LUBBOCK, Texas – A whole host of personal bests and program top-10 marks came through on an exciting final day of the Corky Classic Saturday.
The first program record of the year to fall came thanks to Gabrielle McDonald, who toppled the 60m hurdles record in her first meet as a Red Raider since transferring from Texas A&M. The junior ran an 8.02 in the final, placing herself second in the nation. The time came after running an 8.18 in the preliminary.
“I’m thrilled for Gabby breaking a school record right off the bat in her first race for Texas Tech, my goodness,” said Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Wes Kittley. “Her PR was 8.33 coming in from Texas A&M, so for her to run 8.02 in her first race. My word.”
Gabe Oladipo, another Texas A&M transfer making his Tech debut, also went after a school record – this one in the weight throw. All four of Oladipo’s legal marks were program top-10 distances, the best reaching as high as second on the all-time leaderboard. Oladipo’s top toss, a mark of 67’-3.5” (20.51m) places him just three inches from the school record set by Kole Weldon in 2015. Weldon’s mark was 67’-6.25” (20.58m).
For Oladipo, who also won the shot put, chasing down a record and landing his second-furthest throw ever was more than welcome for the first meet.
“We’ve been working out really hard, and we’re actually training through the meets,” he said. “It’s to get us ready for the latter half of the season, so we’ve been broken down and we used today as a practice. You want to do well and realize you won’t PR every day, but to have my second-best performance at a first meet like this is such a blessing and really exciting.”
Seasons Usual provided more excitement from the throws area. The junior made it a Tech sweep in the weight throw, picking up the win while setting a new PR in her season debut. Usual landed an attempt at 62’-3.25” (18.98m) to take the meet.
Elsewhere in the field, Jequan Hogan won the triple jump and became yet another Tech athlete to begin his indoor campaign with a personal best. Hogan’s winning try came on his very first attempt of the season when he landed a mark of 52’-6.75” (16.02m) for the indoor PR. Junior Ruth Usoro, making her debut in the Scarlet & Black after transferring from South Plains, PR’d in the long jump at 20’-3.75” (6.19m). She placed fifth.
The track saw excitement from Red Raider veterans and newcomers alike. On the men’s side, the duo of Derrius Rodgers and Keion Sutton began their senior seasons with a finals appearance in the 60m. Rodgers ran a 6.67 in his first race, while Sutton nearly PR’d with a 6.71 – just one one-hundredth of a second from his career best. They were joined in the final by Ashton O’Conner, who in his first collegiate meet ran 6.78 in the 60m and ran a personal-best 20.76 to win the 200m.
D’Jenne Egharevba was just as productive in her 60m and 200m double, winning the 200m with a 23.61 and making the finals of the 60m. She ran a strong 7.42 to win her preliminary heat of the 60m, but declined to run the final as she went for the 200m, which was run just 30 minutes later. Usoro also ran the 60m and turned in a personal-best 7.44 in the final to place fifth.
“We came out of the meet healthy,” Kittley said. “That’s number one. Number two: we want to get better every week. And we have another opportunity to do that next weekend.”