Eight Wildcats set personal bests at Texas Tech last weekend, led by juniors Lonnie Smith and Kayla Melgar
Smith and Melgar, who are now ranked first and second in the Southland Conference in the weight throw, threw for 18.31 meters and 18.29, respectively.
The women also had strong showing from senior Alexandria Hackett, who finished second in the women’s mile and fourth in the 5k, and Tori Hardy, who now ranks 10th in the Southland Conference in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.75. The last personal set on the women’s side was Sierra Bennett’s 10:56.86 in the 3k.
Coach Lance Bingham said there’s a lot to be proud of. However, he said while indoor meets are helpful, there’s always an end goal in mind – conference championships, where he thinks the women have a shot at placing in the top three.
“While indoor is certainly fun, ultimately this is preparing us for Conference,” Bingham said. “The goal is really to look ahead three and a half, four weeks and perform well there.”
It wasn’t just the women who were rolling along at the meet – six of the eight personal bests set at Tech were men, including sophomore pole vaulter Justin Haynes. He said it was a result of hard work ethic and a consistent practice routine.
“Monday and Wednesday we drive to Merkel and pole vault in an old barn,” Haynes said. “It’s really sweet to be able to practice there, but it’s cold. Then on Tuesdays and Thursdays we have a recovery day and light circuit workouts and then Friday is pre-meet.”
Other personal bests on the men’s side included seniors Morgan Knight, Ryan Simmons and Josh Hunter in the weight throw. Freshman Noah Herring also posted a personal record in the long jump, and sophomore Avery Williams did the same in the 400m dash.
Bingham says while the team is still young and a few members are redshirting, some may have a chance to place individually in the conference championship.
“There are some [men] who definitely have a chance of winning some stuff,” Bingham said. “But really we’re looking towards the future because we don’t really lose any men next year due to the redshirts.”
The next track meet is in Lubbock once again at the Texas Tech Shootout, which takes place Feb. 9-10.