The Texas Tech track and field team completed the first day of the ACU Invitational on Friday, March 15, in Abilene.
Graduate student Duke Kicinski started the Red Raiders off by making the second-furthest discus mark in program history, according to Tech Athletics. Kicinski won the final with a mark of 207'-8." On the women’s side, sophomore Seasons Usual placed second with a mark of 171'-7."
Tech head coach Wes Kittley said it was nice to compete once again in the meet which is named after him, according to Tech Athletics.
“I get back to my old stomping grounds, and they named the meet after me,” Kittley said, according to Tech Athletics. “The athletes see a lot of people talking to me, and they know my history there. I think it gives the freshmen and the younger athletes a chance to know more about me.”
Also in the field events, junior Werner Bouwer made impressive marks in the javelin, as he made a mark of 229’-2.75,” which is his best since 2017 when he earned All-American status at nationals, according to Tech Athletics.
Kittley said he is happy to get some of the Red Raiders back on the track, according to Tech Athletics.
“It’s a fun and relaxed meet,” Kittley said, according to Tech Athletics. “All of these kids that have been sitting around for three or four weeks after Big 12s get an opportunity to compete.”
In the running events, freshman Seselia Dala made a personal best at 17:19.71, leading her to win the 5000m, according to Tech Athletics. On the men’s side, junior Nathan Gift finished in second place with a time of 15:10.01, while junior Stephen Alvarez placed seventh and junior Michael Benoit placed eighth with a time of 15:21.07, his collegiate best.
Kittley said he is proud of the team’s strong performance on the first day of the outdoor season, according to Tech Athletics.
“We’ve always thought — as have people who have been around this program for a while — that we’re a better outdoor team than indoor,” Kittley said. “I don’t think any of that changes this year either. We’ve got a great opportunity outdoors.”
The Red Raiders will continue on in the second day of the ACU Invitational on Saturday, March 16, in Abilene.