LUBBOCK, Texas – The Texas Tech track and field program opens the 2014 indoor season this weekend as the Red Raiders and Lady Raiders host the annual Texas Tech Open inside the Athletic Training Center.
The two-day meet begins Friday at 4:30 p.m. with the start of the women's 55-meter dash and the women's pole vault. The Texas Tech Open will continue Saturday with events slated to begin at 10 a.m.
"It's always exciting to begin the year," Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Wes Kittley said. "This meet is always kind of a starting meet. We are having two days so that we can double our kids and get a lot of good work in."
Kittley enters his 15th season at the helm of the Texas Tech track and field program with the start of the 2014 season.
Texas Tech is looking to build off an impressive 2013 campaign in which the Red Raiders captured a top-5 finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships finishing fifth overall with 28 points. Meanwhile, on the women's team, the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced junior Lady Raider sprinter Cierra White is receiving votes on the Bowerman Preseason Watch List. The Bowerman Trophy is the highest postseason honor given in collegiate track and field, and is awarded annually to the top male and female athlete in the sport.
White is the second Texas Tech athlete to be tabbed to the official watch list as Red Raider distance runner Kennedy Kithuka opened the 2013 season on the men's preseason watch list.
Texas Tech returns junior Red Raider thrower Kole Weldon along with three legs off the women's 4x400 relay team from the group of 2013 national indoor qualifiers. Weldon finished runner-up in the men's shot put with a school record toss of 20.02-meters (65'-8.25"). He completed the record-breaking 2013 indoor campaign with seven of the top-nine throws in school history.
The shot put is scheduled for Friday at 5 p.m. with the women throwing first followed by the men's throwers. Both genders are divided into `A' and `B' sections.
Senior Amoy Blake, sophomore Christen Rivers and White all return from the Lady Raider 4x400 relay team that also broke the school record, one that stood for nine years, with a time of 3:33.72 at the 2013 Alex Wilson Invitational. Rivers was also a 2013 national qualifier in the outdoor 400-meter dash.
Tech returns 16 individual indoor All-Big 12 performers from 2013. The Red Raiders and Lady Raiders will hit the road next week for a highly-anticipated meet in College Station, Texas at the Texas A&M Triangular. The meet will feature Tech competing alongside Texas A&M and LSU in a scored one-day competition.