Texas Tech senior sprinter Montene Speight brought home the most prestigious and arguably most important accolade from the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship by being awarded Elite 89 recognition.


The Elite 89 Award was started by the NCAA in 2009 and is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals for each of the NCAA’s 89 Championships.

Speight is a political science major from St. Louis, Missouri has earned a 4.0 GPA during her career at Tech. She is the first Red Raider athlete, regardless of  sport to be awarded the Elite 89 designation.

Speight completed a tremendous season for the Red Raider women on the track as well. She earned five All-Big 12 designations and second team All-American in the 400-meter dash.  In the class room she was named to the All-Big 12 Academic First Team, Capital One Academic All-District Team and has  a possibility of being named Academic All-American.

"To receive this award is truly an honor," Speight said. "I have been feeling so blessed lately with all of the recognition for being both a student and an athlete. With track, there's only one winner, but in school everyone can get an "A" or get a 4.0. I'm in control of my success in that department. Like I've said before, I would like to go to law school, and I can't do that with basic grades or a basic resume. I have to do things that set me apart from other students."

Speight added: “I've heard this award is like the Bowerman of academics for student-athletes, so I'm happy that a Red Raider is bringing it home. With the emphasis that Coach Kittley puts on academics, his program deserves to be recognized as an academically accomplished program.