Tech Track Focused for Big 12 Championships

Candace Jackson

Candace Jackson
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May 11, 2011

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

The No. 5 Red Raiders and No. 11 Lady Raiders track and field teams are set for the Big 12 Outdoor Championships being held this year in Norman, Okla., at the John Jacob Track Complex and scheduled to start on Fri., May 13 at 12 p.m.

Tech has Bryce Brown looking to defend his title in the 400M hurdles. Brown leads the Big 12 and NCAA with his time of 49.25. He was the fourth Red Raider to win the 400M hurdle title and allowed Tech to continue of streak of winning either the 400M hurdles or 110M hurdles Big 12 Championship every year since 2004.

Tech has others with the potential to win a Big 12 title this weekend. Omo Osaghae's 13.22 is the fastest time in the Big 12 and No. 2 in the NCAA. He won the 110M hurdle title in 2009.

Julian Wruck is also a legitimate threat to win a Big 12 title. He leads the Big 12 and NCAA with a throw of 203'-00 (61.88M). He placed second last season to Kansas' Mason Finley.

The Lady Raiders has a threat in Caroline Jepleting. The junior is ranked No. 2 in 800M and No. 3 in the 1500M among Big 12 competitors.

Sophomore Candace Jackson will contend in both the 200M and 400M. Jackson is sitting at No. 2 in the Big 12 in both events.

The Red Raiders are the second-highest team ranked in the Big 12 while the Lady Raiders are the fifth highest on the women's side. Last season the men finished in fourth at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships. The women placed fifth in a tough field.

The Big 12 Outdoor Championships will begin on Fri., May 13 at 12 p.m. with the multi events. Live results can be followed at www.big12sports.com.

The Red Raiders stayed at No. 5 in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association and the women stayed at No. 11. The men have been as high as No. 3 and the women have been No. 9.

National Descending Order Top 10 List
Candace Jackson, 8th, 200M
Gil Roberts, 4th, 400M
Candace Jackson, 9th, 400M
Omo Osaghae, 2nd, 110M H
Bryce Brown, 1st, 400M H
Jamele Mason, 3rd, 400M H
Men's 4x400M, 5th
Shade Weygandt, 2nd, Pole Vault
Bryce Lamb, 3rd, Long Jump
Julian Wruck, 1st, Discus

Hurdle Crew
The Texas Tech hurdle crew has had success at the Big 12 Championships over the years. The men have put on an impressive streak at the Big 12 Championships. Tech has won either the 110M hurdles or 400M hurdles every year since 2004. Bryan Scott won 400M hurdle titles in 04, 05 and 07 and Bryce Brown won last year's. Three separate Red Raiders have won five 110M hurdle titles since 2004. Marlon Odom won three-straight from 2005-2007 while Shawon Harris (2008) and Omo Osaghae (2009) won the other two. The women had Sandra Iwunze win back-to-back 400M hurdle titles in 2008 and 2009.

Penn Relays Outstanding Male Collegian
Omo Osasghae's senior season keeps getting better with ever meet. The senior was named the Penn Relays College Men's Athlete of the Meet for Individual Events. He won the 110M hurdles with a 13.35, the second-fastest time ever run at the relays.

Bowerman Watch List
Osaghae has started off his senior season with his best marks of his career and kept getting faster. Most recently, Osaghae has won the 110M hurdle titles at the Penn and Mt. SAC Relays. But, it was at the Texas Tech Open where he would run a collegiate-leading 13.18 (altitude). Osaghae has won six hurdle titles this season. Additionally, Texas Tech claimed the title in the shuttle hurdle relay at the Penn Relays in a time of 54.67 with Osaghae as the leadoff man. The time moves Texas Tech to No. 4 all-time in the event. The Bowerman Award is collegiate track and field's equivalent to the Heisman Trophy, and is awarded to the top male and top female athlete in the country each season.

Wruck Leads Nation
Julian Wruck has been leading the NCAA in the discus since his first meet at the TCU Invite. He threw 197'-2" (60.10M). He pushed his nation best mark to 203'-0" (61.88M) and is the only individual in the NCAA to throw over 200 feet more than once this season.

Texas Relays Champion
Bryce Brown won the men's 400M hurdle title at the Texas Relays. It marks the first time a Red Raider had won the event since 1982.

Super Sophomore
Candace Jackson has a successful freshman season being named All-American in both the 4x100M and 4x400M relays. This season she is surpassing expectations as she is ranked in the top 10 in the NCAA in both the 200M and 400M. Her 200M time of 22.96 is No. 8 while she is No. 10 in the 400M with a 52.71.

Vaulting High
Sophomore Shade Weygandt has rewrote the Tech record books in the women's pole vault. Last season she broke the school record numerous times. This season she has set the school record at a rather lofty standard. Weygandt cleared 14'-7.25" (4.45) at the Texas Relays. It improves her previous best by five inches.

Combo Throwers
Ifeatu Okafor and Kelly Closse are both ranked in the top 25 in both the shot put and discus. Okafor is 11th in the shot put with a personal best of 55'-8.50" (16.98M) and Closse is ranked No. 14 with a personal best of 54'-5.50" (16.60M). In the discus, Okafor sits No. 15 with a 176'-5" (53.77M) and Closse is No. 21 throwing 173'-7" (52.92M).

School Records Broke
Tech has had six school records set so far this season. The men have seen the 110M hurdles, 400M hurdles and shuttle hurdle relay all broke. The women have reset the 100M hurdles, pole vault and 4x800M relay.

Last Year's Big 12 Championships
The Red Raiders scored 77 points to place fourth while the Lady Raiders were fifth with 81.50 points.

Returning All-Americans
The Texas Tech track team will have 16 student-athletes returning from last season that earned All-America honors. A total of 26 honors were gained by those 16 student-athletes.

Family Connections
Texas Tech has some unique family connections in the track and field family. The Lady Raiders have two sets of twins on the team with Caroline and Winrose Karunde and Terra and Taylor Evans. The Karunde are both transfers to the program with Caroline from Wayland Baptist and Winrose from ACU. Terra has been here from the start of her collegiate career while her sister Taylor transferred from LSU this past summer.

Hurdle All-Americans
The Red Raiders have had an All-American hurdler every year since 2005. The streak began with Marlon Odom in 2005 in the 110M hurdles. Odom earned All-America honors in the 110M hurdles in 2006 and 2007 while also earning the honor in the 60M hurdles in 2007. Other names such as Bryan Scott, All-American in the 400M hurdles in 2006 and 2007, and Shawon Harris, All-American in 2006 in the 60M hurdles and 600M hurdles, have kept the streak alive. Harris was also named an All-American in the 110M hurdles and 60M hurdles in 2008. Omo Osaghae continued the streak for Tech in the 110M hurdles in 2008 and then the 60M hurdles in 2009. Osaghae recently was named All-American in the 60M hurdles making it five years in a row that Tech has had an All-American hurdler. Bryce Brown and Jamele Mason continued the streak earned All-America status in the 400M hurdles.

13 NCAA Individual Champions
Tech has compiled 13 NCAA Individual Champions in its program history. The most recent was from D'Andra Carter as she won the 2009 NCAA Discus title in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It was the first field event national title in program history and the 12th title on the female side.




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