Texas Tech Men's Track & Field achieves national lead

Provided by Texas Tech Athletics

The Texas Tech men's track & field program received its first ever first-place ranking in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association indoor rankings.

This is the first time that a Texas Tech program has been ranked first since the Lady Raider Basketball team received a No. 1 ranking on January 12, 2004.

The ranking marks the fifth-consecutive week that the Red Raiders have been in the top 10, and the fourth-straight week of sitting in the top five.

The week four USTFCCCA ranking is the first compilation that does not take last year's marks into account, ensuring a true reflection of the 2018 season performances.

"I'm really proud for our kids on the team and for Texas Tech to be considered one of the best teams in the country," head coach Wes Kittley said. "It is such a razor-thin line for several schools that legitimately have a shot at a national championship. We have to remember these are just rankings, and that we have a lot of work to do."

Five top-25 Red Raider marks were inked on the NCAA Division I Indoor Qualifying List from this past weekend's performances.

Joining the 18-foot club was sophomore vaulter Brandon Bray. In order to achieve this 5.50m/18-0.50 No. 2 all-time Texas Tech mark, Bray had to compete solo for a total of three bars. At 5.20m/17-0.75 Bray was the last man standing, only to clear three more bars in just four attempts to claim his No. 10 nationally ranked spot. Bray also sits in the top-50 in the world for this clearance.

Leaping new a No. 3 nationally ranked spot in the triple jump was junior Charles Brown. On his third jump, Brown achieved a lifetime-best 16.30m/53-5.75 mark. This jump sits as the fourth-highest in Texas Tech indoor history. Brown also holds a second-place national ranking in the long jump at 8.03m/26-4.25.

Another personal-best performance was executed by Andrew Hudson. In addition to his No. 2 all-time 200m mark (20.42), Hudson added a No. 2 60m time to the Texas Tech books. In the preliminaries, Hudson clocked a 6.61 60m dash that sits 14th in the nation.

Steven Champlin improved his 400-meter mark to 45.97, marking his first sub-46 time on an indoor track. This performance ranks second in Texas Tech history, just behind Red Raider Olympian Gil Roberts' 45.71 run from the NCAA Championships in 2009. Champlin's run ranks 10th in the NCAA and 15th in the world.

The fourth-best 4x400-meter indoor relay in Texas Tech history was run on Saturday afternoon, composed by Tyreek Mathis, Steven Champlin, C.J. Jones and Divine Oduduru. The quartet ran a blazing 3:05.18 relay that ranks seventh in the nation.

Two Red Raiders in particular have been putting up serious numbers in the record books to claim world and national leads as well as all-time recognition.

Trey Culver had a jump-start on the season with his record shattering 2.33m/7-7.75 performance in the men's high jump. Culver swept both the national lead and Texas Tech record book lead, while also notching the fourth-highest high jump mark in the nation and a mark ranked fourth in the world. Culver cleared seven of eight bars in the first attempt in order to claim this lifetime-best achievement.

Divine Oduduru sits at the top of these lists with Culver, only in the sprints section. In each meet he has competed this year, Oduduru has achieved top-5 school records. Oduduru is undefeated in both of his indoor 200-meter races with his 20.18 mark serving as the school record, world lead and NCAA lead. These two school record performances marked Oduduru's first and second indoor 200m races ever. The freshman sprinter also leads in the 60-meter dash at 6.58, with the sixth-ranked mark in the nation and 18th in the world.

This weekend, the Red Raiders will host their last home indoor meet of the season, the Matador Qualifier, before heading to the Big 12 Indoor Track & field Championship on February 23-24.