No. 6 Red Raiders, Lady Raiders Set For Big 12 Championships|
May 15, 2014
LUBBOCK, Texas - The Big 12 Track and Field Championships return to Lubbock this weekend as the No. 6 Red Raiders and Lady Raiders host the conference championships for the second time in the last five seasons.
Events at the Terry and Linda Fuller Track and Field Complex are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Friday with the start of the men's decathlon and women's heptathlon competitions along with throwing events at the Texas Tech throws facility. Ticket prices are set at $10 for adults and $5 for youth for single day passes.
"We're very excited to host the Big 12 meet at our home track," said Texas Tech head coach Wes Kittley who is currently in his 15th season. "We're looking to put on a great meet for our fans, and I'm looking for some great performances out of both our men's and women's teams this weekend."
The No. 6 Red Raiders enter the weekend on the heels of perhaps their strongest meet of the season at the May 3 Red Raider Open. The squad has appeared in the top-10 of the national rankings in six consecutive weeks, and will look to chase down its second Big 12 team title in program history.
The Tech men finished third at the 2013 Big 12 Championships with 117.5 points, the most scored by the Red Raiders since winning the conference in 2005 with 149.5. <
Alongside Tech, three Big 12 men's programs enter the meet in the top-10 of the national rankings led by Oklahoma State at No. 5 and Texas at No. 10.
Red Raider distance runners Kennedy Kithuka and Evans Tuitoek each boast conference leading marks - Kithuka in the 5,000-meters and Tuitoek in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Meanwhile, JaCorian Duffield leads the conference in the high jump and Kole Weldon in the discus.
The Lady Raiders enter the meet led by junior All-American Cierra White who boasts top-4 times in both the 100-meters and 200-meters. White is the reigning Big 12 100-meter Champion and also runs a leg each the 4x100 and 4x400 relay squads.
In the women's field events, sophomore Gionna Jackson leads the conference in the triple jump with a season-best mark of 12.94-meters (42'-5.50") at the Red Raider Open.
Live results from the meet can be found online at www.DeltaTiming.com, while TexasTech.com will bring provide full coverage throughout the weekend.
Meanwhile, Trevor Mackey enters the meet fresh off a strong performance at the Red Raider Open where he broke a 24-year-old school record in the 200-meter dash with a time of 20.47 - good for No. 3 in the Big 12. He also boasts a Top-5 conference mark in the 100-meter dash with a season-best of 10.21 - the best by a Red Raider since 2005.
Meanwhile, Shujaa Benson boasts the No. 4 time in the conference in the 110-meter hurdles with a season-best of 13.85 (which he has twice recorded), good for No. 4 in the conference. Teammate Tramaine Maloney has clocked a season-best of 14.23, good for No. 6. The Red Raiders are led in the 400-meter hurdles by senior Dwayne Extol with a season-best time of 51.26, currently No. 3 in the Big 12. He's followed by freshman JW Smith at No. 4 (51.45) and Darien Tennon at No. 9 (52.48).
Lady Raider Gionna Jackson enters the Big 12 Championships in the midst of a stellar sophomore campaign and currently leads the Big 12 in the triple jump with a season-best of 12.94-meters (42'-5.50"). Jackson recorded the mark in her most recent competition at the Red Raider Open on May 3. The jump marks the second-best in school history behind All-American Amanda Banks in 1989. Jackson finished sixth in the long jump at the 2013 Big 12 Championships as a freshman. Meanwhile, sophomore Le'Tristan Pledger, who advanced to the 2013 NCAA Championships in the long jump, enters the meet No. 4 in the Big 12 in the event. She finished third at the 2013 Big 12 Championships.
Jerome Wilson will lead the Red Raiders in the Big 12 Championships pacing the squad in both the long jump and triple jump. He owns a season-best 15.18-meters (49'-9.75") in the triple jump, good for No. 3 in the conference. Meanwhile he boasts a season-best of 7.46-meters (24'-5.75") in the long jump - good for No. 5 in the conference. Graduated senior Bryce Lamb became Tech's first-ever men's Big 12 Long Jump Champion in 2013.
The Lady Raiders, meanwhile, will look to pick up a handful of points in the women's pole vault as the trio of Haley Cook, Reece Timmons and Blake Wood enter the meet in the top-5 of the conference rankings. Cook leads the pack with a season-best clearance of 3.93-meters (12'-10.75") at the May 3 Red Raider Open. Meanwhile, Timmons and Wood have both cleared 3.87-meters (12'-8.25") - good for No. 4 in the conference. Senior Red Raider Kyal Meyers will also look for a strong meet as he enters with a season-best of 5.35-meters (17'-6.5") - good for No. 3 in the Big 12. Meyers finished runner-up at the 2013 Big 12 Championships and the 2014 Big 12 Indoors in March.
Meanwhile, sophomore thrower Hannah Carson enters the Big 12 Championships in the midst of a historic campaign. The 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships qualifier recently broke her own Terry and Linda Fuller Track and Field Complex record in the javelin with a throw of 51.57-meters (169'-2") at the May 3 Red Raider Open. She boasts the No. 3 throw in the Big12 with a school record mark of 54.03 (177'-3"), which she recorded at the Texas Relays in March. The top-3 throwers in the Big 12 are separated by less than three-feet. Carson finished runner-up at the 2013 Big 12 Championships in Waco with a throw of 51.02-meters (167'-5.00").RELAYS
The Lady Raider 4x100 relay team is coming off its first race of the season at the May 3 Red Raider Open, and with their time of 44.45, jumped to No. 2 in the conference rankings. The squad was comprised of Cierra White, Amoy Blake, Le'Tristan Pledger and Shanice Stewart. Meanwhile, the Red Raider 4x400 Relay team enters the weekend No. 4 in the conference with a season-best time of 39.93, also clocked at the Red Raider Open. That team consisted of Treyvion Johnson, Dwayne Extol, Joseph Richards III and Trevor Mackey.
The Red Raider 4x400 (Richards III, Extol, Tommy Brinn and Alex Foster) has clocked a season-best of 3:08.63 - good for No. 5 in the Big 12. The Lady Raider 4x400, consisting of Montenae Roye-Speight, Christen Rivers, Blake and White, boasts a season-best of 3:32.86 - good for No. 3 in the conference entering the weekend.
Meanwhile, sophomore Natalie Thompson finished ninth at the Big 12 Indoor Championships in the pentathlon, and will look to earn all-conference honors at the outdoor championships for the first time in her career. Her season-best of 5,008 points at the UTSA Invitational is No. 7 on the current Big 12 performance list.