Baylor senior sprinter Tiffany Townsend, who completed her collegiate eligibility in 2011, earned a second-place finish at the World University Games in Shenzhen, China, early Friday morning.
Running in a time zone 13 hours ahead of her home state of Texas, Townsend nearly pulled off a world title coming in second in the 200 meters behind Jamaica's Anneisha McLaughlin. Townsend, a 17-time All-American at Baylor, turned in a time of 22.96, behind McLaughlin's personal-best 22.54.
With the 200 meters in the books at the World University Games, Townsend will have Saturday off to rest and then make a decision on running the 4x100 and 4x400-meter relays on Sunday.
"I've had a great time in China, it's been really fun so far," Townsend said. "It's been a long season and I just felt like my legs are getting a little tired at this point in the season. We'll have to see how my legs feel, but hopefully I'll feel good enough to run in the relays this weekend."
Townsend, who earned All-America honors for Baylor during the indoor and outdoor collegiate seasons, has been on the move this summer, taking on competition in a number of countries overseas. Overall, the Killeen, Texas, native collected four victories at six meets during her summer run.
"It's been a great experience going overseas and being on my own," Townsend said. "I have definitely had to grow up a lot and do a lot on my own, but it's been great to see a lot of different places."
The World University Games will complete Townsend's eight-month season, which started with the first indoor competition in January.
In May, the Baylor men's golf team made its 14th consecutive NCAA Regional appearance, earning a trip to the NCAA Florida Regional in Ocala, Fla. The Bears finished seventh at the Regional, falling a few strokes shy of making their second straight trip to the NCAA Championship.
Golfweek's Asher Wildman is breaking down the top 60 men's and women's programs entering the 2011-12 season and the Baylor Bears are No. 42 on Wildman's list. Here's an excerpt of Wildman's analysis for Baylor in 2011-12:
(Greg) Priest is excited about the upcoming season. "We have an experienced group coming back with a sour taste in their mouths who want to get the job done," he said. Having four returning starters will be key for a program that's often overlooked in the top-heavy Big 12 Conference. Quietly, Baylor has become a NCAA postseason regular and is inching closer and closer to becoming a team that regularly qualifies for nationals. For Baylor to get to Riviera Country Club this year, Priest is placing pressure squarely on the shoulders of his standout senior. "How Joakim (Mikkelsen) goes is how our team goes," Priest said. "On the final day of regionals last year, he was our non-counter - and that can't ever happen." If Baylor wants to crack the top 30 of the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, it will have to be more consistent. Too many times, the Bears followed a good finish with a disappointing one. The Bears need to put together a few good finishes in a row to be thought of as a top team, not only in the Big 12 but in the country.
Bottom line: With four starters back, there is no reason the Bears shouldn't make a 15th consecutive trip to regionals. At times, this team shows flashes of greatness; the next step is consistency. With the experience, talent and depth on this year's roster, the Bears should improve, solidify themselves as a top-30 team and earn an NCAA Championship spot next May.
Baylor will tee off its 2011-12 season Sept. 4-5 at the Turning Stone Tiger Intercollegiate in Verona, N.Y.