WACO, Texas – The Texas Tech University men's and women's track and field teams set themselves up for a strong weekend, opening up the 2018 Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Clyde Hart Stadium. Multiple Red Raiders hit the podium Friday, while both teams positioned themselves well to grab points in the combined events.
Texas Tech will enter the final three events of the heptathlon with the lead, as junior Kaylee Hinton grabbed the lead with 3,549 points. Hinton grabbed the lead after the high jump event, in which she won with a personal best mark of 1.79m (5-10.5). She maintained her lead with a win in the 200m at 23.85 (6.6).
Hinton sits in first place ahead of Ariel Okorie of Kansas State by 132 points. Rose Njoku is not far behind, sitting in fifth place at 3,191 points. Njoku came on strong in the final two events of the day, claiming third place in the shot put at 11.08m and fourth in the 200m at 24.79 (6.6).
In the men's javelin throw, Texas Tech put 11 points on the board with a pair of Red Raiders reaching the podium. Werner Bouwer claimed second overall with a mark of 67.27m on his second throw. Senior Hunter Hopkins claimed sixth with a throw of 63.00m, a new personal best.
At the halfway mark of the decathlon, Texas Tech makes up two of the top four athletes in the field. Erin Lopez and Clark Griffith sit in third and fourth place, respectively. Lopez holds 3,758 points, 202 points off the lead. His day was highlighted by a third place finish in the high jump at 1.93m. Griffith holds 3,629 points, aided by 7.04m (2.1) fourth-place mark in the long jump. Colten Gayle rounds out the Red Raiders in the field with 2,686 points. His 11.07m throw in the shot put is a new personal record.
The Red Raiders will continue competition tomorrow, starting with the second half of the men's and women's combined events at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., respectively.