Texas Tech Set For NCAA West Preliminaries

May 22, 2013

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LUBBOCK, Texas - The Texas Tech track and field program is set to compete this weekend at the NCAA West Preliminaries in Austin.  

Competition at the three-day meet begins Thursday and continues through Saturday at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the University of Texas campus.  The No. 16 Red Raiders and No. 20 Lady Raiders enter the meet, which serves as the first round of the NCAA Championships, fresh off an impressive performance at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships May 3-5 in Waco.

"We're excited," Texas Tech Head Coach Wes Kittley said. "We have a well-rounded team on both sides and this meet will provide an opportunity for some of our young athletes to step up and perform on the national stage."

A total of 23 student-athletes along with three relay squads qualified and will compete this weekend looking to finish in the top-12 and advance to the finals of the NCAA Championships set for June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore.

Texas Tech is one of just two Big 12 programs with both its men's and women's teams appearing in the top-20 of the national rankings.


Cierra White who enters the 2013 NCAA West Preliminaries looking to continue a stellar season. White has broken both the 100-meter and 200-meter dash records this year and enters the weekend No. 2 in the 100M and No. 5 in the 200M. White is coming off a Big 12 Championship in the 100-meter dash and a runner-up performance in the 200-meter dash. White owns the top-2 times in school history in the 100-meter dash and enters the meet No. 13 in the world in the 100-meter and No. 24 in the 200-meter dash.

Meanwhile, Texas Tech newcomer Joseph Richards III enters the NCAA West Preliminaries looking to qualify for the NCAA Championships in the 400-meter dash as he enters with a season-best 46.60 (adjusted for altitude) in the event 21.

The Red Raiders and Lady Raiders enter the NCAA West Preliminaries deep in the hurdles led by senior and Big 12 Runner-Up Katie Grimes. A Canyon, Texas native, Grimes enters the meet No. 4 in the West Region in the 100-meter hurdles with a season-best 12.99. Meanwhile, newcomer Tramaine Maloney will lead the Red Raiders as he is set to compete in both the 110-meter hurdles and the 400-meter hurdles.
Grimes will be joined by newcomer Le'Tristan Pledger in the 100-meter hurdles as she enters No. 12 in the 100-meter hurdles with a season-best time of 13.23.

Leading the Red Raiders in the 400-meter hurdles will be senior Isaiah Gill who enters the meet No. 9 in the region with a season-best time of 50.58. He'll be joined by teammate Dwayne Extol who enters No. 20 in the region with a season-best of 51.42.

Texas Tech junior Ezekiel Kissorio will represent the Red Raiders in the distance events competing in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Kissorio enters the meet No. 28 in the region with a season-best time of 8:54.92 recorded at the Mt. SAC Relays earlier this year. Kissorio finished 16th in the event at the 2012 NCAA West Preliminaries with a time of 8:58.48.

Meanwhile, Nick Rivera will look to continue his phenomenal freshman campaign in the 800-meter dash after becoming the first Red Raider in school history to sweep indoor and outdoor Big 12 Championships in the event during the same year. He is the first Big 12 athlete to do so since 2008.

A pair of Red Raiders will represent Texas Tech in the high jump this weekend as both sophomore Jacorian Duffield and freshman teammate Bradley Adkins qualified in the event. Duffield is making his second straight trip to the regional meet as he advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championships as a freshman in 2012. Duffield finished runner-up at the Big 12 Championships while Adkins finished third - each cleared a season-best 2.17-meters 7'-1.50".  The clearance ties each Adkins and Duffield for No. 5 all-time at Texas Tech in the event. Duffield cleared 2.20-meters (7'-2.50") at the 2012 NCAA West Preliminaries - the second-highest clearance in school history.

Texas Tech junior Kyal Meyers will look to punch his second straight ticket to the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The 2012 second team All-American has cleared a season-best of 5.36-meters (17'-7.00") and did so inside Mike A. Myers Stadium at the 2012 Texas Relays. Meyers cleared 5.35-meters (17'-6.50") to finish seventh at the 2012 NCAA West Preliminary and qualify for the national meet as a sophomore. Myers has cleared a career-best 5.41-meters (17'-9.00") at the 2012 Texas Tech Open.

Decorated Texas Tech senior Bryce Lamb will look to continue his stellar year in the jumps and enters the 2013 NCAA West Preliminaries fresh of a Big 12 Championship in the long jump. Lamb became the first Big 12 Outdoor Long Jump Champion in school history while his winning leap of 8.03-meters (26'-4.25") is No. 2 in school history and No. 8 in the world (wind aided) and is No. 1 in the West Region. Lamb will also compete in the triple jump as the reigning 2013 NCAA Indoor Campion in the event and enters the meet with an outdoor season-best mark of 16.09-meters (52'-9.50") recorded in a runner-up effort at the Big 12 Championships. 

Lamb will be joined at the meet by sophomore teammate Shujaa Benson in the long jump. Benson has leapt onto the scene and enters the weekend with a season-best mark of 7.58-meters (24'-10.50") at the Red Raider Open. Benson enters No. 22 in the West Region in the long jump.

Texas Tech sophomore Kole Weldon will lead a pack of Red Raider throwers into the NCAA West Preliminaries looking to advance to his second straight NCAA Outdoor Championships meet. Weldon enters as the No. 2 shot putter in the region with a season-best of 19.43-meters (63'-9") and the No. 10 discus thrower with a season-best of 58.02-meters (190'-4"). He will be joined by junior newcomer Jorge Garcia in the shot put who enters No. 38 in the region and freshman Taji Henley in the discus who enters No. 43 in the region.

Freshman Hannah Carson will represent the Lady Raiders in the throws with a top-5 regional mark in the javelin with a school record season-best of 52.16-meters (171'-1"). Carson recorded the mark inside Mike A. Myers Stadium at the 2013 Texas Relays.

Weldon is one of just two athletes in school history to record a throw of over 19-meters in the shot put, and the only athlete to do so multiple times. Weldon owns six of the top-10 marks in school history in the shot put while also holding the top discus mark of the 2013 season for the Red Raiders with a throw of 58.02-meters (190'-4").  Weldon advanced to the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the discus as a freshman.

Texas Tech will send three relays to the NCAA West Preliminaries - the women's 4x100 and 4x400 along with the men's 4x100. The Lady Raiders' 4x100 and 4x400 relays have earned All-America honors in three consecutive outdoor seasons dating back to 2010.  Meanwhile, the men's 4x100 will look to punch its second consecutive trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships.




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