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Tech Primed For Big 12 Indoor Championships
 


Texas Tech is primed for the 2014 Big 12 Indoor Championships which begin Friday.

Feb. 27, 2014

LUBBOCK, Texas - The Texas Tech track and field program is primed to open competition Friday at the 2014 Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championships inside the Lied Recreation Center on the Iowa State Campus.

Events at the conference championship meet begin at 10 a.m. Friday with the start of the women's pentathlon. The two-day meet continues through Saturday, and will be streamed live by the Big 12 Digital Network. Live results can be found by visiting DeltaTiming.com.

"We're excited for the conference meet," Texas Tech head coach Wes Kittley, who is in his 15th season, said. "We feel like both our men's and women's teams are in great shape and competing at their best late in the season."

Running events and field events at the Lied Recreation Center begin at 3 p.m. Friday.

Texas Tech enters the Big 12 Indoor Championships with its women's team ranked No. 12 nationally by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association computer rankings released Tuesday.  The Red Raiders, meanwhile, are ranked No. 22 in the USTFCCCA computer ranking.

Tech is one of just two Big 12 programs to have both its men's and women's teams ranked in the top-25 of the national rankings.

The Red Raiders and Lady Raiders both return eight athletes who earned All-Big 12 honors at the 2013 indoor conference championships.

EVENT PREVIEWS

SPRINTS

Lady Raider All-American Cierra White will look to pace Texas Tech at the Big 12 Indoor Championships. White, who finished fifth in both the 60-meters and 200-meters at the 2013 Big 12 Indoor Championships, enters the meet No. 1 in the conference in the 200-meters and No. 2 in the 60-meters. The Philadelphia native also runs a leg on the 4x400 relay team which enters the meet No. 2 in the conference. White's season-best of 23.43 in the 200-meter dash broke a school record. The Red Raiders enter the Big 12 Indoor Championships led by sophomore Joseph Richards III who finished fifth at the 2013 meet in the 400-meters. Richards III enters the weekend No. 4 in the 400-meters after recording a collegiate-best time of 47.01 at the Alex Wilson Invitational at Notre Dame last weekend. He also runs the opening leg of the Red Raider 4x400 relay which enters the meet No. 3 in the conference with a season-best time of 3:10.58 (converted). Meanwhile, newcomer Trevor Mackey enters the meet No. 8 in the 200-meters with a season-best time of 21.30.

HURDLES

Lady Raider sophomore Le'Tristan Pledger enters the meet leading the pack of Tech hurdlers as she boasts the No. 2 time in the conference in the 60-meter hurdles with a collegiate-best and school record time of 8.09 (converted) - which she clocked at the New Mexico Classic. She's followed by teammate Shanice Stewart, who will compete in the pentathlon Friday, and enters with a season-best time of 8.51 seconds - good for No. 7 in the Big 12. Meanwhile, junior Red Raider Shujaa Benson, who finished fourth at the 2013 Big 12 Outdoor Championships in the 100-meter hurdles, enters this weekend ranked No. 2 in the conference with a season-best time of 7.80 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles. Teammate Tramaine Maloney will look to earn his second consecutive All-Conference honor as he enters ranked No. 8 in the conference with a season-best of 8.04 - he finished seventh at the 2013 meet.

DISTANCE

Texas Tech had a dominant showing in the distance events at the 2013 Big 12 Indoor Championships led by senior Kennedy Kithuka's conference titles in both the 3,000-meters and the 5,000-meters. Meanwhile, freshman Nick Rivera also captured a conference championship in the 800-meters. Kithuka went on to finish his indoor career with a national title in the 5,000-meters in Fayetteville. In 2014, Tech enters the Big 12 meet led by Rivera, now a sophomore, who will compete in the 1,000-meters. He's joined by teammate Ezekiel Kissorio, who is registered in the mile, 3000-meters and on the distance medley relay - he enters the meet ranked No. 5 in the mile run with a season-best time of 4:05.84 clocked at the Tyson Invitational. For the Lady Raiders, Jocelyn Caro is coming of a strong showing in the 5,000-meters at the Tyson Invitational where she clocked an indoor collegiate-best time of 17:04.69, which ranks No. 6 in the conference.

HORIZONTAL JUMPS

Lady Raider Le'Tristan Pledger and Red Raider Shujaa Benson will both lead Texas Tech in the long jump this weekend. Pledger enters the weekend fresh off a collegiate-best jump of 6.32-meters (20'-9.00"), which marked the third-best all-time indoors for a Lady Raider and No. 2 in the Big 12 this year. She'll be joined in the competition by teammate Shanice Stewart who owns the No. 3 jump in the conference currently after going 6.30-meters (20'-8.00") in the pentathlon long jump at the Masked Rider Open in Lubbock - that mark ranks No. 3 in the conference. Meanwhile, Shujaa Benson will look to improve upon his season-best jump of 7.54-meters (24'-9.00") recorded at the Tyson Invitational. That mark enters the meet No. 3 in the conference. Benson went 7.58m (24'-10.50") during the 2013 outdoor season. Red Raider newcomer Derreck Edwards enters the meet No. 5 in the conference in the triple jump with a season-best leap of 14.69-meters (48'-2.5") at the Texas Tech Open.

