West Preliminary Awaits No. 9 Red Raiders, No. 11 Lady Raiders
The 2012 NCAA West Preliminaries await the No. 9 Red Raiders and No. 11 Lady Raiders in Austin.
May 22, 2012
LUBBOCK, Texas - The No. 9 Red Raiders and No. 11 Lady Raiders will take their first step towards the finals of NCAA Outdoor Championships as they travel to Austin to compete in the West Preliminary meet this weekend.
Tech qualified 26 athletes and four relay teams for the meet, which acts as the first round and quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships.
Action will begin Thursday at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the University of Texas Campus and continue through Saturday. After three days of competition, the top-12 from each event will qualify for the final rounds of NCAA Championships June 6-9 in Des Moines.
"It's a meet where you can't get to the next level without getting out of this one," head coach Wes Kittley said. "We have to be one of the top-12 and it comes down to this weekend. We just have to go in there and be prepared to come out of it. We know what to expect."
Texas Tech is coming off of two fifth place finishes at the Big 12 Championships two weeks ago, but will enter the West Preliminary with seven athletes ranked in the top-five regionally and 14 athletes ranked among the top-12 in the West Region. Meanwhile, each of Texas Tech's four relay teams rank among the top-10 regionally.
Meanwhile, Shane Brathwaite enters with the third-best time in the region in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 13.43. Brathwaite recorded the time at Mike A. Myers Stadium in March at the Texas Relays. Jamele Mason, who won the 400 meter hurdles at the Penn Relays, enters ranked No. 4 regionally in the event with a season-best mark of 49.60.
Tech Pole Vaulters
Meanwhile, sophomore Kyal Meyers enters the meet ranked No. 9 regionally. Meyers, who won silver at the Big 12 Championships on May 13, cleared a season-best and personal-best mark of 5.41 (17'-9.00") at the Texas Tech Open on April 14. Junior Jeremy Doddridge cleared a season-best and personal-best mark of 5.20 (17'-0.75") at the UTEP Invitational on March 28. The mark ranks No. 31 in the region.
Freshman Killian Barry will make his NCAA Preliminary debut in the hammer throw with a season-best and school record mark of 58.85 (193'-1"). Barry broke the school record with the throw at the LSU Invitational on April 7.
He is joined by triple jumpers Travis Dunn and Avril McGhee. Dunn, a senior, enters ranked No. 34 regionally in the triple jump. Meanwhile, McGhee, a freshman, is coming off of a personal-best mark set at the Big 12 Championships. McGhee recorded a mark of 12.62 (41'- 5.00") to place fourth at the conference championships. The mark ranks No. 28th in the region.
Jacorian Duffield will represent Texas Tech in the high jump this weekend. The breakout freshman enters with a season-best clearance of 2.20 meters (7'-2.50") which he cleared at the Texas Tech Open. The mark ranks him No. 7 in the region and first among freshman. Duffield has cleared two bars over seven-feet this season.
The Red Raiders boast a 4x100 relay team ranked No. 4 regionally and a 4x400 relay team ranked No. 5. The 4x100 team, comprised of Gil Roberts, Markus Henderson, Shane Brathwaite and Isaiah Gill, ran a season-best time of 39.23 at the Texas Relays, while the 4x400 relay team, comprised of Isaiah Gill, Shane Brathwaite, Jamele Mason and Gil Roberts, ran a time of 3:04.13 at the Big 12 Championships.
Tech Distance Runners
Caroline Jepleting, the 2011 Big 12 Cross Country Champion, and Devin Bailey will compete in the 800 meter run. Jepleting ranks No. 8 regionally with a season-best time of 2:05.16, while Bailey ranks No. 14 regionally with a season-best time of 2:06.41.