LUBBOCK, Texas – The Texas Tech track and field team turned in a successful showing Saturday at the program’s first home outdoor meet of the 2014 season as the No. 14 Red Raiders and No. 16 Lady Raiders played host to the annual Texas Tech Open.
Red Raider junior Kole Weldon broke yet another school record, this time in the hammer throw, while several Tech athletes continued to climb up the national and regional performance lists.
“We had great performances out of a lot of people today,” Texas Tech head coach Wes Kittley said. “I was happy to see a lot of qualifying marks, and see that we keep improving as the season progresses.”
Early in the throwing events Weldon, the school record holder in the shot put, took down the hammer throw record winning the event with a toss of 60.92-meters (199’-10”). With the effort, he overtook Killian Barry’s record from 2012.
He went on to win the shot put with a throw of 19.62-meters (64’-4.50”), which stands at No. 2 on the all-time Texas Tech performance list. Weldon now owns each of the top-10 throws in school history.
Meanwhile, Carson broke her own facility record in the javelin throw with a heave of 50.39-meters (165-4”). The sophomore also owns the school record in the event, and entered the weekend No. 1 on the NCAA West performance list. On Saturday broke her previous facility record, set last season, by two feet.
She went on to set an outdoor collegiate-best mark in the discus with a throw of 54.49-meters (178’-9.00”) to take home her second first place finish of the day.
Carson has broken a school or facility javelin record in each of her three meets this season.
“Hannah really had a great day,” Kittley said. “Those two [Carson and Weldon] are really starting to get consistent, and that’s important.”
Tech continued to shine in the field events as junior JaCorian Duffield and sophomore Bradley Adkins went 1-2 in the men’s high jump – both clearing 2.21-meters (7’-3.00”) on first attempt. The clearance marked a new outdoor collegiate-best for Adkins, who finished first in the competition with a clearance at 2.11-meters (6’-11.00”) on first attempt.
The duo went on to attempt 7’-4”, which would have broken a 27-year-old facility record and Duffield’s current school record, but missed on three attempts. Duffield nearly cleared the height twice, going up and over the bar, but clipped it with his cleat.
“They [Adkins and Duffield] have been the most consistent kids we’ve had all year,” Kittley said. “That was really fun to see.”
Sophomore hurdler Le’Tristan Pledger went on to light up the track in the women’s 100-meter hurdles. The recent Big 12 Female Athlete of the Week clocked a new season-best and remained unbeaten in the event with a time of 13.08 behind a 2.2 m/s tailwind – just two-tenths of a second above the allowable limit for school record consideration.
With the performance, Pledger moves up to No. 6 on the current national performance list as the NCAA allows a tailwind of up to 4.0 m/s.
“She is getting consistent.” Kittley said. “I love seeing her with 2-to-3 good hurdle races behind her.”
The Red Raiders also turned in a productive day in the hurdles. Shujaa Benson crossed the finish line second, first among collegians, in the 110-meter hurdles with a new season-best time of 13.96. The time jumps Benson to No. 13 in the NCAA West rankings.
Meanwhile, Dwayne Extol finished second in the 400-meter hurdles with a season-best of 51.62, which was just shy of his career-best of 51.42. Extol now moves up to No. 13 in the NCAA West Region.
The Lady Raiders also turned in an impressive performance in the triple jump where each Gionna Jackson, Viershanie Latham and Paetyn Revell each went over the 40-feet barrier. The trio went 1-2-3 in the event, led by Jackson who went a new career-best 12.58-meters (41’-3.25”), and each moved into the top-30 of the NCAA West rankings.
Jackson’s jump marked the 8th-best wind aided performance in school history.
Tech went 1-2 in the 1,500-meter run with Evans Tuitoek taking home the victory crossing the finish line in 3:53.94. He was followed by teammate Nick Rivera, the 2013 Big 12 Indoor and Outdoor 800-meter Champion, who crossed in 3:55.33.
Tuitoek is now undefeated in three races this season with two victories in the 1,500-meters and a first place finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the UTSA Invitational.
Caitlin Waters secured her second-straight victory in the 800-meter run where the senior missed her career-best by just .01 second crossing in 2:07.94. She was followed by teammate Sharlene Nickle, who clocked a career-best in the 3,000-meter steeplechase Friday at Stanford, in second with a time of 2:14.73.
Texas Tech will compete next Saturday at the Wes Kittley Invitational at Abilene Christian.