Baylor Track Continues at USAs
10:35 A.M., MONDAY, JUNE 27, 2011
Seven of Baylor's top track and field members found mixed results on the first three days at the USA Championships in Eugene, Ore.
Senior Tiffany Townsend made her way through the first round of the women's 100 meters, running the 10th fastest time at 11.22 to qualify automatically. In the semifinals, Townsend was unable to earn a finals spot, finishing 15th with a time of 11.46. In the 200, she cranked it up, racing to a heat-winning time of 22.80 to place seventh overall in the prelims.
In the 100-meter hurdles, freshman Tiffani McReynolds posted a solid time of 12.97 to qualify for the semifinals with the 16th-fastest time.
For the men, senior Marcus Boyd qualified for the semifinals as well, but also failed to make the finals. In the first round, Boyd turned in a time of 46.08 to qualify 16th, but a 14th-place time of 46.14 wasn't enough to qualify further. Junior Woodrow Randall missed qualifying in the first round of the 100 meters with a 21st-place time of 11.33, while senior Whitney Prevost also fell short in the 200 meters in 25th place at 21.00.
In the field events for Baylor, sophomore Skylar White and senior Nick Lyons each suffered the fate of missing qualifying for the finals by one place. In the women's shot put, White launched the third-best throw of her career in the prelims of 55 feet, 4.25 inches, but was five inches short of eighth place to make the finals. For Lyons in the men's javelin, a toss of 232-4 left him in ninth place as well.
Former Baylor standout and three-time Olympic gold medalist Jeremy Wariner earned his way through qualifying of the 400 meters, taking second place in finals with a time of 44.98.
On the final day of action, Baylor's dynamic duo of Tiffani McReynolds and Tiffany Townsend each came up just short of moving on from the semifinals of their respective races.
McReynolds break the 13-second barrier for the second consecutive race in the 100-meter hurdles, but finished 14th overall against an elite field. The Baylor freshman ends the season with an All-America award and two Big 12 individual titles to her credit.
Townsend, a senior departing Baylor, was 12th in the 200-meter semifinal with a time of 23.04. Finishing her career as a Bear, Townsend will walk away with the all-time school record for most All-America Awards with 17 after earning four more this season.
Looking Back: Kenya Mission Trip More Than Sports
9:15 P.M., TUESDAY, JUNE 21, 2011
37 Baylor student-athletes recently returned home from a missions trip to Nairobi, Kenya. In a trip that featured visits to Kizito Children's Care and men's and women's prison units, as well as several sports clinics throughout the area, the missions group found the perfect opportunity to give back to a nation in need.
One of the projects was to help rebuild a Community Center in the slums of Mukuru, which was destroyed in a devastating fire in March that left two people dead and nearly 3,500 families displaced.
Below is an article written by Walter Machio, Baylor's sports ministry partner in Africa that helped host the group.
On March 28th, in Fuata Nyayo slums-Nairobi, Kenya, over 3,250 families were rendered homeless when a fierce fire gutted down hundreds of homes. Among the affected families were 15 boys from the Michezo Afrika's-Nairobi Junior League soccer and mentorship development program whose houses were completely destoyed leaving them and their families homeless and hopeless.
But three months down the line, the families of the affected boys especially those attached to the Nairobi junior league and the Cheza Afrika soccer programs received reconstructed hope and a new lease of life when they received a rare heavy gift from the visiting group from Baylor University.
Peter Mutisya - father to upcoming goalkeeper Francis Mutisya - had lost hope after all he had worked for over the years went up in smoke during the fire. Without enough finances to reconstruct his house, Mutisya turned to seek refuge mostly from relatives with an initial thought of moving back to his drought-stricken rural home in Eastern province.
But on March 18, Mutisya and his family had a reason to bring back the smiles on their faces when the group from Baylor helped put up a new three bedroom house for him and his family.
"I have been here for three years in a row now and the people we meet here every year are just amazing," said former Lady Bear Melissa Jones. "This is like my second home and I'm delighted to just be a part of the light in the lives of these young ones and their families. Just by coming here to join and rebuild their homes for the community is a great blessing not only to the soccer boys, but to us as a team because we have realized that the things we don't value a lot in life, mean great to others out there."
