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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.


Tech Hurdlers
Texas Tech has earned the reputation of producing some of the top hurdlers in the nation, and it has continued through the 2012 season. Tech will send three hurdlers to the NCAA West Preliminary, all of which are ranked in the top-five in the region. Katie Grimes leads the pack as the No. 2-ranked hurdler in women's sprint hurdles with a season-best time of 13.00 which she recorded at the Big 12 Championships to earn silver in the finals.

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
Texas Tech enters the NCAA West Preliminaries with three of the top pole vaulters in the region. For the Lady Raiders, junior Shade Weygandt enters the meet ranked No. 2 in the region with a season-best mark of 4.50 (14'-9.00"), a per¬sonal best, which she set at the Red Raider Open on May 5. The mark jumped her into the No. 2 spot nationally where she has remained through this week.

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.

Tech Sprinters
Texas Tech enters the West Preliminary led by three sprinters ranked in the top-10 of the West Region. Senior Gil Roberts will look to lead the Red Raiders this weekend as the five-time All-American ranks No. 1 nationally in the 400m dash with a season -best time of 45.04. Meanwhile, Terra and Taylor Evans lead the Lady Raider sprinters into the West Preliminaries with top-10 marks in the region. Terra Evans enters the meet ranked No. 8 in the region in the 100 meter dash with a season-best time of 11.37. Her sister Taylor ranks No. 9 regionally in the 200 meter dash with a season-best time of 23.23.

Tech Throwers
Texas Tech enters the throwing competition with three athletes, two of which are ranked in the top-10 of the West Region. Junior Ifeatu Okafor leads the way ranked in the top-10 in both the discus and shot put. Okafor ranks No. 7 in both with a season-best mark of 19.98 (55'-8.50") in the shot put and 55.43 (181'-10") in the discus. Meanwhile, sophomore Kole Weldon enters with a season-best mark of 18.10 (59'4.75") in the shot put (18th regionally) and 59.92 (196'-7") in the discus (4th regionally).

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.

Tech Jumpers
Four-time All-American Bryce Lamb will lead a group of three horizontal jumpers into the NCAA West Preliminary this weekend. Lamb enters the meet as the No. 4-ranked long jumper in the region with a season-best mark of 7.94 (26'-0.75") which he recorded at Mike A. Myers Stadium at the Texas Relays in March.

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.

Tech Relays
Texas Tech enters the West Preliminaries with four relays ranked in the top-10 of region. The women's 4x100 relay, which set the school record with a season-best time 43.65 at the Red Raider Open, is comprised of Erica Alexander, Taylor Evans, Candace Jackson and Terra Evans, enters the meet ranked No. 4 in the region. The Lady Raider 4x400 relay team, comprised of Candace Jackson, Erica Alexander, Olivia Lewis and Precious Nwokey, is ranked No. 7 in the region with season-best time of 3:32.36 recorded at Mike A. Myers Stadium in March at the Texas Relays.

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
Senior Rose Tanui leads the Texas Tech distance runners into the West Preliminaries. Tanui will compete in both the 5,000 and 10,000 meter runs. Tanui is coming off of second place finish at the Big 12 Championships where she ran a time of 16:03.42 to earn silver. She ranks No. 10 regionally in the 5,000 meters and No. 8 in the 10,000. She ran a season best time of 33:08.70 in the 10,000 meter at the Stanford Invitational.

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.


 

 

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