The Texas Tech men’s track team earned the conference championship title with 179 points at the Big 12 Indoor Championship hosted at the Sports Performance Center, Feb. 22-23.
The women’s team were the conference runners-up with 108.5 points, behind Texas with 128.
Iowa State’s men’s team placed second with 109 points, and Kansas was third with 87 points. With 70 points between Tech and the competition, the Red Raiders earned the most points and won by the largest margin in Big 12 history.
“We were so thrilled to be able to host the Big 12 at home,” Tech head coach Wes Kittley said. “To have this type crowd and this amazing championship atmosphere made it special. Our men’s team scoring more points in the history of Big 12, setting the record there and really just having a fabulous meet. Everything probably wasn’t perfect, but it was so solid in every event.”
Seasons Usual was Tech’s first athlete to place both days of the meet, collecting a fourth-place finish in the weight throw on Friday and a sixth place finish in the shot put on Saturday. Eric Kicinski placed fourth in the men’s shot put.
Tech and Oklahoma took up four spots in the men’s triple jump each, leaving only four spots for other schools.
Aside from TCU’s Chengetayi Mapay, who won the event with a 16.83 mark, Tech swept the medal stand, with Jah-Nhai Perinchief finishing second, Odaine Lewis coming third, Charles Brown taking fifth and Jequan Hogan filling the fifth place spot, earning the Red Raiders 23 points in a single event.
Perinchief also placed second in high jump, setting a new career record at 2.25m (7’-4 ½”). Kansas State’s Tejaswin Shankar cleared a season best of 2.28m to win the event. Zarriea Willis won the women’s event, clearing 1.85m (6’-0 ¾”), while Cyre Virgo took fifth.
“Zarriea did a great job in the high jump,” Kittley said. “What I was more proud of in the women was that we were spread out in the finals all over. We were fighting for lanes, we had a chance to beat Texas and we fell a little bit, but I’m unbelievably proud of them.”
Divine Oduduru won the 60m and set a new school record and career best, clocking a 6.52. Andrew Hudson followed in second at 6.57, as Derrius Rogers finishing fourth. The three men alone collected another 23 points for Tech.
In the 200m, Oduduru shattered the current collegiate lead, meet record and school record of 20.33 previously held by teammate Hudson, with his 20.08 time — the second fastest 200m time in college history. Hudson came in second behind Oduduru at 20.55, and Rodgers was fourth again, recording 21.03. The group earned another 23 points for Tech in the team standings.
“Today, you’ve got to bring in Divine in the 200, he brought the house down, I think, with that 20.08,” Kittley said. “That’s an exceptional run, way better than he’s ever done, and of course number one in the world right now. And Jah-Nhai Perinchief triple jumping and high jumping, now we feel like he got in both events for the national meet.”
Axel Hubert took the gold in the Men’s Heptathlon with total of 5,675, after coming in third to OSU’s Mace Metcalf and Kristo Simulask in heptathlon pole vault and fifth in the 1000m on Saturday.
Chinne Okoronkwo captured her first conference championship in the women’s pole vault on Friday, setting a new career best at 4.33 (14’-2 ½”), before coming third at 13.05 in the triple jump on Saturday.
Lexye Price claimed a fifth place finish in the women’s 600y, clocking a 1:21.59. In the men’s 600y, Red Raider Vincent Crisp placed fourth with a time of 1:08.52.
Sven Cepus earned the bronze in the men’s 800, as Maygen Smith placed eighth on the women’s side. Jonah Koech set a new career best in the men’s 1,000m, winning the event with a time of 2:44.23, and Nokuthula Dlamini set a career best coming in fifth in the women’s race.
Sara Limp clocked a 52.60 to place second in the women’s 400m. Longhorn Kennedy Flannel placed first in the women’s 200, followed closely by Tech’s D’Jenne Egharevvba, who set a new career best at 23.22.
Baylor took the gold in the women’s 4x400 relay with a time of 3:33.92. Kansas took third, trailed by Texas, TCU, Oklahoma and Texas Tech. The Bears also won the men’s 4x400 relay at 3:05.58, followed by TCU, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Texas Tech.
The Red Raiders will ride their conference championship into the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 8-9 before beginning their outdoor season on March 15-16 at the ACU Invitational.