Fresh off it's first idle week of the season the Texas Tech track and field programs are set to compete in the 2013 Big 12 Track and Field Championships this weekend. This event will take place in Ames, Iowa on the Iowa State University Campus.
The Tech men, ranked 4th in the country and led by Kithuka are ready to win another title, and the Tech women are the underdogs and ready to do their best to end the season with a Big 12 championship.
Below are some of the event preview's thanks to Texas Tech's official website.
TEXAS TECH SPRINTS
Returning All-Americans Candace Jackson, Olivia Lewis and Cierra White will highlight the Texas Tech sprints in 2013. Jackson, an eight-time All-American, returns after helping guide the Tech indoor 4x400 relay to All-America First Team honors during the 2012 indoor season. Jackson earned second team All-America honors during the 2011 outdoor season in the 400m. The Dallas native enters the 2013 indoor season with a personal-best of 7.03 in the 55-meter dash and a personal-best of 53.85 in the 400-meter.
Lewis was also a member of the Lady Raider 4x400 indoor relay team in 2012 and enters 2013 with a personal-best of 54.91 in the indoor 400-meter. White, who had a breakout 2012 as one of the top young sprinters for the Lady Raiders enters with a personal-best time of 7.03 in the 55-meter dash and a personal-best time of 23.62 in the 200-meter.
ENTERING THE BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIPS Cierra White and Christen Rivers each rank in the top-five of the Big 12 entering the conference meet and will anchor the Lady Raider sprints. White holds the No. 3 time in the 60-meter dash with a season-best of 7.41 at the Tyson Invitational, while Rivers holds the No. 4 time in the 400-meter dash with a season-best of 53.66 at the Armory Invitational. Meanwhile, Joseph Richards III (400M), Isaiah Gill (400M) and Dwayne Extol (200M) will each look to score points for the Red Raiders.
TEXAS TECH HURDLES
Senior Lady Raider Katie Grimes highlights the Texas Tech hurdlers in 2013. The returning All-American and school record holder in both the 55-meter and 60-meter hurdles will look to improve upon a stellar junior campaign. Grimes set the school record in the 55-meter hurdles (7.74) and the 60-meter hurdles (8.18).
Meanwhile, the Red Raiders will welcome newcomer Tramaine Maloney, cousin of former Red Raider hurdler and 2012 Olympian Shane Brathwaite. Brathwaite along with Jamele Mason, the 2012 NCAA 400-meter hurdle runner-up and Puerto Rico Olympian, graduated following the 2012 season.
ENTERING THE BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIPS Senior Lady Raider Katie Grimes enters this weekend seeking her first Big 12 Championship after earning All-America honors last season and continuing her dominance in 2013. Grimes enters the meet No. 2 in the Big 12 and No. 3 nationally in the 60-meter hurdles with a season best and school record time of 8.16. Grimes holds each of the top-10 times in school history in the event. Grimes finished third at the 2012 Big 12 Indoor Championships.
TEXAS TECH DISTANCE RUNNERS
2012 NCAA Cross Country Champion Kennedy Kithuka will lead the pack of Texas Tech distance runners as the 2013 track and field indoor season arrives. Kithuka, who was named the 2012 Male Athlete of the Year for the 2012 cross country season and appears on The Bowerman Men's Preseason Watch List, went undefeated in seven meets including the NCAA Championship. Kithuka captured indoor national titles in the 3,000-meter run and as a member of the Distance Medley Relay in 2012 while at Wayland Baptist. He also won national titles in the 10,000-meter run and the 5,000-meter run during the 2012 outdoor season.
ENTERING THE BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIPS Kennedy Kithuka will lead a pack of Texas Tech distance runners at the Big 12 Indoor Championships as the two-time Big 12 Male Athlete of the Week and currently leads the nation in the 5,000-meter run and ranks No. 3 nationally in the 3,000-meter run. Kithuka leads the conference in both events and will look to become the first Texas Tech male Big 12 Champion in both the 3,000-meter run and the 5,000-meter run. The Thika, Kenya native has broken three school records this season and has also anchored the school-record holding men's distance medley relay team. Kithuka leads all conference runners in the 5,000-meter run by 12 seconds with a season-best time and school record time of 13:26.65.
TEXAS TECH HORIZONTAL JUMPS
Texas Tech welcomes back senior Bryce Lamb a three-time All-American and two-time Big 12 Champion in the long jump. Lamb earned All-America First Team in the indoor long jump last season after advancing to the NCAA Championships and finishing third overall with a mark of 7.86-meters (29'-9.50"). Lamb turned in a season-best mark of 7.94m (26'-0.75") while his collegiate-best is a school record of 8.14m (26'-8.50") which he recorded to win the 2010 Big 12 Indoor Championships during his freshman campaign.
