Tech Shootout Track Meet

Junior Connor Hughes leaves the water pit during 3000 meter steeplechase at the Texas Tech Corky/Crofoot Shootout track meet at the Terry and Linda Track & Field Complex on Friday, April 27, 2018. The Tech Shootout was this season's first outdoor meet at home and senior day for the Track and field/cross country teams.

The Texas Tech track and field team is set to start the 2019 season in the Corky Classic at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12, in the Sports Performance Center.

Going into the meet, the men’s team hopes to defend its Big 12 title and prove its ranking as the number one program in the nation, as voted by the USTFCCCA and FloTrack this week, according to Tech Athletics.

Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Wes Kittley said despite having multiple titles, the men’s team will continue to work just as hard as any other meet.

“You don’t win any championships in January,” Kittley said in an interview with FloTrack. “We’re going to keep a blue-collar attitude about it and just take it week by week.”

This indoor season, Tech will host seven meets, including the Big 12 Championships, according to Tech Athletics.

Kittley said this will serve as a huge advantage for the Red Raiders.

“We get to sleep in our own beds and show up two hours before our event,” Kittley said, according to FloTrack. “We get to go back and sleep in that same bed. We don’t have to travel and we’re not missing school. I think we have the greatest advantage getting to run on the fastest track and best facility in the country [every week].”

Some notable returning Red Raiders include All-Americans junior Divine Oduduru, who is a Bowerman watch list candidate, according to Tech Athletics. Oduduru will be joined by senior Andrew Hudson and junior Derrius Rodgers to form a powerful sprinter core for Tech.

As for the women’s team, juniors Damajahnee Birch and D’Jenne Egharevba will make their debut in the 600-yard dash, according to Tech Athletics. Junior Chinne Okoronwko, sophomore Chloe Wall and freshmen Ashton Moon, Allyn Tyer and Ryleigh Redding will also be making an appearance in the women’s vault. The women’s jump team is also the strongest in high jump as a result of senior Zarriea Willis’ previous performances.

Field events for the Corky Classic will start at 11 a.m. with the shot put, and the first running event will be the mile which begins at 1 p.m. Fans can follow the team’s twitter @TexasTechTF for more information.

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