Tech Cross Country to Compete at Pre-National Meet

Texas Tech is set for competition at the NCAA Pre-National Invitational on Saturday.

Oct. 17, 2013

LUBBOCK, Texas - The Texas Tech cross country program continues its season Saturday as the Red Raiders and Lady Raiders compete at the NCAA Pre-National Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind.

The highly-competitive meet hosted by Indiana State will be held at the very course set to host the NCAA Championships in November. Saturday's meet will feature nearly 180 men's and women's teams from across the country.

"We're excited for what should be a great meet," Texas Tech head coach Jon Murray said. "There are a lot of regionally and nationally ranked teams, so it's going to be a great chance to see what each side of our program can do against great competition."

The Red Raiders will compete in an 8,000-meter race, while the Lady Raiders will compete in a 6,000-meter race for the first time this season. The meet begins at 11 a.m. with the men's blue race.

Live results from the meet can be found by visiting www.branchsportstech.com.

Saturday's premier men's competition features 16 of the top-100 finishers from the 2012 NCAA Championships including five All-Americans.

The Red Raiders and Lady Raiders enter the meet fresh off an impressive showing at the Arkansas Chile Pepper Festival Oct. 5 in Fayetteville. Senior Kennedy Kithuka of the Red Raiders enters the competition unblemished in his Texas Tech career and will look for his 12th-straight victory in cross country dating back to his 2012 debut.

Kithuka, who won the 2012 NCAA Championship, will look to become just the third athlete since 2004  to capture the NCAA Pre-Nationals title on the heels of a NCAA Championship victory in the previous season.

Kithuka has been named the Big 12 Athlete of the Week three times in 2013 and was tabbed as the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association National Athlete of the Week on Sept. 30 after a dominant showing at the OSU Cowboy Jamboree.

The Lady Raiders enter the meet led by newcomer Sharlene Nickle who has paced the squad in each of the previous three meets - most recently finishing 17th overall at the Arkansas Chile Pepper festival with a time of 17:47.6 in the 5,000-meter race.

 Saturday's meet marks the final competition for both the Red Raiders and Lady Raiders before the Big 12 Championship meet set for Nov. 2 in Waco. 




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