Riding the momentum created during a spectacular performance at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships, Baylor's track and field team has positioned itself among the nation's elite with 19 performances in the NCAA's top 15. In a season shaping up to be solid across the board, the Baylor women account for 12, while the men have seven of those top marks.
On the women's side, indoor record-breakers Skylar White and Tiffani McReynolds have been up to the same tricks outdoors, shattering previous BU marks, while taking top honors in each meet. White opened the season winning the discus and shot put at the TCU Invitational, then won the shot put with a mark of 56 feet, 3.75 inches at Arizona State. That mark broke White's record set last season by more than five feet, while ranking her second in the nation. The BU sophomore also ranks 10th in the country in the discus at 172-5.
McReynolds, on the other hand, took a one-meet rest after earning an NCAA silver medal and breaking the school 60-meter-hurdle record seven times indoors, but didn't miss a beat at Arizona State. The freshman erased a 15-year-old 100-meter hurdles record by three-tenths with a meet-winning time of 13.17. That time ranks her No. 2 in the NCAA.
For the men, Baylor's early season highlights have come from a variety of experience in the Green and Gold. Newcomers Woodrow Randall and Gabriel El Hanbli have already left their mark, while veterans Marcus Boyd, James Gilreath and Nick Lyons have the Bears positioned high atop the performance lists just two weeks in.
Randall turned in a time of 10.37 in the 100 meters at the Arizona State Invitational to rank eighth nationally, while El Hanbli ran a lifetime best of 50.83 in the 400-meter hurdles to win the TCU Invitational and rank fifth in the NCAA. Randall also joins Boyd, Whitney Prevost and Marcus Thompson as the nation's third-fastest 4x100-meter relay crew, after winning ASU with a time of 39.79.
Boyd, a seven-time All-American, also won at the Arizona State Invitational, taking the 400-meters with the nation's fifth-best time of 46.51. Gilreath, who earned his first All-America honor on the men's 4x400-meter relay outdoors last season, ran a career-best 800-meter time of 1:48.92 at ASU to rank sixth nationally. The pair is also half of Baylor's fourth-ranked 4x400-meter relay team alongside Prevost and Zwede Hewitt.
BAYLOR'S CURRENT TOP-15 NCAA PERFORMANCES (Name - Event - Mark/Rank)
Column written by John Harris of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Anybody but Connecticut basketball coach Jim Calhoun.
Surprising Connecticut faced Louisville in the Big East Tournament championship game Saturday night. Why Calhoun was on the sideline after violating recruiting rules, only the NCAA knows.
Why Baylor freshman Perry Jones was banned from the basketball postseason because his mother received improper benefits while he was in high school, only the NCAA knows.
Why Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel was suspended for only the first two games of the 2011 season -- a punishment levied by his school, not the NCAA -- for covering up that he knew some of his players, including star quarterback Terrelle Pryor, illegally sold memorabilia, only the NCAA knows. Most of the players -- whom the NCAA permitted to play in a BCS bowl game -- were suspended for the first five games next season.
Why the NCAA administers punishment in hypocritical fashion when it comes to adults, who should know better, and the young adults they are supposed to lead while drawing a clear line between the haves and have-nots, only the NCAA knows.
Here's my take: Mo' money. Mo' money. Mo' money.
To read John Harris' full article on Pittsburghlive.com, click here.
Barton [Kan.] Community College standout and Baylor signee Everett Walker turned in a spectacular weekend at the NJCAA Indoor Championships in Lubbock, Texas. The sophomore, who signed with Baylor in early February, completed the rare double, winning national titles in the 55 and 200 meters.
Already owning one national title from the 2010 NJCAA Championships, Walker successfully defended that 200-meter title with a time of 21.01. A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Walker added the 55-meter national title to his growing list of accolades with a time of 6.25.
Walker signed to run track for Baylor University on Feb. 3, and will join the team for the 2011-12 academic and athletic season with two years of eligibility remaining.
Under the pressure of a final grouping for the first time in his young PGA TOUR career, former Baylor All-American Jimmy Walker shot 3-over-par 75 in Sunday's final round and tied for ninth at the $6.3 million AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Walker grabbed a share of the early lead on Sunday with a birdie at the par-4 4th hole, dropping to 12-under for the tournament.
But after recording just three bogeys and one double in his first three rounds, Walker had four bogeys and a costly double in an 11-hole stretch before finishing with three straight pars. D.A. Points, paired with comedian Bill Murray in the pro-am portion, shot 15-under 271 and recorded his first PGA TOUR victory.
Posting his second top-10 finish of the season, Walker was tied for ninth with a group that included Phil Mickelson at 8-under 278. For the year, Walker moved up five spots to 17th in the FedEx Cup standings and seven spots to 19th on the money-winning list with $476,834.
Courtesy of Jerry Hill's Baylor Bear Insider Report
Whitney Canion and the Baylor softball team were featured on ESPN.com after jumping out to a 5-0 start, its best since 2007.
"An uncertain future might not sound like cause for celebration, but it beats the bleak variety. Coming off a campaign in which it missed the NCAA tournament for the second time in three years, Baylor opened the 2011 season by sweeping five games at home to win the Getterman Classic..."