broke a 30-year-old school record set in 1984. Duffield has cleared at least 7-feet in six of his last seven competitions dating back to the 2013 outdoor season. For the Lady Raiders junior Michaela Palu cleared a career-best bar of 1.73-meters (5'-8.00") marking the best clearance by a Lady Raider this season. She has matched or improved her season-best in four straight meets. In the pole vault, junior Red Raider Kyal Meyers enters the Tyson Invitational with a season-best clearance of 5.10-meters (16'-8.75"). At the 2013 Tyson Invitational, Myers cleared a career-best 5.41-meters (17'-9").
Texas Tech junior Kole Weldon enters this week after a record-breaking performance at the New Mexico Classic. In Albuquerque, Weldon broke school records in both the shot put and the weight throw. Weldon's heave of 19.68-meters (64'-7.00") in the weight throw Friday broke former Red Raider and 2012 Olympian in the discus Jason Young's previous record of 19.23-meters (63'-1") set in 2002. Weldon turned around and broke his own record in the shot put Saturday with a toss of 20.11-meters (65'-11.75") which ranks No. 5 nationally entering this week. Weldon will compete this weekend at the New Mexico Don Kirby Collegiate Elite. He will be joined by teammate Jorge Garcia who threw a career-best 18.28-meters (59'-11.75") at New Mexico last week. For the Lady Raiders Hannah Carson (14.94m/49'-0.25") and J'Cee Pool (12.08m/39'-7.75") each turned in season-bests at the New Mexico Classic.
The Lady Raider 4x400 relay enters the week after clocking a season-best time of 3:34.08 at the New Mexico Classic. The relay, comprised of Christen Rivers, Cierra White, Amoy Blake and Montenae Roye-Speight, moved to No. 7 nationally in the event. The performance marked the third-fastest women's 4x400 performance in school history. The Red Raider 4x400 relay team, comprised of Joseph Richards III, Kyle Collins, Dee Paul and Dwayne Extol, enters the week with a season-best performance of 3:10.14 - clocked at the Masked Rider Open in Lubbock.