LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech assistant coach James Thomas along with sophomore Lady Raider Le'Tristan Pledger were honored today by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for their outstanding 2014 indoor seasons.
Thomas, in his second season on the Texas Tech staff was named the Mountain Region Men's Assistant Coach of the Year for his work with the Red Raider high jumpers. Meanwhile, Pledger - a sophomore - was named the Mountain Region Women's Track Athlete of the Year after qualifying for the NCAA Indoor Championships in both the 60-meter hurdles and the long jump.
Under the direction of Thomas, Texas Tech was the sole program in NCAA Division I to qualify two men's high jumpers for the NCAA Championship meet. The pair includes sophomore Bradley Adkins and junior JaCorian Duffield, both of which have cleared 2.23-meters (7-3.75) and finished 2-3 at the Big 12 Indoor Championships in February.
Duffield cleared 7-3.75 at the Texas Tech Open on Jan. 17 to break a 30-year-old school record in the event. Meanwhile, Adkins - who has cleared four bars over 7-feet this season - cleared 7-3.75 for the first time in his career at the Big 12 Indoor Championships on his third attempt.
Pledger, meanwhile, continued her stellar Lady Raider career in 2014 breaking school records in both the 55-meter hurdles (7.59) and 60-meter hurdles (8.07) while recording the No. 3 mark in school history in the long jump (6.32m/20-9).Texas Tech will compete at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships March 14-15 in Albuquerque, N.M.