Ashton O'Conner jumps hurdle in 60m

Ashton O'Conner, a sophomore from Baton Rouge, LA jumps the last hurdle in the 60m during the 3 heat at the Texas Tech Open and Multis at the Sport Performance Center on January 28, 2022.

The Texas Tech No. 2 men’s and No. 4 women’s track & field programs will hit the road for the first time this season. The team will to Albuquerque, New Mexico to participate in the New Mexico Collegiate Classic on Friday and Saturday. 

Friday, the first day of the two-day event, will kick off at 1 p.m. With the first chunk of field events featuring men’s and women’s B section pole vault and men’s A section pole vault. 

Saturday begins at 9:30 a.m. with women’s shot put and women’s A section pole vault.  

Friday’s portion of track events will begin at 4 p.m. with the men’s unseeded 200 meter race and will finish the night off with women’s 200 meters at 7:50 p.m. Saturdays running events will get going at 10 a.m. with women’s 60-meter hurdles, and end on women’s 4x400 meter relay at 2:30 p.m. 

Tech hosted the Texas Tech Open & Multis last weekend, with 12 total individual first place finishes.

Sophomore Rosemary Chukwuma made her first appearance as a Red Raider this season and finished first in the women’s 60m dash with a time of 7.34 seconds, according to Tech Athletics.  

Senior Sidney Sapp also had a good outing, finishing first in women’s high jump setting back-to-back personal marks, with her best jump coming on her fifth attempt, where she cleared 1.85m (6’0.75”), according to Tech Athletics.

Ruta Lasmane, a sophomore from Latvia who spent her first season of college competition at Florida State University, also finished in first at the Corky Classic after recording a best distance of 13.85 meters. This distance that currently sits at the fourth spot in the NCAA and puts her at No. 10 in the world, according to Tech Athletics.

“It’s amazing I actually didn’t even know that, my mom told me,” Lasmane said. “I don’t really focus on those things, they are great, but I just do my thing, I never focus on being numbered first or numbered second in the world I just do my thing. I’m super super happy of course.”

Lasmane said she’s grateful for the relationships she has built with her teammates and coaches in her short time as a Red Raider.

“It's a completely different environment but I mean it’s really supportive and I’m glad to be here,” Lasmane said. “The team environment is really good. You know it feels like family here and if there was one thing, I would say it's great about this team is family.” 

Head coach Wes Kittley said he hired assistant coach Keith Herston from Florida State and Lasmane followed. 

“[Herston] had called me and said, hey my best jumper just entered the portal,” Kittley said. “I wasn’t gonna tell him to stay or whatever and I hired Keith and that’s how it all came about. She just loved coach Hurston, wanted to follow him, I feel like she went to Florida State because of him. The portal is a crazy thing, great kid glad we got her.” 

Lasmane will be competing in her second meet of the season at the New Mexico Collegiate Classic this weekend, and Kittley said he was excited to see her compete again and see what she can do. 

“Ruta’s got a beat, she was on short run were gonna put her on long this week,” Kittley said. “She’s coming off pro COVID, she’s another one that jumped early and then got sick and now is able to build, I’m real excited to see what she can do.” 

List of notable teams attending are Texas, LSU, TCU, Arizona State, Miami (Fla.), Long Beach State, Utah Valley and the host New Mexico. 

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