After completion of the house that was built in one day, Mutisya dedicated one room of the newly built house to serve as a resource center for the community especially to the budding soccer stars in the impoverished slum. The youth will be using the same each evening after their soccer training to carry out their remedial studies. The center will also offer job opportunities to the parents of the boys and the coaches who train them on a daily basis.
"When the house burnt down, we had lost all hope, we lost all we had in the fire and at one point we had thought of moving back to our rural home but now we have a smile back on our faces," Mutisya said. "Through my young boy Francis, soccer has brought back life, sports has made us new people and we thank all that have worked in making this day the most memorable in our lives and that of the entire community. We will live to pray for their success in whatever they do and I dedicate one room in this house to serve as a resource center for the community and especially the upcoming soccer stars."
On Behalf of the Baylor team, Terrance Ganaway thanked Mutisya for showing compassion to the community urging him to serve as a shining head to all the families and to exhibit leadership in bringing them together as a family united by their little boys in the name of sports,
"This is just a fantastic experience and we wish we could do more than just grab hammers and nails to share in the little that we have," Ganaway said. "These people value everything to be so precious, even with the little they can get they have a bright smile on their faces each day we meet and talk to them yet we take so much for granted. This was a unique opportunity for us to be a part of the team that just built back a life and we thank God for that."
Mikkelsen Falls in British Am Quarterfinals
9:14 A.M., FRIDAY, JUNE 17, 2011
Needing two victories Friday to advance to the match-play championship at the British Amateur, Baylor men's golfer Joakim Mikkelsen lost his quarterfinal match to Sebastien Gros of France, falling with one hole remaining.
Mikkelsen, a two-time GCAA PING All-Central Region selection, concluded one of the best individual seasons in program history in 2010-11. His 72.35 scoring average in 2010-11 ranks eighth on Baylor's single-season list; the Drammen, Norway, native has six top-five and 11 top-10 career finishes - both rank on Baylor's career top-10 lists.
MIKKELSEN'S BRITISH AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
Stroke Play: 4-over 147 (first-round 75 at par-72 Hillside; second-round 72 at par-71 Hesketh)
Round of 64: def. Garth McGee (Malone), 19th hole
Round of 32: def. Ben Campbell (New Zealand), 2 holes
Round of 16: def. Jason Timmis (Newcastle-under-Lyme), 4&2
Quarterfinals: lost to Sebastien Gros (France), 1 hole
The winner of the 2011 British Amateur Championship will earn a spot in the 2011 British Open in July and the 2012 Masters next April.
Mikkelsen Moves on to Final Eight at British Am
11:54 A.M., THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011
Baylor men's golf senior-to-be Joakim Mikkelsen has moved on to the match-play quarterfinals at the 2011 British Amateur Championship with a pair of match victories Thursday. In his Round of 32 match, Mikkelsen knocked off Ben Campbell of New Zealand and later defeated Jason Timmis of Newcastle-under-Lyme, 4&2.
Mikkelsen will face France's Sebastian Gros in the first match of Friday's quarterfinal round at 8:15 a.m. local time (2:15 a.m. CT). The winner will advance the semifinals against the winner of Michael Stewart (Troon Welbeck) and Tom Lewis (Welwyn Garden City) at 1 p.m. local time (7 a.m. CT).
The finals of the 2011 British Amateur Championship will tee off Saturday at 8:30 a.m. local time (2:30 a.m. CT). Live scoring for Friday's quarterfinal and semifinal matches can be found here.
Canion's Quest for Team USA
11:15 A.M., THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011
NOTE: Whitney Canion was selected as one of 35 players to try out for Team USA at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. Canion will keep Baylor fans updated with a blog before the 17-person roster is announced at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 17. Here is her second blog...
