The Texas Tech track and field team has had several outstanding performances so far during its indoor season in both the Corky Classic and the Red Raider Invitational.
During the Corky Classic, several personal records were made from the team’s sprinters including senior Andrew Hudson in the 60m, who ran a 6.65 in his first race of the season, according to Tech Athletics. Additionally, this mark placed him at eighth in program history. Freshman Jacolby Shelton also performed well as he marked a 6.67 in his first race as a Red Raider.
Hudson said he is proud of his strong start in the season.
“This was my fastest season-opener, so I’m really happy about it,” Hudson said. “Jacolby also ran a fast time so we were very happy about it.”
Hudson later went on to run with fellow sprinters juniors Divine Oduduru and Tyreek Mathis and senior Vincent Crisp where they won the 4x400 with a time of 3:07.41, according to Tech Athletics. Also, in the 4x400, the women’s team, which included juniors Jadsia Warden, D’Jenne Egharevba, and Damajahnee and senior Sara Limp, finished with a time of 3:36.84 marking the fastest 4x400 time for a women’s team at Tech since 2014.
In the men’s long jump, seniors Odaine Lewis and Charles Brown exceed 26 feet, according to Tech Athletics. Lewis finished in first place with a mark of 26’-2.75,” while Brown finished in second at 26’-0.” Both times are likely to qualify the two for the NCAA Championships in March.
Tech head coach Wes Kittley said he has seen tremendous improvement in Lewis’ performance since last year.
“Odaine is night and day from where he was last year,” Kittley said. “It took him a while last year, and he wasn’t as sharp indoors, but now he’s been through our program for a full year with (associate head) Coach (James) Thomas, and he’s going to have a great year.”
During the Corky Classic, junior Chinne Okoronkwo had several outstanding performances, starting with her jumping into the top-10 in program history for the pole vault, according to Tech Athletics. Okoronkwo went on to place seventh in the program record books or her mark of 14’-0,” as well as a top mark of 19’-11.75,” putting her in second place in the women’s long jump.
At the Red Raider Invitational meet, the team continued to excel by marking more personal records and ranking in multiple areas, according to Tech Athletics. Hudson gained another personal record in the 200m, placing him at No. 1 in the world for the top time. Hudson also made the second fastest time in program history alongside fellow teammates Oduduru, Crisp and Mathis in the 4x400 at 3:04.93.
Lewis and Brown paired together yet again in the men’s long jump to secure the top two spots in the NCAA at 53’-11.25” and 52’-4.75,” according to Tech Athletics.
Kittley said he is hopeful these performances will help the two to become ranked nationally.
“I was really pleased with those two,” Kittley said. “That will easily get Odaine in the national meet, and Charles has a lot more opportunity to jump much farther. It’s really early, but I’m very proud of where they are at this point in the season.”
In the throws, both graduate student Duke Kicinski and sophomore Seasons Usual had outstanding performances, according to Tech Athletics. Kicinski placed first in the shot put after a mark of 59’-6.75” as well as marking a personal record in the weight throw at 64’-8.75,” ranking him fifth in program history. Usual also made a personal record in the weight throw for the second straight week at 60’-4.75.”
The team is excelling in all areas of the sport, Kittley said, which he is proud of.
“I’m feeling good about how solid we’re becoming all around,” Kittley said. “Sprints, hurdles, jumps, distance, middle distance and throws. We’ve just got to keep going.”
Following the Red Raider Invitational, the team will stay in Lubbock for the Texas Tech Classic. The three-day even begins at 12 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, in the Sports Performance Center.