ENTERING THE BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIPS Three-time All-American Bryce Lamb returns to the site where he captured both the long jump and triple jump championships in 2010, and was named the high-point scorer. Lamb enters the meet with the No. 3 mark nationally in the triple jump after finishing fourth, second among collegians, at the Tyson Invitational with a mark of 16.26-meters (53'-4.25"). The mark ranks first in the conference. Meanwhile, Avril McGhee enters the meet No. 3 among women's triple jumpers in the conference with a season-best mark of 12.47 (40'-11.00").
TEXAS TECH HIGH JUMPERS
Texas Tech will return a young crop of talented high jumpers in 2013. The Red Raiders will be led by sophomoreJacorian Duffield who advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championships as a freshman and ended his outdoor year with four clearances over seven-feet. Duffield meanwhile cleared a season-best indoor bar of 2.17m (7'-1.50") at the Red Raider Open which marked the second-highest indoor clearance by a Red Raider in nine years.
Meanwhile, the Lady Raiders return freshman Michaela Palu who redshirted during the 2012 indoor season before competing during the outdoor season. Palu cleared a season-best height of 1.71m (5'-7.25") to finish first overall at the LSU Invitational before clearing a bar of 1.70m (5'-7.00") at the Big 12 Championships.
ENTERING THE BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIPS Texas Tech sophomore Jacorian Duffield and freshman Bradley Adkins will both look to score points this weekend - each enter the meet ranked in the top-eight of the conference. Duffield, who advanced to the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships as a freshman, enters with the third best clearance (2.18-meters/7'-1.25") in the conference. The mark also ranks No. 20 nationally. Meanwhile, Adkins enters with a season-best clearance of 2.14-meters (7'-0.25"). The mark is good for No. 5 in the conference entering the weekend. Meanwhile, freshman Lady Raider Michaela Palu enters with a season-best clearance of 1.69-meters (5'-6.50") - good for No. 11 in the conference.
TEXAS TECH POLE VAULTERS
Texas Tech junior Kyal Meyers returns to the pole vault runway for Texas Tech in 2013 after earning All-America honors during both the indoor and outdoor seasons a year ago. Meyers, the 2011 Big 12 indoor champion, finished 11th overall at the NCAA Indoor Championships last season and cleared six bars over 17-feet - including a personal best mark of 5.38m (17'-7.75"). Seniors Jeremy Doddridge and Boston Spiva also return for the Red Raiders.
ENTERING THE BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIPS - Texas Tech junior Kyal Meyers, the 2010 Big 12 Indoor Champion, cleared an indoor personal-best 5.41-meters (17'-9.00") at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville to jump into the top-15 nationally and No. 1 in the Big 12 entering the conference meet. Meanwhile, freshman Shelby Poncik enters with the No. 7 mark (3.90M/12'-9.50") in the conference and teammate Haley Cook enters with the No. 9 mark (3.70M/12'-1.50"), both of which will look to score points this weekend as true freshmen.
TEXAS TECH THROWS
Texas Tech will return a balance of talent in the throws as 2011 All-American and Big 12 Shot Put Champion Ifeatu Okafor returns for her senior indoor season. Okafor recorded the fourth-best throw in school history at the 2011 Big 12 Championships - a personal-best mark of 17.10m (54'-1.25"). Meanwhile, the Red Raiders return the services of sophomore Kole Weldon who is coming off a freshman outdoor campaign where he advanced to the NCAA Championships. Weldon enters the 2013 indoor season with a personal-best indoor shot put mark of 17.59m (57'-8.00") and a personal-best indoor weight throw mark of 17.20m (56'-5.25").
ENTERING THE BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIPS Texas Tech sophomore Kole Weldon leads a pack of Red Raider throwers into the Big 12 Championships. Weldon, who advanced to the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships as a freshman, enters with the No. 2 shot put mark in the conference (18.90M/62'-0.25") - a school record. Weldon became the first Red Raider in school history to record an indoor throw over 60-feet.
TEXAS TECH RELAYS
Texas Tech's Lady Raider 4x400 relay team earned All-America First Team honors in 2012 after finishing seventh overall at the national meet. The Lady Raiders return both seniors Candace Jackson and Olivia Lewis from that squad which recorded two of the top-five times in school history during the 2012 season.
ENTERING THE BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIPS Texas Tech enters the 2012 Big 12 Indoor Championships with bot the women's 4x400 relay and the men's distance medley relay looking to score points. The women's 4x400 relay has recorded a season-best time of 3:35.44 - the No. 2 time in the conference. Meanwhile, the men's DMR broke the school record earlier this season with a seasonal-best time of 9:40.71. The time also ranks No. 2 in the Big 12.