Tech Qualifies 26 Athletes, Four Relays for NCAA Regional
Texas Tech qualified 26 athletes and four relay teams for the NCAA West Preliminaries May 24-26 in Austin.
May 17, 2012
LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech officially qualified 26 athletes and four relay squads for the NCAA West Preliminary meet as the complete field was announced Thursday afternoon. Tech will send 12 men and 14 women to Austin for the NCAA first round meet set to be held May 24-26 at Mike A. Meyers Stadium in Austin, Texas.
The top 12 finishers in each event, along with the top 12 relay teams, will advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa on June 6-9.
"It's going to be a great meet. I feel very good about where we are in heading into it," head coach Wes Kittley said. "We are trying to focus on putting our athletes in the best events to get them into the national meet. We are just focusing on advancing as many into the next round as possible, and it is a very strong field."
Texas Tech qualified both the men's and women's 4x100 and 4x400 relays - each of which are ranked in the top-10 of the West Region.
"We plan on getting both of those relay teams to nationals," Kittley said. "They have been good relays all year long."
The men's 4x100 relay team, which ran a time of 39.23 at the Texas Relays in March, ranks No. 4 among the squads scheduled to compete. Meanwhile, the Lady Raider 4x100 relay team, which ran a season-best time of 43.65 at the Red Raider Open on May 5, ranks No. 3 among declared relays.
Texas Tech will send seven athletes to Austin who rank among the top-five in the region.
Tech senior Gil Roberts enters the meet ranked No. 1 nationally in the men's 400 meter dash. Roberts, who won gold in the event at the U.S. Indoor Championships, ran a season-best time of 45.04 on May 5 at the Red Raider Open meet.
Junior Shade Weygandt enters the meet ranked No. 2 in the women' s pole vault. The 2010 Outdoor All-American and Big 12 Champion cleared a personal-best height of 4.50 meters (14'-9.00") at the Red Raider Open on May 5.
Seniors Jamele Mason and Shane Brathwaite will represent the Red Raiders in the hurdle events. Mason enters the meet ranked No. 4 in the region in the men's 400 meter hurdles, while teammate Brathwaite ranks No. 3 in the 110 meter hurdles. Both are coming off of All-American outdoor seasons in 2011.
Katie Grimes will represent the Lady Raiders in the women's hurdles. The junior ranks No. 4 in the West Region after running a time of 13.00 and finishing second at the Big 12 Championships last weekend in the 100 meter hurdles.
Four-time All-American Bryce Lamb enters the meet ranked No. 4 in the region in the men's long jump with a season-best mark of 7.94 meters (26'-0.75") which he recorded at the Texas Relays in March. Lamb earned first-team All-American honors last year in the long jump as well as during the 2012 indoor season.
Sophomore thrower Kole Weldon qualified in two events. Weldon enters the meet ranked No. 4 regionally in the discus and No. 18 in the shot put. Weldon has a season best mark of 59.92 meters (196'-7") in the discus which he recorded at the Texas Tech Open on April 14.
Rose Tanui also qualified in two events. The senior will run in both the 5,000 meter run and the 10,000 meter run. She is coming off of a second place finish at the Big 12 Championships in the 5,000 meter run where she ran a personal-best time of 16:03.42. Tanui earned All-American honors in cross country during the fall.
Action is set to begin at Mike A. Meyers Stadium in Austin on May 24.