The Red Raiders and Lady Raiders put on a show in their final outdoor home meet of the season Saturday.
May 5, 2012
LUBBOCK, Texas - Heading into the final home outdoor meet of her career, senior Taylor Evans wanted to leave a lasting mark. In just the second running event of the evening under the lights of the Fuller Track and Field Complex, that's exactly what she did.
Evans and the Lady Raider 4x100 relay team broke a seven-year school record with time of 43.53 to kick off a thrilling home finale for the No. 9 Lady Raiders and No. 10 Red Raiders Saturday night.
"We felt honored," Evans said. "We have three seniors and one junior on the team, and we have run together for three years. We wanted the record on our home track. We wanted it so bad."
The Lady Raider record-setting 4x100 relay team is comprised of Erica Alexander, Taylor Evans, Candace Jackson and Evans.
The 4x100 relay was the first of two school records to be broken Saturday at the Red Raider Open meet, an overall performance that panned out exactly as head coach Wes Kittley had planned.
"I believe this is the best meet we have had all year," Kittley said. "You see this before the Big 12 Championships and it makes us very excited."
Shortly afterwards on the pole vault runway, junior Shade Weygandt delivered the second record breaking performance of the night. Weygandt cleared the bar at 4.50 meters (14'-9.00") to set a new school record and a new Fuller Track and Field Complex Record.
Weygandt, the first women's All-American pole vaulter in school history, broke her own school record of 4.45 meters (14'-7.25") set on April 8 last season.
"I just knew exactly what I had to do," Weygandt said. "I've been preparing for this for so long, I just had to relax on the runway and I just had to do what I knew I could do."
With the mark she met the Olympic `A' Standard for the women's pole vault.
"She was just in control today," associate head coach Rock Light said. "She was very focused and determined to jump high, and that's exactly what she did."
Texas Tech continued to put on a show as senior sprinter Gil Roberts captured a win in his first 400 meter race of the outdoor season. Roberts ran a blazing of time of 44.93 as the five-time All-American edged out 2010 European Champion Kevin Borlee of Belgium to leap into the national lead for the event.
"I tried to just focus on what I had to do and just stay in my own zone," Roberts said. "I try not to focus on expectations, because mine are higher than everybody else's."
Roberts' time currently ranks No. 3 in the world for the 2012 outdoor season.
Senior Precious Nwokey turned in an impressive performance in two events on Saturday. She set a new personal best time in the women's 100 meter hurdles as well as a new personal best mark in the high jump. In the hurdles, the Kentucky transfer edged out teammate Katie Grimes to place first with a time of 13.16. Grimes followed in second with a time of 13.40. Roxie Greve also set a new personal record with a time of 14.12 - she finished sixth.
Meanwhile, Nwokey won the high jump event with a mark of 1.73 meters (5'-8.00").
"I feel like this was a very good meet," Nwokey said. "Coming into it I had a lot of very good practices. I jumped really well and I did very well in the hurdles. I'm definitely ready for conference now."
Nwokey enters the Big 12 meet next weekend as the school record holder in the heptathlon, which she set earlier this year at the Texas Relays.
The No. 9 Lady Raiders put together a string of impressive performances in the 200 meter dash as all three runners recorded personal best marks. Jackson won the event with a personal best time of 23.11. She was followed by teammates Alexander and Cierra White. Alexander placed third with a personal best time of 23.28 while White followed in sixth with a personal best time of 23.44.
In the 800 meter run, sophomore Rachel Folan set a five-second personal record with a time 2:14.95.
In the field events, junior Bryce Lamb set a new personal record in the triple jump. Lamb won the event with a mark of 16.56 meters (54'-4.00"). With the mark he jumped to No. 3 on the national list and No. 1 in the Big 12 entering next weekend's conference meet.
"We need him in the triple jump," Kittley said. "We were testing him tonight to give him a chance before the Big 12 meet and he put it out there."
Junior Ifeatu Okafor continued her impressive outdoor season by capturing two wins on the day. The two-time All-American began the day by placing first in the shot put with a personal best mark of 16.98 meters (55'-8.50"). Okafor then turned around and placed first in the discus throw with a mark of 54.06 meters (177'-04").
Okafor jumped to No. 11 nationally with her performance in the shot put and into the No. 3 spot on the Big 12 list. She now has a total of four first place finishes in the shot put and three in the discus this season.
Freshman Killian Barry earned his third victory of the season in the men's hammer throw. The Dublin, Ireland native won the event with a toss of 57.76 meters (189'-6").
Texas Tech will compete at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships next weekend in Manhattan, Kan.