NCAA Indoor Championships Await Tech
March 11, 2009
LUBBOCK, Texas -
The No. 7 Lady Raiders and No. 12 Red Raiders are sending 10 student-athletes to compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas, starting on Fri., March 13.
The Lady Raiders have a great chance to finish in the top five in the nation. The group is led by eight-time NCAA champion Sally Kipyego. The senior will look to defend her 5,000M title and will also run the mile. She is one title away from tying Suzy Favor for the most NCAA individual titles in NCAA track and field history.
Two-time All-American Patience Knight makes her second-straight trip to the NCAA Indoor Championships. The senior has the third best throw in the nation this season. Ozie Okolie is making her first apperance to the NCAA Indoor Championships as she has the sixth best throw in the weight.
Lillian Badaru, a cross country All-American during the 2008 season, made the 5,000M field with a time of 16:16.33.
The Red Raiders go into the meet looking for its best finish ever. Tech's previous best was 26th back in 2005. Gil Roberts has the second-fastest time in the 400M this season with a 45.08. No male has ever finished better than third at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Anthony Flemons will be pulling double duty. An All-American in the triple jump last season, he looks to repeat the accomplishment. He will also compete in the long jump. Flemons' best jumps have been 53'-00.25" in the triple and 25'-6" in the long.
Omo Osaghae is making his debut at the NCAA Indoor Championships as well. The junior has the third-fastest time in the nation with a 7.72. Osaghae earned All-American honors last spring in the 110M hurdles.
The men's 4x400M relay is making its fifth-straight appearance at the meet. The group of Markus Henderson, Rodney Mims, Brandon Washington and Roberts will try to become the third All-American group in the five-year span.
The NCAA Indoor Championships start on Fri., March 13 with field events at 4 p.m. Live results of the meet can be found at www.aggieathletics.com
Texas Tech sent a small group of student-athletes to the ISU Qualifier for one last chance at qualifying for the NCAA Indoor Championships. The men's 4x400M relay earned the biggest benefit as it ran a 3:07.44 and jumped to 10th on the NCAA descending list. Asia Diaz and Gladys Kipsang both ran NCAA provisional and pesonal-best times. Diaz ran a 2:08.36 and Kipsang recorded a 2:08.39 to place first and second. Darrell Roddick won the triple jump with a NCAA provisional mark of 51'-00.25" but didn't improve on his season best.
The Red Raiders and Lady Raiders continue their stay in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association indoor rankings compiled by Tom Lewis. The men dropped to No. 12. The Red Raiders are the fifth-ranked Big 12 school as seven total are in the top 25. The Lady Raiders jumped up one spot this week. Tech is the second ranked Big 12 school and a total of five schools are ranked in the top 25.
History in the Making
Senior Sally Kipyego is entering her final season as a Lady Raider and has the potential to make history. During the fall, the Kenyan native became the first male or female in Division I history to win three-straight NCAA cross country individual championships. Kipyego has eight NCAA individual titles and could tie Wisconsin's Suzy Favor who has the most female individual titles in track & field and cross country NCAA history with nine.
Sally Kipyego has the opportunity to become the first female to win three-straight 5,000M NCAA Indoor Championships.
Texas Tech has never had more than one person win a NCAA Indoor Championships in school history.
NCAA Indoor Finishes
The men's program had its best finish of 26th in 2005 and the women's best finish has been 10th. The women finished 10th in both 2007 and 2008.
12 Big 12 Titles
When Sally Kipyego crossed the line winning the 3,000M for the third-straight year it gave the senior her 12th individual Big 12 title of her career. No other athlete in any sport has won more individual titles in the Big 12.
Gil Roberts broke his school-record at the Big 12 Championships with a NCAA automatic time of 46.08 in the 400M. Roberts win broke a five-year streak of Baylor wins in the 400M.
Texas Tech extended its dominance in the 60M hurdles last weekend as Omo Osaghae won the program's third-straight Big 12 title. Marlon Odom (2007) and Shawon Harris (2008) started the string of title for Tech.
Program Best Finish
Tech's finished a program best second place at the Big 12 Indoor Championships. The previous best finish for the Lady Raiders was third in 2006 and 2007.
12-Year Old School Record Broke
Tori Smith set a new school record in the 55M hurdles with a time of 7.85. She broke a 12-year old record of 7.89 held by Ami Peters set back in 1997.
Anthony Flemons' jump of 53'-00.75" is the third-best jump in school history and a personal best for the junior.
Adding to the List
Sally Kipyego won the Big 12 Female Athlete of the Week for her performance at the Boston Indoor Games. She set a NCAA and school record running a time of 8:48.77 in the 3,000M.
Another School Record in the Books
Junior Ozie Okolie bested her school record in the weight throw by two feet and provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships with the throw of 66'-3.75".
Big 12 AOW
Sophomore Gil Roberts earned his first Big 12 Athlete of the Week honors for his performance at the Texas Tech Invitational on Jan. 17th. He won the 400M in impressive fashion with a NCAA provisional and personal-best time of 46.59.
School Record Broke
Omo Osaghae broke a year-old school record held by former teammate Shawon Harris on Sat., Jan. 17th. He won the 55M hurdles with a NCAA provisional and personal-best time of 7.17.
Star Studded Returners
Texas Tech has a total of eight All-Americans returning for the 2009 season. The group is highlighted by eight-time NCAA champion Sally Kipyego. Two-time All-American throwers Patience Knight and D'Andra Carter are the other women retuning. The men have Anthony Flemons, Tim Foster, Rodney Mims, Omo Osaghae and Gil Roberts.
Tech has 27 newcomers for the season. The men boast the fifth-best recruiting class in the nation by Track and Field News and the class is highlighted by Markus Henderson, Jamele Mason and Brandon Tucker. The women have a strong group of freshmen and transfers. Lillian Badaru has already made a name for herself as she earned her first All-American honor in cross country last fall.
The Texas Tech track program added a new face as Roy Williams, a former TCU All-American, was hired to coach sprints and relays. Williams spent the last three years at the University of Texas at Arlington as the associate head coach of sprints, relays, jumps and hurdles. He coached an Olympic qualifier in the 200M and 4x100M relay and an All-American in the 110M hurdles during his tenure.
This season marks the 10th year that head coach Wes Kittley has been with the Texas Tech track & field program. Since then his program has had nine NCAA champions and 97 All-American honors.