Tech Strong on Day Two of Relays


AUSTIN – Texas Tech wrapped its second day in the state capital Friday. The Red Raiders grabbed a handful of spots in final races for Saturday, as well as earned room on the podium in several other events. 
Tech’s sprints group was solid to begin a long day in Austin. The men’s 4×100 relay grabbed a spot in the finals after winning its heat with a 39.36. Keion Sutton began with a strong opening leg, and upon his handoff to Divine Oduduru the Red Raiders began to run away with the race. Oduduru’s huge separation from the pack was expanded during the third leg thanks to Andrew Hudson, and Jacolby Shelton closed it out strong. Together, they combined for the fifth-fastest sprint relay in program history. 
The men’s sprint and distance medley teams both came away with third-place finishes. In the SMR, Divine Oduduru and Josiah MacInnis combined for strong 200m legs. MacInnis handed off to Chancellor Stephenson, who completed the 400m with a great split. Stephenson passed the baton to Vincent Crisp, who guided Tech to a 3:17.86 and bronze medal. The DMR team was kicked off by Cornelius Kiprotich, who was followed by Lavone Brown, Sven Cepus and Jonah Koech. The distance medley team wound up with a 9:57.04. 
The women’s DMR team was just as solid, finishing with an 11:45.98. The race was begun by Jessica Gallardo, who left the 400m and 800m legs to Taylor Rockwell and Maygen Smith, respectively. The last four laps were completed by Nokuthula Dlamini, who just last night PR’d in the steeplechase. Dlamini’s last leg guided her squad to a fourth-place finish. 
Alaysha Johnson broke into the program top-10 as an individual for the women. The senior ran a 13.17 in her first 100m hurdles as a Red Raider, good for the ninth-fastest time in program history. Johnson’s final is set for 2:17 p.m. on Saturday. 

In the straight 100m, Robyn Byrd was just two one-hundredths of a second from making the final despite tying her PR of 11.65 (11.642). Tiffani Johnson also ran an 11.65 (11.649) to place 16th in the preliminary. 
Duke Kicinski made a strong comeback in the discus to earn bronze. The graduate student, who currently leads the country in the discus, was sitting well outside the top-eight after his first two throws, one of which was a foul. With one attempt to carve out a spot in the final flight, he unloaded a 189′-1″ (57.63m) to slide into fourth. He moved onto the podium with his final throw with a 198′-11″ (60.63m), making it three straight weekends he has topped 60m. He had never done so before this season.  

Now in her second season in Lubbock, Chloe Wall continued to show off her immense growth in the pole vault. After an indoor campaign that saw her score at the Big 12 Championships, the sophomore cleared 13′-9.75″ (4.21m) – good for an outdoor personal best. The mark placed her seventh in a strong B-section. 
Tech’s jumpers looked good Friday, too. Chelsey Cole marked a triple jump PR of 42′-1.25″ (12.83m) to finish runner-up in the B-section. She did this shortly after long jumping 19′-8.25″ (6.00m) to land as one of three Red Raiders in the top-seven of the B-section. Ivy Walker led that B-section with a wind-aided 20′-0.5″ (6.11m) to place second. 

The triple was led by Jequan Hogan, who PR’d by over a foot to grab a fourth-place finish. The freshman jumped 53′-2.75″ (16.22m) in his second jump, which held for a near-medal performance. Behind him in fifth was Charles Brown, who topped at 52′-9.5″ (16.09m). 

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