Stellar Sophomore's Journey into Tech Record Books

Cierra White's strong finish in 2012 boosted her towards a record-breaking sophomore season.

May 3, 2013

by Kayla Curry
Texas Tech Athletics Communications

LUIBBOCK, Texas -The Fuller track was lit by the Thursday night lights last week during the annual Red Raider Open. The tall lights shined brightly on Texas Tech sophomore, Cierra White, as she sprinted her way into joining the top five in the world for 100-meter dash - stomping the school and 27-year old facility record on her way.

As White prepared for the race, the stadium was quiet with the Lubbock wind as the background music to White's soon to be triumphant race. The shot of the start gun cut through the stadium, and anticipation of the crowd soon followed.

"I think my whole mindset this year is just totally different. I'm little older so I have more experience, so I know what I need to do now."

11.09 seconds later, papers were shuffled and excitement filled the press box. Soon after, the announcement that White had set a new school record was broadcast to the fans. White was visibly thrilled as she celebrated with coaches and senior teammate, Katie Grimes.  

"That was really awesome," White said, still out of breath from her record-breaking race. "I actually didn't expect that. So I'm really proud of myself, and I'm just happy I could go out there and do it today."

This season has been a breakout year for White and with the Big 12 Conference meet, regionals and nationals coming up, she is peaking at an optimal time.

White has had a long journey from starting at Tech to now going into the Big 12 Conference meet looking to compete in nationals later in the season.

"She was just a young kid coming from Philadelphia to Lubbock, Texas," head coach Wes Kittley said. "Which you know is just amazing in itself."

Kittley said White had a typical freshman year, her body broke down because of the physical demanding workout schedule but she ended up finishing out the year well.

White was still finding her place during her first season, but she believes she finished the year out strong earning a second team All-American honors in the 200-meter dash.

"I didn't know exactly where I fit in yet," White said. "I kind of made a mark for myself at the end of the season by going to nationals as a freshman."

Kittley believes difference in her strength is why this year has been White's break out year.

"This year you could see a little bit of a difference in her strength," Kittley said. "She paid a little bit more price in the weight room, and is getting stronger, which I think has really been the key for her this year."

White believes that the biggest difference in her performances is her overall mindset and finding her place on the team.

"Last year as a freshman, I was just transitioning from coming from high school and getting to know the competition and learning from experience," White said. "I think my whole mindset this year is just totally different. I'm little older so I have more experience, so I know what I need to do now."

The change in White, whether it is her strength or her mindset, has been obvious with her ranking in the top five in the world for the 100-meter-dash. Kittley has great expectations for White's future running career.

"She's going to be one of the premier sprinters over the next two years," Kittley said. "She's got a great chance of being an All-American and being right in the hunt this time and you're about to see her really start maturing as a runner."

Not only does Kittley have great faith in White, but she also has some big goals in mind for herself, as well.

"I just hope one day I can be a national champion," White said, "and go out there and make it to the Olympics one day - and a world champion, as well."

For now, White is focusing on the Big 12 Conference meet this weekend and hopes to keep her momentum through both regionals and nationals.

"I'm really excited about this weekend," she said. "I can't wait to go out there and see what I can do."





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