Kittley, Oduduru Receive Big 12 Honors

Red Raider Nation
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IRVING, Texas — For the second consecutive year, Texas Tech Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Wes Kittley and standout sprinter Divine Oduduru received nods for the top honors distributed by the Big 12 for performances during the outdoor track and field season. 

Kittley was voted the Big 12 Men’s Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season and third time since 2014. Each of Kittley’s three outdoor conference titles in the last six years has resulted in the recognition as the top coach in the Big 12. 

In addition to a number-one national ranking all season long – a first for the program – Kittley’s 2019 campaign now includes a dominant Big 12 Championship title defense for his men’s team. The Red Raiders racked up 164 points last weekend in Norman – just 11 from the conference record – despite holding a handful of sprinters like Oduduru and Andrew Hudson to just one individual race in preparation for the NCAA West Preliminary next weekend. Still, his Red Raiders nearly toppled the eight-year-old record while cruising to a 38-point victory over the rest of the conference. 

The Red Raiders’ second-straight outdoor trophy – and fourth-straight conference trophy including indoor – featured title defenses in four events. Duke Kicinski defended his discus championship by six feet with a top toss of 194’-2” (59.19m). On the track, sophomore Norman Grimes Jr. picked up his second gold medal in the 400m hurdles after running a blazing 49.11 to become the then-national leader in the event. 

The remaining two title defenses involved Big 12 Men’s Performer of the Year Divine Oduduru. The Nigerian defended his individual title in the 100m, becoming the first to ever break the 10-second barrier at a Big 12 Championship meet after running a 9.99. He did so after running the second leg for a Tech 4×100 relay team that also set the conference meet record. His group ran a 38.83, which also stands as the new school record. 

Oduduru’s performance last weekend was just another dominant showing from the junior who continues to establish himself as the top sprinter in both the nation and world. 

It began at Texas A&M’s The Reveille in April, when The Bowerman watch list sprinter hopped into the national top-five with a 10.13 in his first 100m of the season. After a week off, the Nigerian dipped below 10 seconds for the first time in his career – and Texas Tech history – in his second 100m of the year at 9.94. Not 45 minutes later, Oduduru then ran the second-fastest collegiate 200m time ever at 19.76. He left Waco as the world leader in both events – a standing he still holds over a month later.

As of the Big 12 Championships, Oduduru owns six of the program top-10 100m marks – including the first five – and the first seven program top-10 200m marks. He also owns both wind-aided 100m and 200m records. 

Kittley, Oduduru and the rest of the Red Raiders are entering tough workouts this weekend before departing for the NCAA West Preliminary in Sacramento next week. The regional meet will take place May 23-25. 

(Courtesy: Texas Tech Sports Communications Department)

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