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Duffield Takes Down Tech High Jump Record
AUSTIN, Texas - Texas Tech’s string of record-breaking performances at the Texas Relays continued on the final day of competition inside Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin.
This time it was in the high jump as junior JaCorian Duffield took down a 30-year-old record clearing 2.23-meters (7’-3.75”) on his third and final try at the bar. With a smooth approach from the left side, Duffield planted, flew over the bar and finished the jump off with an emphatic celebratory fist pump.
“It’s a blessing,” he said. “I’m just glad I got to come out here and be consistent coming off of nationals.”
Duffield overtook Roland Mitchell’s previous school record mark of 2.22-meters (7’-3”) set in 1984.
The only two-time high jump All-American in program history, Duffield is coming off a fifth place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships and now owns both the Texas Tech indoor and outdoor school records in the event.
“It’s an outstanding mark for the early outdoor season,” assistant coach James Thomas said. “The school record is fantastic. It’s fun seeing history being made by a group of people you see work hard every day. It’s a product of how hard they compete.”
The performance marked the third school record to fall in three days of competition at the annual Texas Relays. Also making history was junior Kole Weldon who took down a five-year-old school record in the shot put and Lady Raider Hannah Carson who bested her previous school record in the javelin. Both performances came on Friday.
“It’s still early and I felt like we had a lot of good things happen,” Texas Tech head coach Wes Kittley said. “Three school records this early in the year is really a strong start for our team.”
Earlier on the track, Lady Raider sophomore Le’Tristan Pledger won the women’s invitational section of the 100-meter hurdles with a season-best time of 13.14 seconds in front of a 2.2 meters-per-second tailwind.
Pledger, the current Big 12 Athlete of the Week, entered the week leading the nation with a time of 13.15 seconds, which ranked as the No. 3 time in school history. Her time Saturday ranks as the No. 6 wind aided time in school history.
Moments later, junior Cierra White turned in a fifth place finish in the finals of the 100-meter dash crossing the finish line in a season-best time of 11.30 seconds. White enters the 2014 outdoor season as the reigning Big 12 Champion in the 100-meter dash.
The Lady Raider 4x400 relay team, comprised of Montenae Roye-Speight, Christen Rivers, Amoy Blake and Cierra White, wrapped up events on the track with a time of 3:32.86 to finish fifth in the women’s race. The time ranked No. 9 in school history for the 1,600-meter relay.
Meanwhile, junior Red Raider Kole Weldon wrapped up the field events with a season-best throw of 59.31-meters (194’-7”) in the discus to finish seventh.
Earlier Saturday in the women’s discus university ‘B’ section, Hannah Carson finished fourth with a throw of 49.63-meters (162’-10”) on her final attempt. Teammate Adrienne Long followed in 12th with a best throw of 45.40-meters (148’-11”).
Carson, on Friday, broke her own school record in the javelin for the second time in as many weeks with a throw of 54.03-meters (177’-3”). It marked the second time in her career to break her own school record in the event at the Texas Relays.
Texas Tech now returns to Lubbock for its first home outdoor meet of the 2014 season. The No. 14 Red Raiders and No. 16 Lady Raiders will compete April 5 at the Terry and Linda Fuller Track and Field Complex.