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Tech Set For Competition at NCAA Outdoor Championships


Texas Tech opens competition at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene Wednesday.

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June 4, 2013

LUBBOCK, Texas - The No. 17 Lady Raiders and Red Raiders are set to compete this week at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships at Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

The four-day meet begins Wednesday and continues through Saturday with Tech qualifying nine separate athletes and two relay squads for competition alongside the best athletes in the nation. The contingent is highlighted by three Tech athletes who qualified in multiple events.

"We're excited," head coach Wes Kittley said. "It's always good to be competing at this time of the year, and I'm excited for the group of athletes that we are sending."

The Lady Raiders qualified athletes six separate events along with both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays. Cierra White and Le'Tristan Pledger qualified in multiple events with White qualifying in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash and as a member of both relays.

The Big 12 Champion in the 100-meter dash, White is just one of three Lady Raiders since 2000 to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in both the 100m and 200m in the same season.

Meanwhile, sophomore Red Raider Kole Weldon is the first athlete in over 14 years to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in both the shot put and discus in the same season. Weldon is making his second consecutive trip to the outdoor national championships after qualifying in the discus as a freshman last year.

ESPN will provide live broadcast coverage of the meet with ESPN3 broadcasting Thursday's events and ESPNU continuing coverage on Friday and Saturday. The University of Oregon and PAC 12 Conference will provide streaming coverage on Wednesday.


EVENT BREAKDOWN

SPRINTS
Texas Tech sophomore Cierra White will highlight the Texas Tech sprinters in Eugene. The Big 12 100-meter Champion is the third Lady Raider since 2000 to qualify for the NCAA Championships in both the 100m and 200m in the same year. She also qualified as a member of both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays. White has posted a season-best 11.12 (converted from 11.09 for altitude) in the 100m and a season best 22.89 in the 200m - both school records. She ended the 2013 regular season No. 4 nationally in the 100m and No. 9 in the 200m. White owns the top-3 times in school history in both the 100m and 200m. She is the only female athlete in school history to break the 23-second barrier in the 200-meter dash in wind legal fashion and has done so three times this season.

Sophomore Lady Raider Christen Rivers will make her debut at the NCAA Outdoor Championships qualifying in the 400-meter dash and as the opening leg on the 4x400 relay. Rivers recorded a career best 53.35 at the NCAA West Preliminaries to earn the 12th and final qualifying spot. Rivers earned All-America honors as a leg on the 2013 Lady Raider Indoor 4x400 squad.

HURDLES
Lady Raider senior Katie Grimes makes her return to the NCAA Championship meet looking to earn All-America First Team honors and cap off a stellar Texas Tech career. Grimes owns the top-6 wind legal times in school history, and broke the school record at the NCAA West Preliminaries with a season-best 13.10 in the 100-meter hurdles. Grimes finished runner-up at the Big 12 Indoor and Outdoor Championships this year after earning All-America Second Team honors in 2012.

Grimes will be joined by teammate Le'Tristan Pledger in the 100mH who enters with a season-best of 13.21 in the event. Pledger also qualified in the long jump and finished third at the Big 12 Championships in the hurdles.

LONG JUMP
Texas Tech freshman Le'Tristan Pledger qualified for the NCAA Championships on the heels of a stellar freshman season in the long jump. Pledger will look to become the first Lady Raider to earn All-American honors in the long jump since Sabrina Taylor in 2006. Pledger went a season-best 6.37-meters (20'-10.75") at the NCAA West Preliminaries to finish fourth overall in the competition - the second longest leap in school history. The Kansas City native has recorded four jumps over 20-feet this season. She finished 10th in the qualifying round of the 2012 IAAF World Championships in the long jump going 6.08m (19'-7.55").

HIGH JUMP
For the first time in over 14 years, Texas Tech is sending two Red Raider high jumpers to the NCAA Outdoor Championships after both sophomore Jacorian Duffield and freshman Bradley Adkins qualified in the event. Duffield making his return to the NCAA Outdoor Championships where he finished 17th clearing 2.15-meters (7'-0.50"). Both Duffield and Adkins cleared 2.16m (7'-1.00") at the NCAA West Preliminaries. Duffield finished runner-up at the Big 12 Championships and Adkins followed in third - both cleared 2.17m (7'-1.50").

THROWS
Sophomore Red Raider Kole Weldon and freshman Lady Raider Hannah Carson will highlight the Texas Tech throwers in Eugene. Weldon in making his second consecutive trip to the NCAA meet after qualifying in the discus in 2012. He becomes the first Red Raider in over 14 years to qualify for the outdoor national meet in both the shot put and discus after finishing runner up in the shot put at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March. Weldon has gone 19.43-meters (63'-9.00") in the shot put - the second longest throw in the country this season.

Meanwhile, Carson will look to cap off her sensational freshman campaign with All-American honors in the javelin. The Chandler, Ariz. native broke her own school record with a season-best throw of 52.16m (171'-1") at the Texas Relays.

RELAYS
For the fourth consecutive year the Lady Raiders will be represented by both its 4x100 and 4x400 relays at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The 4x400 went a season-best 3:33.25 at the Mt. SAC Relays marking the No. 17 time nationally to end the regular season. Meanwhile the 4x100 went a season-best 44.45 at the Texas Tech Open.


 

 

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