Tech Opens 2013 Outdoor Season in San Diego
Texas Tech opens the 2013 outdoor season Friday at the 35th Annual Aztec Invitational.
March 15, 2013
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The Texas Tech track and field team opens the 2013 outdoor season Friday competing at the 35th Annual Aztec Invitational in San Diego, Calif. The two-day meet begins Friday and continues all day Saturday at the Sports Deck on the San Diego State University campus.
The Red Raiders and Lady Raiders are coming off a banner indoor season in which eight student-athletes earned All-America First Team honors and two were crowned national champions. The Red Raiders ended the season with a fifth place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships - the best finish at the national meet in school history.
Tech returns five athletes who earned All-America honors during the 2012 outdoor season.
Senior Candace Jackson will lead a pack of Lady Raider sprinters in 2013. The nine-time All-American enters the 2013 outdoor season after anchoring the women’s indoor 4x400 relay team to a record-breaking indoor season in which she helped the squad to break a nine-year-old school record. Meanwhile, sophomore Cierra White will look to build upon her impressive freshman campaign that saw her earn All-America Second Team honors in the 200-meter dash. Texas Tech senior Isaiah Gill will lead a pack of Red Raider sprinters in 2013 – Gill finished eighth at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships last season in the 400-meter dash with a time of 47.54.
Senior Katie Grimes will lead a pack of Texas Tech hurdlers during the 2013 outdoor season. Grimes is fresh off a senior indoor campaign where she earned All-America First Team honors finishing seventh at the national meet. Grimes has re-written the Texas Tech record book owning the school records in each the 55-meter, 60-meter and 100-meter hurdles. Grimes earned All-America Second Team honors during the 2012 season and will look to cap off her career with a top-8 finish in 2013. The Red Raiders will be led by newcomer Tramaine Maloney in the sprint hurdles as the cousin of former Red Raider great and 2012 Olympian Shane Brathwaite recorded a season-best time of 8.10 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles during the 2013 indoor season.
The Texas Tech distance crew will be anchored by Kenyan native Ezekiel Kissorio and Nick Rivera. Rivera is coming off a 2013 indoor campaign in which he won the Big 12 800-meter Championship as a freshman. Meanwhile, Kissorio will look to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 3,000-meter steeplechase after coming up just short last season as the NCAA West Preliminaries.
Texas Tech senior and 2013 NCAA indoor triple jump champion Bryce Lamb along with sophomore Avril McGhee will highlight the horizontal jumps for the Red Raiders and Lady Raiders. Lamb broke his own school record in the triple jump to win the national title during the 2013 indoor season with a mark of 16.96-meters (55’-7.75”). Meanwhile McGhee recorded a mark of 12.55-meters (41’-2.25”) to finish as the Big 12 runner up at the conference indoor meet. The mark was the second longest in school history. McGhee finished fourth at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships last year. Meanwhile, freshman Le’Tristan Pledger finished the indoor season with a season-best mark of 6.13-meters (20’-1.50”) in the long jump. Pledger finished 10th in the qualifying round of the World Junior Championships last summer.
Texas Tech enters the 2013 outdoor season deep with young talent in the high jump. Sophomore Jacorian Duffield and freshman Bradley Adkins will lead a pack of Red Raiders while sophomore Michaela Palu will highlight the Lady Raider high jumpers. Adkins turned in the best performance by a Red Raider at the Big 12 Indoor Championships in over a decade as the Idalou native finished third with a clearance of 2.13-meters (6’-11.75”). Adkins has cleared a career-best of 2.14-meters (7’-0.25”), while Duffield has cleared a personal-best height of 2.20-meters (7’-2.50”) outdoors and advanced to the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships as a freshman. Palu finished 12th at the 2012 Big 12 Outdoor Championships and has cleared a personal-best of 1.71-meters (5’-7.25”) outdoors.
Junior Kyal Meyers leads the group of Texas Tech pole vaulters into the 2013 outdoor season. Meyers, a two-time All-American, finished 10th at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships and has cleared a personal-best of 5.41-meters (17’-9.00”) outdoors during his decorated career. A pair of talented freshman in Shelby Poncik and Haley Cook will look to anchor the women’s vaulters. Poncik cleared a season-best 3.90-meters (12’-9.50”) during the 2013 indoor season, while Cook cleared a season-best 3.70-meters (12’-1.50”).
Sophomore Kole Weldon will lead the pack of Texas Tech throwers during the 2013 outdoor season. Weldon, the 2013 NCAA Indoor Shot Put Runner Up, advanced to the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships as a freshman in the discus throw. Weldon recorded a season-best of 59.92-meters (196’-7.00”) in the discus last season. The Jacksboro, Texas native broke the school record in the shot put during the indoor season and owns each of the top-five marks in school history in the event.
The Lady Raider 4x400 relay team enters the 2013 outdoor season after becoming the first women’s mile relay in school history to earn All-America First Team honors in back-to-back indoor seasons. The squad will now look to build off a 2012 outdoor season that saw it earn second team honors after finishing 11th at the national meet last year. The men’s 4x100 relay earned All-America Seond Team honors during the 2012 outdoor seaosn.