Tuesday was great once again, we played three games total, but I did not pitch. I hit, but went 0-for-3. Since Monday, I have felt like all of the girls are getting more comfortable with each other and each day gets even better. We had a meeting Tuesday night and decided that the games were going too quick with the pitchers only throwing one time through the line up, so they changed it Wednesday to where the pitchers face the line up of 13-14 players two times each. We only faced five batters at a time, so every pitcher is out in the circle the same amount of time to give a fair advantage. So Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. was my game to pitch against Jordan Taylor from Michigan. It was a great game and I realized how tough going through the line up twice is, compared to once. One time through is such an advantage to the pitcher but today was a huge challenge every single pitch of every at bat. I love the challenges we are faced with. After I pitched today, I chose to talk to the coach about being a pitcher only for the rest of camp, this way I can focus solely on pitching. Tons of amazing hitters, pitchers, and defense players that my goal is to get the job done pitching. So since lunch on Wednesday my tryout is over. So I decided to watch the last two games of Wednesday in the stands in flip flops and my shorts... Well, this California sun has me BURNT crisp!!! Today when I am watching the last two games, I won't be too stubborn for sunscreen, that's for sure. While I was sitting with Chelsea Thomas today (Missouri pitcher) she decided to bring up the fact that I fell at first base at the WCWS, so lots of us got a kick out of that. I told her it was NOT funny because I had an ingrown toenail!! :)
Two more games today, a meeting with USADA about drug testing and then one last night here. I will be up bright and early Friday morning for my 8 a.m. flight to head back to Dallas and then I will know who made this USA National Team!
For pictures from the camp, go here.
Stay tuned to baylorbears.com to find out if I made it. Thank you to everyone for your support, it means so much to me! Sic 'Em!
Mikkelsen Advances at British Amateur
1:46 P.M., WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2011
After finishing stroke play with a two-round score of 4-over 147, Baylor men's golf senior-to-be Joakim Mikkelsen earned a spot in the Round of 64 match play at the 2011 British Amateur Championship. Mikkelsen advanced to the Round of 32 Wednesday after knocking off Garth McGee on the 19th hole.
Mikkelsen will face New Zealand's Ben Campbell in the third match Thursday at 7:50 a.m. local time (1:50 a.m. CT). Live scoring for Thursday's match play can be viewed here.
The Drammen, Norway, native was one of three Baylor Bears competing in the 2011 Amateur Championship, but was the only one to advance to match play. Fellow senior-to-be Lorenzo Scotto shot 14-over 157. Incoming freshman Mikkel Bjerch Andresen (Norway) shot 7-over 150. Another incoming freshman, Filippo Zucchetti, opted not to participate in the British Am, instead participating at the 2011 BMW Italian Open; Zucchetti did not make the cut, shooting 1-under 143, including a second-round 3-under 69.
Canion's Quest for Team USA
10:50 A.M., TUESDAY, JUNE 14, 2011
NOTE: Whitney Canion was selected as one of 35 players to try out for Team USA at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. Canion will keep Baylor fans updated with a blog before the 17-person roster is announced at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 17. Here is her first go at it...
Sunday, I landed in San Diego and waited for the vans to pick me and a few more girls up who flew in at the same time. We checked in, and everyone has a roommate. Mine is Bridget Del Ponte from Arizona then one girl in the living room, and two girls in the other room. We also were issued three sets of practice clothes to wear different colors depending on which team you are. The cafeteria is very close, with a lot of healthy food to choose from. Other athletes are training here as well so we see them in the cafeteria. Sunday night we all met and got our itinerary. Monday morning was skill testing. We timed home to first twice, and home to second twice. Then we did skills testing for each position and pitchers went first. So we did bunts and grounders and threw to each bag. The selection committee is around the field watching and they will evaluate all the players. We have numbers on our backs so they know who is who, and I am #6! After lunch ,we started scrimmaging on the field. I pitched in the first scrimmage to 15 batters, but four at a time for the Blue team today. Each pitcher will face each hitter once, and there are 10 pitchers total here trying out. Since I hit, I will be in every game, just in the line up, and face each pitcher once. Today I faced Jordan Taylor from Michigan and Jolene Henderson from Cal. I walked in my second at bat today, but don't worry- I ended up sliding into home and getting a big strawberry on my leg, glad I could give some girls a great laugh. I totally forgot to bring long socks so I was just in shorts and short socks, but don't worry, I was safe. Monday night, we took headshot photos for the internet. This opportunity is amazing so far, when we were playing, I realized how competitive this is, but also relaxing because every girl has the same amount of passion. Every girl is here wanting to represent our country. There is a possibility the Olympics will be brought back in 2020, but we don't know for sure. Tuesday we have three scrimmages, so I will get three at-bats. Then Wednesday morning I will pitch to the rest of the girls that did not see me today. Thursday is our last day or tryout.
