The Texas Tech track and field team concluded its second meet of the season with the Red Raider Invitational at the Sports Performance Center on Friday. Tech competed against the nationally-ranked women's programs from Arkansas and Houston and the top-20 men's teams from Arkansas and TCU.
Starting strong in the field events was junior transfer from Texas A&M Gabriel Oladipo in the men’s throw. Coming just shy of the school record by 3 inches last week, Oladipo crushed the record this week by two feet with a 21.30-meter throw.
In addition to new school records, junior Ruth Usoro set a record in the women’s triple jump with a leap of 13.49 meters. She is now ranked number nine in the world, according to Tech Athletics. As for the men’s triple jump, freshman Safin Wills placed third in the finals with 15.27 meters. Wills is now ranked fourth in the Big 12.
“I was really pleased. We got a lot of people with some personal best today,” Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Wes Kittley said. “We got 2 school records, Ruth in the triple jump and then Gabriel in the weight throw.”
Moving to pole vault, senior Brandon Bray took first place in the final, reaching 18'-1.17", setting a new PR and the marks for the fourth-best vault in school history.
Onto the track events, starting with the prelims, senior Keion Sutton and sophomore Jacolby Shelton both ran in the men’s 60-meter and landed spots in the final. Sutton ran a 6.78 in the prelim while Shelton set a PR of 6.66 to take first place. In the finals, Shelton set a new PR with a 6.62 and placed first overall. In addition to this, he is now ranked number six in the country.
In the women’s 60-meter hurdles Gabrielle McDonald won her heat in the prelims with an 8.39. She qualified for finals however opted out.
Sophomore Sven Cepus broke his PR from last week after running in the men’s 600-yard by just .27 of a second. He placed first in his heat and overall with a time of 1:10.28.
Tech ended strong with the 4x400. Starting with the women in heat one, Gabrielle McDonald, Amanda Crawford, D'Jenne Egharevba, and Jadsia Warden placed third in the top 10 with a team time of 3:38.48. They ran another nationally-ranked time, according to Tech Athletics.
The other team consisted of Lexye Price, Le-Taija Jackson, Simone Watkins, and Brooke Merrick in heat two, placing sixth overall with a team time of 3:49.70
Moving on to the men, in heat one was Champlin, Chancellor Stephenson, Norman Grimes, Sven Cepus with a team time of 3:09.17 while Kevin Modesto, Ashton O'Conner, Kesean Carter, and Alfred Chawonza placed fifth overall with a team time of 3:16.35.
“I thought our 4x4s ran very completely. We’re still mixing it up and trying to see who can run where,” Kittley said.