The Texas Tech Track and Field team wrapped up the Texas Tech Shootout meet this Saturday at the Sports Performance Center. It was a track heavy day with athletes making big marks new personal records.
“There were some very solid performances. I feel really good about coming into the Big 12 and how we’re going to compete there,” head coach Wes Kittley said.
Kicking things off in the field events was the Lady Raiders pole vault. Chinne Okoronkwo and Chole Wall both cleared 13’-9.25” or 4.20 meters and grabbed second and third place in the Women’s Pole Vault Invite. Sophomore Allyn Tyler competed in the women’s Pole Vault Open placing eighth with 12’-5.5” or 3.80-meters as her best height.
Staying with field events, Brianna Johnson is now ranked fourth in the Big 12 after jumping 41'-7.75" or 12.69-meters in the women’s triple jump. Senior Chinne Okoronkwo also competed with Johnson in the triple and landed 40’-7.5” or 12.38-meters.
Over to the track, in the men’s 60-meter qualifying around Red Raider Ashton O’Connor led all the sprinters after sprinting a 6.81. With this time O’Connor earned himself a spot in the semi-finals. Joining O’Connor in the semi-finals was runners Derrius Rodgers, Jacolby Shelton, and Keion Sutton. O’Connor was just not quick enough to move into the finals however, in the final round Rodgers tied with his seasons best after running 6.67. Shelton finished right behind Rodgers after running 6.68 and Sutton finish fifth in the finals with a time of 6.73.
As for the women’s 60-meter, two Lady Raiders qualified for the final round. Senior D'Jenne Egharevba made her top mark after running 7.32 and junior Ruth Usoro running 7.47. In the finals Egharevba takes third with a time of 7.36 and Usoro ran a 7.43 marking her career best.
“D’Jenne has just been so consistent all year long and just another really good run,” head coach Wes Kittley said.
In the same event just with hurdles, four Lady Raiders placed in the top five and earned a spot in the finals. Senior Kaylee Hinton carried the hurdlers after running 8.51 and placing first overall. Right behind her was seniors Rose Njoku making her seasons best after running 5.54 and Tiara Willams with 8.76. Placing fifth was freshman Simone Watkins with a time of 8.83.
In the finals junior Gabrielle McDonald joined the other two Lady Raiders and finished first with a time of 8.11. Hinton placed sixth with a time of 8.48 and Willams finishing behind her with 8.50
Cale Kassen represented the Red Raiders in the hurdles. Kassen qualified for the semi-final and ran his career best in the hurdles running 8.01. Kassen was joined by Maliek Kendall in the semi-finals. Kendall made his debut and a personal best finishing at 7.74. Kendall then tied with that time in the finals.
Moving to the 400-meter. In the women’s race senior Jadsia Warden made her career best after running 54.23 and placing ninth overall. Senior Amanda Crawford was right behind Warden placing tenth with a time of 54.27.
In the men’s mile, two athletes made the top five for the Red Raiders. Junior Grant LaSelle ran a career best after running the mile in just 4:19.82 and placed second. Freshman Trent Nolen ran a 4:23.86 mile and placed fifth.
Next was the 600-yard event. The Lady Raiders welcomed their newest member, Sylvia Schulz to the team. Coming all the way from Germany, Schulz ran the tenth fastest 600-yard in school history. Sophomore Lexye Price and Damajahnee Birch both made their seasons best during this event. Price ran a 1:22.12 while Birch ran a 1:23.07. Freshman Sylvia Schulz took first place overall after running a time of 1:21.71.
Moving to the men’s 600-yard, freshman Reece Skinner ran his careers best of 1:12.87 and took seventh overall.
The final event on the track was the 4x400. Starting things off were the Lady Raiders with Jadsia Warden, Amanda Crawford, Damajahnee Birch, Lexye Price coming in second with a time of 3:34.78. The second team for the Lady Raiders was Le-Taija Jackson, Gabrielle McDonald, Simone Watkins, Sylvia Schulz. They came in eight overall with a time of 3:43.16.
As for the Red Raiders, Ryan Champlin, Karayme Bartley, Norman Grimes, and Sven Cepus finished second right behind TCU with 3:08.84. The relay team of Lavone Brown, Keion Sutton, Kevin Modesto, and Derrius Rodgers placed eighth overall after running 3:12.78.
“The encouraging thing was our woman’s 4x4. We made big jumps there,” Kittley said, “Our men’s was disappointing. That was one thing we thought we were going to run well in, but then we got into a little bumping contest”.
Texas Tech Track and Field has one more meet to tune things up before they head off to the Big 12 Indoor Championship. The Red Raiders will be back home next week for the Matador Qualifier on Friday Feb, 21 at 5 p.m.