LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) – Texas Tech's Shade Weygandt highlighted a great weekend for the Tech track teams as she automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships in the women's pole vault. Weygandt cleared the highest mark by an American female under the age of 20 with her 4.40M/14'-5.25" on the final day of the Texas Tech Invitational held at the Athletic Training Facility.
"It felt like we really had a great meet compared to last week," head coach Wes Kittley said after the meet. "The competition was strong. I was really pleased with how we competed and was excited with the numerous personal bests we had over the two days."
Weygandt's mark breaks her school record that she owned and it breaks the Athletic Training Facility record that was a previous 4.38M/14'-4.50". This puts her in a tie for second on the NCAA rankings and is the best jump by an American female under the age of 20.
The Lady Raiders had more than one school record fall on the day. Kelsey Lloyd set a new mark in the 55M hurdles. The senior ran a 7.79 to break Tori Smith's 7.85. The Red Raiders had Bryce Brown run his personal best in the 55M hurdles with a 7.19 to finish second. Jamele Mason ran third with a fast 7.28 and Brandon Tucker was fifth with a 7.45. Tucker ran a faster preliminary with a 7.28. All three are now ranked in the top 10 of the NCAA after their times are converted to 60M.
Markus Henderson continued his strong weekend in the 55M. The junior ran a 6.16 in the final to beat the field. The time puts him after converted to a 60M at a 6.64 and has him second in the NCAA. The Tech women put four into the top six of the 55M. Terra Evans ran the fastest at 6.90 to place second. Tara Thomas finished fourth with a 7.01 with Erica Alexander (7.03) and Candace Jackson (7.06) right behind in fifth and sixth, respectively.
Darrell Roddick put himself into the top five of the NCAA triple jump list. The senior's mark measured 16.09M/52'-9.50" to win the event and put Roddick at No. 3 in the NCAA. Bryce Lamb was second with a mark of 15.48M/50'-9.50".
The Lady Raiders took the top three spots in the women's mile. Caroline Karunde (4:48.26), Winrose Karunde (4:48.76) and Purity Biwott (4:54.42) finishing in first, second and third. Silas Kemboi placed second in the men's mile with his time of 4:15.08. Caroline Karunde and Winrose Karunde's time put them at seventh and eighth, respectively.
Gil Roberts won the men's 400M with an improved time of 47.35 over last week's time. Roberts' time puts him as the No. 8 rank 400M runner at time of release.
Jessie Gibbs placed second in the women's pole vault clearing 3.55M/11'-7.75". On the men's side Kyal Meyers won the pole vault for the second week in the row. The freshman cleared 4.90M/16'-00.75".
The women's shot put had the top two places go to the Lady Raiders. Kelly Closse won with a throw of 16.22M/53'-2.75" and Ifeatu Okafor had her best throw of the season with a 15.75M/51'-8.25".
Devin Bailey was the top 800M runner with her time of 2:13.10 finishing third while Keaci Jobe was right behind in fourth with a 2:15.52.
The women's 4x400M relay of Jackson, Alexander, Meshawn Graham and Taylor Evans ran a season best of 3:37.65 to cross the line in second place. The men's 4x400M did not finish the race.
Tech's next meet will be next weekend with the Texas A&M Challenge.