Jan. 14, 2012
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Baylor's track and field team combined to win seven events in its season opener at the Texas A&M 10-Team Invitational in College Station, Texas.
In the team races, Baylor's women made a late charge to take hold of second place with 115.20 points, 60 behind Texas A&M's 175.5. For the men, BU finished second as well, edging third-place UT-Arlington by one, 68-67. Texas A&M scored 202 points to take the men's team victory.
"Overall it was a really good day for the first meet of the year," head coach Todd Harbour said. "We had a really solid day with Erin (Atkinson) and Skylar (White) in the throws, Tiffani (McReynolds) on the hurdles and especially Rachel (Johnson) in the 3K. She PR'ed by almost 25 seconds, and ran one of the top times in the nation, so that was good to see."
Individually, Baylor won a total of seven events, including six on the women's side. The Lady Bears got victories from Rachel Johnson (3,000 meters), Tiffani McReynolds (60 hurdles), Erin Atkinson (weight throw), Jessica Ubanyionwu (triple jump), Skylar White (shot put) and the distance medley relay team. The men's lone win came from Blake Heriot in the 400 meters.
"We knew we were going to get really good things out of our newcomers and transfers," Harbour said. "They came out there today and proved that. Blake (Heriot) had a really good run in the quarter, Everett (Walker) was solid and we just used Patrick (Schoenball) and Justin (Allen) on the relays. It was good to see them come out and perform well."
Atkinson, a sophomore transfer, led a good day for Baylor newcomers, breaking a five-year-old school record in the weight throw to win the event. Atkinson's toss of 59 feet, 7.75 inches out-distanced the field by more than two feet.
Johnson turned in the most dominant win of the day, grabbing the lead of the women's 3,000 meters and extending it in throughout the 15 laps. The Plano, Texas, native beat the field by 14 seconds with her time of 9:31.60, currently ranking fourth in the NCAA this season and fifth all-time at Baylor. The women's distance medley relay capped a great run in the distance events with a convincing victory in a time of 11:50.22. Mariah Kelly, Lizzy Whitney, Midori Starks and Cate Westenhover held the lead nearly the entire race.
McReynolds' day on the track started with a solid win in the 60 hurdles with a time of 8.35. Holding off a charge from second place, McReynolds' time would rank her in the top five in the NCAA of marks heading into the day. The sophomore then added a fourth-place finish in the 60 meters with a time of 7.59.
In the throws, White added to her teammate Atkinson's effort with one of the best shot put marks in the NCAA to date, and a four-foot win over the field at the meet. The All-American unleashed a toss of 54 feet, 5.5 inches to win convincingly and rank as third-best in the nation in the shot put. Senior Jessica Ubanyionwu continued Baylor's good fortune in the field events with a win in the triple jump later in the day on a leap of 41-4.25.
Sophomore transfer Blake Heriot, who came from Florida, earned a win in his first meet in the Green and Gold, leading a 1-2-6 finish for Baylor in the 400 meters. Heriot won with a time of 47.60, just ahead of Zwede Hewitt's second-place time of 48.22 and Drew Seale's sixth-place time of 48.87. In the women's 400 meters, senior Diamond Richardson took third overall with a time of 55.34 and freshman Raena Rhone won her heat to place seventh overall with a time of 56.29.
In the 4x400-meter relays, Baylor's women combined for a second-place finish, coming in less than one second behind Texas A&M with a time of 3:41.38 from Rhone, Brittany OgunMokun, Michelle Nwachukwu and Richardson. The men also finished second, getting a time of 3:11.55 from Heriot, Dennis Scruggs, Drew Seale and Zwede Hewitt.
Baylor's women had a solid day in the middle distances from Kelly. She battled a tough field to a third-place finish with a time of 4:55.26, faster than any Lady Bear mile run in 2011. For the men in the mile, sophomore Jonathan Tijerina posted a top-five run with time of 4:17.43.
Also on the men's side, sophomore Gabriel El Hanbli notched a third-place finish with a career-best in the 60-meter hurdles of 8.31. Junior college transfer Everett Walker had a good debut for the Bears, placing sixth in the 60 meters at 6.86 and eighth in the 200 meters at 21.83. Scruggs had a personal-best in the 200 meters, clocking a fifth-place time of 21.72. But, All-American Woodrow Randall suffered one of the few setbacks of the day, pulling up with an injury in the men's 60 meters.
In the field events, sophomore Justine Charbonnet had a good start to her season in the long jump with fifth-place finish on a leap of 18-2.25. Freshman Kim Parr cracked Baylor's all-time top 10 in the women's pole vault, clearing 10-7 to finish in a tie for sixth.
Baylor will have a week off before traveling to Fayetteville, Ark., for the Razorback Invitational on Jan. 28-29. For updates and information check BaylorBears.com and follow the team on twitter @BaylorTrack.
6. Brittany OgunMokun (JR), 2:13.43
14. Lizzy Whitney (JR), 2:19.48
21. Courtney Cox (FR), 2:22.82
15. Philip Raaf (SR), 1:55.97
19. Greg Bostick (FR), 1:56.86
20. Jesse Brooks (SO), 1:58.23
1. Rachel Johnson (FR), 9:31.60 (Currently ranks fourth in NCAA; Fifth-best all-time at Baylor)
4. Erin Hegarty (FR), 9:58.49
5. Kristen Hanselka (SR), 10:07.22
13. Robyn Bennett (SO), 10:40.48
5. Brad Miles (SO), 8:31.35
6. Taylor Jackson (SO), 8:45.94
9. Cameron Gifford (FR), 8:47.67
11. Mike Stanley (FR), 8:51.27
60 Hurdles - Women
1. Tiffani McReynolds (SO), 8.52q
5. Christina Holland (JR), 8.75q
24. Jessica Shadley (SO), 9.62
25. Madi Steenbergen (SO), 9.81
1. Tiffani McReynolds (SO), 8.32 (Currently ranks fifth in NCAA)
5. Christina Holland (JR), 8.66
2. Baylor (Raena Rhone, Brittany OgunMokun, Michelle Nwachukwu, Diamond Richardson), 3:41.38
7. Baylor (Calesia Henson, Christina Holland, Idia Omogiate, Michelle Ratliff), 3:50.52
2. Baylor (Blake Heriot, Dennis Scruggs, Drew Seale, Zwede Hewitt), 3:11.55
7. Baylor (Justin Allen, Gabriel El Hanbli, Philip Raaf, Greg Bostick) 3:16.47
t-6. Kim Parr (FR), 10-7 [3.23m] (10th-best all-time at Baylor)
-- Jennifer Gueldner (SO), NH
-- Angel Tsai (SO), NH
t-9. Hunter Brook (SO), 13-0.75 [3.98m]
-- Eric Bostick (SR), NH
-- Henry Vildosola (SO), NH
5. Justine Charbonnet (SO), 18-2.25 [5.54m]
14. Jessica Gabler (JR), 16-10 [5.13m]
16. Michelle Ratliff (SO) 16-5.25 [5.01m]
8. Eric Bostick (SR), 21-4.25 [6.51m]
11. Hunter Brook (SO), 20-2.5 [6.16m]
1. Skylar White (JR), 54-5.5 [16.60m] (Currently ranks third in NCAA)
12. Taylor Torres (SO), 37-8.5 [11.49m]
16. Lauren Rover (SO), 33-1.25 [10.09m]
8. Desmine Hilliard (FR) 48-2 [14.68m]