Red Raiders set for strong 2020 campaign to follow up 2019 national title.
LUBBOCK, Texas – Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Wes Kittley announced the 2020 track and field schedule Tuesday.
The Red Raiders will begin the year with five home meets at the Sports Performance Center. Mixed into the home indoor slate will be the annual Under Armour High School Classic (Jan. 25) and a trip to Albuquerque for the Red Raiders for the NM Collegiate Classic (Feb. 7-8).
“I couldn’t be more excited to stay home again,” Kittley said, referencing the fast times the SPC has become known for. “I think it’s such a huge advantage.
The fast track at the SPC, combined with Tech’s national title in June, has attracted a host of premiere programs for the upcoming season. The marquee meet will be the Jan. 30-Feb. 1 Texas Tech Invitational and Multis.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the teams we’ve garnered to show up here,” he said. “Each week we’re going to have major Division I schools here, but the Texas Tech Invitational will be the premiere meet going on in the country that weekend. It’s going to be an incredible show – something I don’t think Lubbock has ever seen before.”
After hosting what was considered the most competitive Big 12 Indoor Championships meet in conference history last year, Tech will travel to Ames, Iowa, for the title meet on Feb. 28-29. The Red Raiders and Cyclones will alternate the rights to the conference meet every other year.
In mid-March, Tech’s trip to New Mexico will pay dividends, as the NCAA Indoor Championships are set to be hosted at the same facility March 13-14.
“The facility in New Mexico is different and it will be a different feel,” Kittley said. “I think it’s important we get our top people over there before nationals to see what it’s like.”
The outdoor schedule will feature a wide array of traveling for the Red Raiders. Tech will open its season with the annual Wes Kittley Invitational at Abilene Christian (March 20-21) before heading to the Texas Relays (March 24-28). A home meet will take up the following weekend before Tech hits College Station, Mt. SAC, Waco and Arkansas the following three weeks.
“When we get into this outdoor schedule, I feel really good that we’re going to be running against the best people in the country,” Kittley said. “We’ll travel a lot, so I don’t want to be going too far outside of our area, but when we do it’ll be worth it with the competition we’ll be seeing.”
The challenging schedule will prepare the Red Raiders to be in prime form come the postseason.
“It’s so important to get used to having to rise to the occasion week in and week out,” he said. “That way, you’re not surprised by any of your competition. When we get to the big show with nationals – or conference even – it’s nothing. It’s just going to work and business as usual.”