NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Lady Raider sophomore Le’Tristan Pledger once again turned in a historic performance for the Texas Tech track and field program – this time it was in the long jump.
The Kansas City native, who has already broke school records in the 55-meter and 60-meter hurdles this season, won the women’s long jump Saturday at the Alex Wilson Invitational with the best leap by a Lady Raider in more than eight years.
Pledger went 6.32-meters (20-feet 9 inches) on her fifth attempt of the competition, which marked the third-best leap in school history indoors - and secured a first place finish.
“I just expected to go out there and do my best,” Pledger said. “The jump felt very good.”
Tech now boasts the No. 2 and No. 3 women’s long jumpers in the Big 12, as fellow Lay Raider and pentathlete Shanice Stewart holds a season-best leap of 20-feet 8 inches. Pledger, meanwhile, moves to No. 6 on the national indoor qualifying list for the event entering next week’s Big 12 Championships.
The Lady Raider 4x400 relay, consisting of Christen Rivers, Cierra White, Amoy Blake and Montenae Roye-Speight, went on to close the meet in strong fashion with a first place finish. The squad, which entered the meet No. 6 nationally with a season- best time of 3:34.08, finished with a time of 3:34.12. The performance ranks fourth-fastest in school history.
Earlier in the meet, Red Raider sophomore Joseph Richards III clocked an indoor collegiate-best time of 47.01 in the men’s 400-meter dash, where he finished fifth overall.
In the men’s long jump, junior Shujaa Benson went 7.31m (23’-11.75”) on his third attempt to finish fifth in the competition. Benson entered the meet fresh off an indoor career-best leap of 7.54m (24’-9.00”) which stood at No. 25 nationally and No. 3 in the Big 12.
The Lady Raiders secured two of the top-5 finishes in the women’s 400-meter dash as Christen Rivers finished second overall with a time of 53.49 seconds. She was followed by teammate Montenae Roye-Speight in fourth with a time of 54.60.
The Big 12 Indoor Championships now await Texas Tech with the meet scheduled for Feb. 28 – March 1 in Ames, Iowa.