The weather here is absolutely amazing, we have our windows open right now and door open. It was cool last night so we needed a light jacket. Something interesting, they have tons of bunnies here on campus and little geckos everywhere. It is very cool to see all the great girls from different schools come together and share lots of stories and memories!
Well, it's time to get going. Until my next blog, Sic 'Em!
Davis to Represent England in Upcoming Tournaments
11:03 A.M., MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2011
Baylor women's golf incoming freshman Hayley Davis has been selected to represent her native England in two of the English Women's Golf Association's upcoming five major events. Davis has been named to England's team for the European Ladies' Team Championship, which will be held July 5-9 at Murhof Golf Club in Austria. One of the reserves for England's European Ladies' team is former Baylor women's golf standout and recent graduate, Hannah Burke.
In August, Davis will also represent England in the Girls' Home International, which will be held August 3-5 in Scotland.
Good luck to Hayley this summer. Sic 'Em!
Volleyball Reloading for the New Big 12
10:46 A.M., FRIDAY, JUNE 3, 2011
With the 2011 volleyball season the horizon, Baylor's head coach Jim Barnes is excited about the talent, size and athleticism that his team will put on the court this fall. With the departure of Nebraska to the Big Ten and Colorado to the Pac-10, the Big 12 conference will have a new look as well with its nine volleyball members.
But, one thing that may be the biggest factor in the success of this team: experience. Despite losing three of its top six attackers and its top back-row defender, Baylor's roster features six seniors, including a new member that boasts the experience of making it to the brink of a national title on the Lady Bear Basketball team.
Despite exhausting her basketball eligibility standout Melissa Jones will join the volleyball program for her fifth year of collegiate athletics. Under normal circumstances, student-athletes are given five years to complete four seasons with any given set of sports, but may use a fifth year to compete for a program in which they haven't exhausted those four seasons. Jones, an all-state high school volleyball player in her home state of Colorado, is taking full advantage of her time at Baylor as she pursues a graduate degree.
Along with Jones, Baylor returns three hitters on offense that averaged at least 1.69 kills per set, including junior-to-be Torri Campell. As a sophomore, Campbell was second on the team with a .305 hitting percentage and averaged 2.72 k/s, behind only graduated all-Big 12 performer Elizabeth Graham. Senior-to-be Allison King returns as one of the most versatile players in the conference, leading Baylor in digs per set in 2009 before switching to the outside hitter position to rank fourth on the team in kills per set.
Barnes will also look to his new crop of talent, including mid-year junior college transfer Alyssa Dibbern and three National Letter of Intent signees set to hit campus this fall. Dibbern joined the Bears for the spring season and showed promise with her ability to rack up kills. In Baylor's signees, Barnes has added three frontline players that each ranked in Prepvolleyball.com's top 150. The Bears will gain the services of Oklahoma City outside hitter Tori Cox and Katy, Texas, OH Nicole Bardaji, along with Stillwater, Minn., middle blocker Adrianna Nora. Cox and Nora each stand 6-foot-3, while Bardaji is 6-0.
"Our incoming players for 2011 will bring great talent, size and athleticism to our team," Barnes said. "We are looking forward to seeing them compete for positions and what they can bring to our team. This team had a very productive spring and is ready to prove they are contender for the Big 12 title. We also welcome with open arms, Melissa Jones, to our volleyball family. She knows our players very well off the court and will be a great teammate. Her passion and character will fit in very well with our team and can only benefit our program."
