NCAA Championships Await Texas Tech|
June 10, 2014
Texas Tech opens competition at the NCAA Outdoor Championships Wednesday in Eugene, Ore.
EUGENE, Ore. - The No. 9 Red Raiders and No. 15 Lady Raiders are set to open competition Wednesday at the NCAA Outdoor Championships on the University of Oregon campus. In all, 12 entrants from the Texas Tech's men's and women's teams will compete throughout the four-day meet featuring the top athletes from across the nation.
"We're very excited for this week," Texas Tech head coach Wes Kittley said. "I'm very confident with the group we qualified, and looking forward to seeing how they perform against some of the best competition in the country."
Kittley - in the midst of one of the strongest seasons in school history - was honored by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Monday as the Mountain Region Men's and Women's Head Coach of the Year. His Red Raiders enter the four-day meet with a streak of four consecutive Top-25 finishes, and are eyeing their third Top-10 finish in program history with a seasoned group of athletes.
The Texas Tech men's team last finished in the Top-10 at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2011 at Drake.
Weldon, who finished third in the shot put at the 2013 NCAA Championships, will also compete in the discus throw scheduled for Friday. The Jacksboro, Texas native was named Monday the Mountain Region Field Athlete of the Year after finishing runner-up in three events and earning High Point Scorer honors at the Big 12 Championships in May. He is making his third career appearance at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Kithuka, the Big 12 Men's Athlete of the Year, swept the 5,000m and 10,000m run at both the Big 12 Championships and NCAA West Preliminaries. He'll run in the 5,000m Friday - an event he won at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships. The Thika, Kenya native enters Eugene with the nation's leading time of 13:26.98 in the 5,000m and No. 2 time in the 10,000m (27:41.73).
Junior Cierra White - a reigning All-American in the 100m, and teammate Hannah Carson will open competition for the Lady Raiders Wednesday in the semifinal of the 100m at 5:45 p.m. (PST). She will be integral in the Lady Raiders' team race after qualifying in each the 100m, 200m and as a leg on the 4x400 relay. Tech's women's 4x400 relay team have qualified for the NCAA Championships in five-straight seasons.
Carson will compete in the women's javelin throw with a scheduled start time of 5:15 p.m. (PST).
Live Results from the NCAA Championships will be provided by Flash Results.
Bradley Adkins - HIGH JUMP
The Idalou, Texas native went on to clear four consecutive bars on first attempt at the NCAA West Preliminaries to qualify for the NCAA Championships - and has gone over 7-feet in six of eight meets this season. Adkins has cleared a season-best 2.21-meters (7'-3") twice this season -at each the Big 12 Championships and the Texas Tech Open. The mark ended the 2014 outdoor season No. 9 in the NCAA.
Adkins finished third at the 2014 Big 12 Indoor Championships clearing 2.23m (7'-3.75"). Texas Tech is one of just two schools (Arkansas) who will be represented by two men's high jumpers at the NCAA Championships.
JaCorian Duffield - HIGH JUMP
With his fifth place finish (tied with teammate Bradley Adkins) at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March, Duffield became the first Red Raider in Texas Tech history to earn multiple All-America honors in the event. He finished seventh at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships where he cleared a then-career-best of 2.20-meters (7'-2.50").
Duffield finished Runner-Up at the 2014 Big 12 Indoor Championships clearing a school record and career indoor best of 2.23m (7'-3.75"). Texas Tech is one of just two schools (Arkansas) who will be represented by two men's high jumpers at the NCAA Championships.Kennedy Kithuka - 5,000M & 10,000M Senior distance runner Kennedy Kithuka enters the NCAA Championships in the midst of a historic 2014 outdoor campaign after qualifying in both the 5,000 and 10,000-meter run. The Thika, Kenya was named Big 12 Performer of the Year after sweeping both races in record fashion at the conference meet in May before going on to win both at the NCAA West Preliminaries. He opened the meet with a Big 12 Championship record of 28:48.04 before winning the 5,000-meter run Sunday with a facility record time of 13:54.46.
Kithuka is unbeaten at 5,000-meters this season while his season-best of 13:26.98 (clocked at the Mt. SAC Relays) leads the NCAA. Meanwhile his 10,000-meter season-best of 27:41.73 (clocked at the Payton Jordan Invite) ranks No. 2 in the NCAA and is No. 16 on the IAAF World Rankings for 2014. Both times are Texas Tech school records.
Kithuka was the 2013 Big 12 Cross Country Champion and went on to finish Runner-Up at the NCAA meet in November. He won the 2013 NCAA Indoor 5,000-meter Championship and the 2012 NCAA Cross Country title. Kithuka is a six-time Big 12 Champion and holds five Texas Tech track and field records.
Kole Weldon - SHOT PUT & DISCUS
Weldon enters the NCAA Championships with a season-best and school record mark of 19.67m (64'-6.50") from a runner-up performance at the Texas Relays in March. The throw ranks No. 13 nationally entering the meet. Meanwhile, his season-best of 62.05m (203'-7") in the discus ranks No. 10 nationally.
Hannah Carson - JAVELIN
Carson enters Historic Hayward Field in Eugene boasting the nation's No. 10 throw with a season-best mark of 54.03 (177-feet 3 inches), which she recorded at the Texas Relays in March. With a top-8 finish this week, Carson would become the first female All-American in the event in school history. Carson finished third at the Big 12 Championships and also earned All-Big 12 honors in the discus throw - an event she also qualified for the NCAA West Preliminaries in. Carson has won six of her eight competitions this season in the javelin - and has four throws over the 170-feet barrier.
Le'Tristan Pledger - 100H
Shanice Stewart - HEPTATHLON
Stewart's 5,574 points at the Big 12 Championships were just 100 off the school record - set by Nwokey in 2012 - and second most all-time at Tech. The performance ended the regular season No. 5 on the NCAA Division I descending order list. Stewart had a career-showing at the Big 12 Championships with personal-bests in each the shot put, high jump, 100-meter hurdles and 800-meter run.
Cierra White - 100M, 200M & 4X400 RELAY
White qualified for the NCAA meet in three events for the second consecutive season after also earning All-America Second Team honors in the 200m at the NCAA Outdoor Championships last year. White enters the NCAA meet with a season-best of 11.12 in the 100-meters - she went 11.09 with a 4.8 tailwind at the Red Raider Open (May 3). Meanwhile, she has gone a season-best of 23.00 in the 200-meters while clocking a wind assisted 22.61 (4.3 tailwind) in the finals of the Big 12 Championships.
WOMEN'S 4x400 RELAY
The Lady Raiders qualified for the NCAA meet without the services of Rivers, but anticipate her return from injury in Eugene. The squad, which won the Big 12 Indoor Championship in March, finished Runner-Up at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships with a season-best time 3:32.69 - also without Rivers. The time not only marked a season-best, but ranks No. 10 all-time at Texas Tech.
Rivers, White, Blake and Tarver return from the 2013 squad that qualified for the NCAA Championships and clocked a season-best of 3:33.52. Sophomore Tiffany Tarver, the Lady Raiders' alternate, ran in place of Rivers at both the conference and West Preliminary meet.
The Lady Raider 4x400 relay most recently earned All-America First Team honors in 2010 and finished 10th in Eugene last year.