The Texas Tech track and field teams hosted the first day of the Big 12 Conference Indoor Championship Friday, Feb. 22, in the Sports Performance Center and had several Red Raiders qualify for finals on Saturday.
The men’s team finished the day third with 37 points behind Kansas and Iowa State. Tech’s women finished second with 36.5 points behind Kansas State.
Seasons Usual placed fourth in the women’s weight throw to become the Red Raider’s first athlete to medal at this season’s indoor conference championship.
Andrew Hudson made history in the men's 200m prelim, smashing the current collegiate lead, Big 12 lead, meet record, and setting a new career best with a time of 20.33.
Divine Oduduru followed close behind in second with a 20.41 time, and Derrius Rodgers claimed the sixth qualifying slot.
“It was too fast,” Head Coach Wes Kittley said. “(Hudson) looks really good, and he looked great in the 60, too. Hopefully we can stay healthy for tomorrow and have a good day.”
Hudson also leads the men’s 60m at 6.57. At 6.602, Rodgers sits just above Oduduru at 6.609, and Kesean Carter also captured the 7th qualifying spot with a time of 6.71, meaning Tech enters the final with four men on the blocks.
Chinne Okoronkwo captured Tech’s first conference championship in the women’s pole vault, posting a 4.33m jump. The jump was matched by Baylor’s Tuesdi Tidwell, but Okoronkwo took the gold based on attempts. The jump is a career best for both athletes.
Tech’s Chloe Wall also placed fourth with a jump of 4.13m.
“I’m so happy for Chinne, getting herself a Big 12 Championship, and Coach Slagle getting his first Big 12 Champion,” Kittley said. “I don’t ever count her out. She’s such a competitor. I think there were four kids over fourteen feet going into the competition so it could have been anybody’s game today, but I think she wanted it a little bit worse.”
Tech’s Maygen Smith recorded a season’s best of 2:12.15 in the women’s 800m, squeezing into the seventh qualifying spot. Tech had two women qualified for the 200m final in spots five and six — D’Jenne Egharevba and Sara Limp, whose 23.60 time equals her career best.
Tyreek Mathis, Tech’s lone men’s 440m runner of the day, qualified for the finals with a 47.24 behind Texas’ Jonathan Jones, who leads the even with a 45.84.
Drew McMichael marked a 5.58 in the men’s pole vault, securing a third place medal behind Baylor’s KC Lightfoot and Kansas’ Hussain Al Hizam.
Tech’s Odaine Lewis, Charles Brown, and Justin Hall finished second, third and fourth in the men’s long jump with 7.92, 7.80 and 7.76 marks, respectively.
On the women’s side, Ivy Walker finished fifth with a 6.14 mark, Okoronkwo placed sixth at 6.09, and Chelsey Cole was just outside a top-six finish with a 6.07 mark.
“We couldn’t ask much more than that,” Kittley said. “Odaine and Charles were going after it every jump and barely fouling on some big ones. Point-wise it didn’t hurt us at all. I’m really pleased and they look like they're coming into form with some big jumps.”
Field events will pick back up at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, with the women’s shot put, triple jump and men’s triple jump. Race finals will begin at 2 p.m. with the women’s 60m hurdles.