Texas Tech Primed For Big 12 Championships|
May 2, 2013
LUBBOCK, Texas - The No. 17 Lady Raiders and No. 18 Red Raiders are primed to compete this weekend at the 2013 Big 12 Outdoor Championships. The three-day meet begins Friday at the Hart-Patterson Track in Waco with competition continuing through Sunday.
Texas Tech enters the conference championship fresh off an impressive performance at the April 25 Red Raider Open in which the Red Raiders and Lady Raiders combined for 14 first place finishes. Nine separate athletes and three relays are currently ranked in the top 20 nationally.
"I'm excited for the competition the Big 12 Championships brings," head coach Wes Kittley said. "We have had two good showings in a row now at both the Mt. SAC Relays and our home meet last week. I'm proud of the way our athletes have been competing and hope it continues this weekend."
Texas Tech is just one of two Big 12 programs to enter this weekend with both men's and women's teams in the top 20 of the national rankings.
Texas Tech will look towards a pack of talented hurdlers at the Big 12 Championships all of which have the potential to score points for both the Red Raiders and Lady Raiders. The pack is led by seniors Isaiah Gill and Katie Grimes. Gill enters the weekend No. 6 nationally and No. 2 in the Big 12 with a season-best 50.58 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles. Meanwhile, Grimes enters the meet No. 2 in the conference in the women's 100-meter hurdles with a personal-best 12.99 and a wind-aided (< 4.0 personal best of 12.78 recorded last weekend at Red Raider Open. She's followed by teammate Le'Tristan Pledger at No. 3 in the Big 12 with a season-best 13.35. Newcomer Tramaine Maloney enters the meet No. 3 in the conference in the 110-meter hurdles with a season-best 13.94. DISTANCE
Texas Tech junior Ezekiel Kissorio leads the pack of Texas Tech distance runners entering the Big 12 Championships No. 2 in the conference in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a season-best 8:54.92. Kissorio is also No. 8 in the 1,500-meter run with a season-best 3:43.68 (adjusted for altitude). HORIZONTAL JUMPS
Texas Tech senior and 2013 NCAA Indoor Triple Jump Champion Bryce Lamb enters the Big 12 Championships No. 3 in the event with a season-best leap of 15.89-meters (52'-1.75"). Meanwhile, newcomer Shujaa Benson impressed last week at the Red Raider Open in the long jump where he finished first overall with a season-best 7.58-meters (24'-10.5") to leap to No. 2 in the conference. On the women's side, newcomer Le'Tristan Pledger also recorded a season-best at the Red Raider Open where she jumped 6.24-meters (20'-5.75") - good for No. 5 in the Big 12 entering this weekend. Lady Raider sophomore Avril McGhee enters the conference meet No. 6 in the triple jump with a season-best 12.34-meters (40'-6") which she also posted at the Red Raider Open. McGhee finished fourth at the 2012 Big 12 Outdoor Championships - the highest of any freshman in the conference. HIGH JUMP
Texas Tech's Jacorian Duffield and Bradley Adkins will lead a pack of Texas Tech high jumpers into the Big 12 Championships. Duffield, who finished fifth at the 2012 Big 12 Outdoor Championships as a freshman before advancing to the NCAA Championships, cleared a season-best 7'-1" at the Red Raider Open last week. The jump is No. 2 in the Big 12 entering this weekend while freshman teammate Bradley Adkins enters the meet No. 3 in the conference with a season-best of 6'-11.75". POLE VAULT
Texas Tech junior Kyal Meyers enters the weekend No. 2 in the Big 12 in the men's pole vault with a season-best clearance of 5.36-meters (17'-9.00") at the Texas Relays. Meyers won the 2011 Big 12 Indoor pole vault and was the 2012 Big 12 Outdoor Runner Up. Meanwhile, a pair of Lady Raider freshmen will look to make an impact in Waco. Haley Cook enters the meet No. 6 in the event with a season-best clearance of 3.87 (12'-8.25"), while teammate Shelby Poncik will look to score as well entering the meet No. 10 with a season-best of 3.81-meters (12'-6") - just two inches outside of the top-8 in the conference. THROWS
Texas Tech sophomore Kole Weldon leads the Texas Tech throwers into the Big 12 Championships looking to repeat a stellar 2013 indoor season in which he earned runner-up honors at the NCAA Championships in the men's shot put. The Jacksboro, Texas native enters at No. 2 nationally in the shot put with a season-best toss of 19.43-meters (63'-9"). Meanwhile, he is No. 17 nationally (No. 2 in the Big 12) in the discus after recording a season-best at the April 25 Red Raider Open with a throw of 58.02-meters (190'-4"). Weldon advanced to the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the discus as a freshman. Meanwhile, teammate and Red Raider newcomer Jorge Garcia enters at No. 8 in the conference in the shot put with a season-best 17.36-meters (56'-11.5").