Baylor's signing class of Cox, Bardaji and Nora, along with the additions of Hope Ogden of Dallas' Highland Park High School and Jordan Teel of Argyle (Texas) High School, Baylor has a recruiting class that lies just outside of the top 30 according to Prepvolleyball.com's list of top recruiting classes.
Four Men's Golfers to Compete in British Am
2:12 P.M., THURSDAY, JUNE 2, 2011
Two current Baylor men's golfers and two incoming freshmen are slated to compete at the 2011 British Amateur Championship, which will be held June 13-18 at Hillside and Hesketh Golf Clubs in Southport. Europeans Joakim Mikkelsen (Norway), Lorenzo Scotto (Italy), Mikkel Bjerch-Andresen (Norway) and Filippo Zucchetti (Italy) are among 288 players competing in the first stage of the British Amateur Championship, which will feature two rounds of 18 holes. Each golfer will play 18 holes on each course.
The low 64 scores and ties for 64th place will compete in the match play stage, which will commence June 16 at Hillside. Each match will consist of one 18-hole round except for the final match which will consist of 36 holes.
Mikkelsen just concluded one of the best individual seasons in program history, earning Division I PING All-Central Region honors for the second consecutive year. The Drammen, Norway, native led Baylor in every major statistical category, including rounds counted (97.1 percent), scoring average (72.35), score vs. par (1.03) and rounds of par or better (15). He posted nine top-25 finishes in 11 tournaments, while adding three top-10 and five top-15 finishes as well. His 72.35 scoring average is the seventh-lowest single-season mark in program history. In three seasons, Mikkelsen owns a 73.00 scoring average in 38 career tournaments (115 rounds) and has posted six top-five, 11 top-10, 18 top-15 and 26 top-25 finishes.
Scotto, who along with Mikkelsen represented Baylor at the 2010 NCAA Championship, posted a 75.15 scoring average in 26 rounds as a junior in 2010-11.
The European duo of Bjerch-Andresen and Zucchetti will join Baylor for the 2011-12 season. Bjerch-Andresen, a native of Norway, was a member of the Norwegian National Team and won the 2010 Titleist Tour Order of Merit. Zucchetti played stateside at Bradenton Prep School in Bradenton, Fla. He is a three-time member of the Italian Amateur Team.
Prior to playing in the British Am, Zucchetti has been invited by the Italian Golf Federation to play in the BMW Italian Open, which will be held June 9-12 in Roveri, Torino.
Jansen Awarded Sponsor Exemption for LPGA Event
12:08 P.M., THURSDAY, JUNE 2, 2011
Baylor women's golf junior Jaclyn Jansen was awarded a sponsor exemption to compete in next week's LPGA State Farm Classic in Springfield, Ill. Jansen finished her junior season second on the team in rounds counted (90.3 percent), scoring average (75.26), score vs. par (3.32) and rounds of par or better (seven). She earned Big 12 All-Tournament Team honors after tying for sixth place at the Big 12 Championship, setting a Baylor 54-hole Big 12 low with an even-par 216.
The three-time second-team Academic All-Big 12 selection has three top-five and five top-10 finishes to her credit. She owns a 77.18 career scoring average in 32 tournaments (92 rounds).
"This is an exciting opportunity for any golfer working toward a professional career," Jansen said. "For me, it's an honor to play in a tournament where the best golfers in the world will compete. This also means a great deal to me as I grew up watching the Classic and now will be on the other side of the ropes."
As a standout at St. Anthony's High School in Effingham, Ill., Jansen was ranked No. 3 in the Callaway Junior Series Point Standing, the No. 1 regional qualifier for the USGA Girls Junior Championship in 2007 and a quarterfinalist in the championship division at the 2007 Western Girls National Championship.
In June 2010, she won the 110th Western Women's Golf Associaiton National Amateur Championship. She later qualified for match play at the 2010 U.S. Women's Amateur Championship, falling in the first round.
The LPGA State Farm Classic will be held June 9-12 at Panther Creek Country Club in Springfield, Ill.