LUBBOCK, Texas –The NCAA individual rankings were taken head-on in an action-packed Friday at the Texas Tech Classic. The second day of the meet was headlined by 60m races that saw both current leaders fall.
On what Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Wes Kittley believes is the fastest track in the country, three men's 60m finalists all tied the current world lead after running blazing times of 6.56. It came down to the milliseconds, and NC State's Cravont Charleston (6.552) edged out Florida State's Kasaun James (6.553) and Tech's own Andrew Hudson (6.554). The time places Hudson in a tie for the world and NCAA lead, as well as makes him the new program record-holder. He is also currently in the world lead for the 200m after a 20.41 at last week's Red Raider Open.
Kittley believes it is this competitive atmosphere that cultivates such performances.
"I think what's invaluable is being in this environment," he said. "Being in this national-type meet where you've got to be under this type of pressure – we don't get to see that every week. We needed this."
Prior to Hudson's record-breaking race, KeSean Carter, running for Tech after his freshman season for the Red Raider football team, recorded a 6.79 to win his heat and receive an automatic bid for the semis. He was joined in the semi-finals by Jacolby Shelton and Joel Latson, who grabbed at-large bids with times of 6.80 and 6.86, respectively. In the semis, Shelton ran a 7.74 to place 10th, while Carter's 6.77 was good for 12th. Latson turned in a 6.87 to place 20th.
In the women's 60m, Robyn Byrd ran a personal-record 7.45 to secure the last at-large spot in the semi-finals, where she would join fellow teammates Tiffani Johnson and D'Jenne Egharevba. Johnson was the lone Red Raider to make the finals, turning a 7.47 to grab hold of that last at-large spot herself. In a talent-packed finals, she took advantage of the at-large bid to run a personal-best 7.39 for fifth place.
Norman Grimes Jr. represented Tech in the finals of the men's 60m hurdles, running a 7.99 to win his semi-final heat. In the finals, he dropped almost over a tenth of a second to run a 7.83 – good enough for a comfortable win.
The 400m saw a combined three personal records and one program top-10 between the eight Red Raiders running it. Senior Sara Limp ran a 53.08 to land fourth in program history and finish third. Also on the women's side, a 56.41 for Lexye Price counted as a PR. The men's side saw PRs from Lavone Brown and Isaac Shepard, though it was Tyreek Mathis and his 47.13 that counted as the highest place for a Red Raider at sixth.
In the field, Duke Kicinski one-upped his PR from last week with a 64'-10.5" (19.77m), making him fifth in program history. Odaine Lewis placed fourth in a loaded long jump group with a top leap of 53'-1" (16.18m).
The second half of the Texas Tech Classic's track and field action will take place Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. .