VERTICAL JUMPS

Texas Tech enters the Big 12 Championships with a talented group of vertical jumpers led by junior JaCorian Duffield and sophomore Bradley Adkins who boast the top-2 marks in the conference in the men's high jump. Duffield went an indoor collegiate-best and school record 2.23-meters (7'-3.75") to open the 2014 season. That clearance currently ranks No. 6 nationally. Meanwhile, Adkins enters the meet with a season-best and collegiate best-clearance of 2.21 (7'-3.00"), good for No. 2 in the conference. Adkins finished third at the 2013 Big 12 Indoor Championships, while Duffield went on to finish runner-up at the outdoor conference meet. The pair both qualified for the outdoor national meet where Duffield earned First Team All-America honors finishing seventh overall. Meanwhile, freshman Dayton Fisher enters the meet ranked No. 6 in the conference with a season-best clearance of 2.11-meters (6'-11"). For the Lady Raiders, junior Michaela Palu will look to earn All-Conference honors for the second consecutive season after finishing seventh at the 2013 Big 12 Outdoor Championships. She enters the meet with season-best and indoor collegiate-best clearance of 1.73-meters (5'-8"), which ranks No. 8 in the conference. Meanwhile, senior Red Raider Kyal Meyers will look to earn his third All-Big 12 Indoor honor as he enters the meet with a season-best clearance of 5.26-meters (17'-3") in the men's pole vault, good for fourth in the conference. He's cleared an indoor collegiate-best of 5.41-meters (17'-9"), and won the 2011 Big 12 Indoor Championship as a freshman. For the Lady Raiders, teammates Haley Cook and Reece Timmons will look to score points as Cook enters No. 5 in the conference with a season-best of 3.90-meters (12'-9"), while Timmons has cleared 3.80 (12'-5.50").

THROWS

Tech junior and 2013 NCAA Indoor Shot Put Runner-Up Kole Weldon enters the conference meet leading the Red Raiders in the throws. Weldon finished runner-up at the 2013 Big 12 Indoor s in the shot put, and went on to become the only Big 12 athlete to earn all-conference honors in each the shot put, discus and hammer throw at the outdoor conference meet. Weldon is Tech's first All-American in the shot put, and enters the 2014 Big 12 Indoor Championships boasting a season-best, and indoor collegiate-best, throw of 20.11-meters (65'-11.75"). The mark ranks No. 2 in the Big 12, No. 5 nationally and No. 26 in the world for the 2014 indoor season. Weldon will also compete in the weight throw, where he ranks No. 2 in the conference with a season-best throw of 19.68-meters (64'-7"). He's followed by teammate Jorge Garcia, who boasts a season-best heave of 18.28-meters (59'-11.75") in the shot put, good for No. 7 in the conference. Lady Raider sophomore Hannah Carson, a national qualifier and school record holder in the javelin, will compete for the Lady Raiders in the shot put. She enters the meet boasting a season-best toss of 14.98-meters (49'-1.75") - good for ninth in the conference.

RELAYS

The Red Raiders and Lady Raiders both enter the 2014 Big 12 Championships with 4x400 relay teams ranked in the top-3 of the conference. The Lady Raider relay, consisting of Amoy Blake, Christen Rivers, Cierra White and Montenae Roye-Speight enter the conference championship with a squad ranked No. 6 nationally and No. 7 in the world for the 2014 indoor season with a season-best time of 3:34.08. The squad consists of three legs that finished seventh at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships. Meanwhile, the Red Raiders enter the conference championships boasting a season-best time of 3:10.14 - good for No. 3 in the Big 12. The squad consists Joseph Richards III, Kyle Collins, Dee Paul and Dwayne Extol.

COMBINED EVENTS

The Lady Raiders will have a crop of four athletes competing in the pentathlon Friday. Newcomer Shanice Stewart will look to lead the group Friday as she enters the Big 12 Indoor Championships No. 12 nationally with a season-best effort of 4,000 points at the Masked Rider Open (1/31). The performance marked the highest point total by a Lady Raider in the pentathlon since 2008, and the fourth-best point total in school history. Joining Stewart will be Natalie Thompson, Kayla Coley and Andi Morgan. Thompson scored a career-best 3,619 points at the 2013 Big 12 Championships in Ames - good for ninth in the competition. At the Masked Rider Open Thompson scored 3,293 points while Coley scored 3,087. Morgan did not finish.
 

 

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