Jan. 14, 2017
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - To finish out its season-opening indoor meet, the Baylor track and field team tallied six event titles at the Texas A&M Team Invitational Saturday.
Competing for the second straight day at Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium, Baylor's women's squad racked up 128 points for a second-place team finish, while the men were third with 97 points.
In their final race of the day, the BU women collected its last of four event wins. The 4x400-meter relay of Victoria Powell, Kiana Hawn, Aaliyah Miller and Leticia De Souza ran a 3:34.00 to claim first. The Bears trailed in the opening two legs to Texas A&M, but Miller drew BU just ahead of the Aggies with a split of 53.24, before De Souza produced an anchor split of 51.83 to clinch the victory. The time is the sixth-fastest in school history and currently No. 1 in the NCAA.
The BU women picked up two wins in the field events, including Cion Hicks dominating performance in the shot put with a best throw of 54-1.25 [16.49m]. The senior won the competition by almost half of a meter.
Competing in a collegiate meet for the first time since June 2015, senior Brianna Richardson won the long jump with a leap of 19-0.75 [5.81m], which she accomplished on her first attempt of the day. Richardson suffered a hamstring injury in the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Championships and then suffered a stress fracture that kept her out of 2016 action.
The Baylor women racked up big points in the middle distance and distance events, highlighted by freshman Aliyah Miller's win in the 800 meters. Running virtually the entire second half of the race by herself, the McKinney, Texas, product turned in a time of 2:06.60 to win by nearly four seconds. BU also had the second and third finishers in the race with Alison Andrews-Paul (2:10.24) and Jessica Purtell (2:10.72) earning silver and bronze, respectively.
Meanwhile, the men's two event titles came on the track. Senior George Caddick captured the 400-meter crown. Running against just teammates Wil London and Caleb Dickson in the opening heat, Caddick cruised to a 47.10 to edge London (47.70) and Dickson (47.81), who finished second and fourth overall, respectively.
Freshman Max Willis enjoyed a successful collegiate debut, winning the 60-meter dash in 6.72. That time puts Willis ninth on the top individuals in BU history list. The Upper Marlboro, Md., native went on to take second in the 200 meters with a time of 21.17. Sophomore Malik Wilson finished just behind Willis in both races with a PR of 6.75 in the 60 meters and a mark of 21.37 in the 200-meter event. With the second-best mark (14-4 [4.37m]) in school history Annie Rhodes placed second in the pole vault. The senior holds the current school record of 14-5.25 [4.40m], which she set last season at the Tyson Invitational.
In the mile and the 3,000-meters events, the Lady Bears scored a combined 27 points. First, Maggie Montoya (3rd, 4:45.88), Anna West (4th, 4:49.98) and Gabby Satterlee (7th, 4:53.69) battled for points in the mile, while Lindsey Bradley (9:37.74) and Peyton Thomas (9:39.93) were second and third, respectively, in the 3,000 Meters.
The Bears had a multitude of other runner-up finishes on the day with Rachel Toliver jumping 40-2 [12.24m] to be the triple jump runner-up. Hawn was a runner-up in the 400 meters with a time of 54.41, while Powell was third with a mark of 55.11.
Meanwhile on the men's side, Rhys Phillips turned in a time of 7.94 to be second in the 60-meter hurdles. Newcomer Zak Curran won his 800-meter heat with a time of 1:50.47 in the 800-meters to finish just .01 seconds behind the first heat winner to take second overall.
Kiana Horton made the final of the 60-meter dash, but was disqualified for a false start.
Horton rebounded to place fifth in the 200 meters with a PR time of 23.87.
De Souza rebounded from a disqualification in the open quartermile to produce the fastest split on the relay.
"We are extremely excited as a staff. You don't want to get your expectations too high to start a season, but we had some great performances today that will go down as some of the top marks in the country. Overall, it was just a great day, but we won six events and came close in a whole bunch of others." - head coach Todd Harbour on the meet
Baylor will now travel to the Rod McCravy Memorial in Lexington, Ky., on Jan. 20-21.
To stay current on all things Baylor Track, follow the team on Twitter: @BaylorTrack.
-- Kiana Horton (SO) - DQ (false start)
2. Zak Curran (SR) - 1:50.47
18. Seth Brown (FR) - 8:49.11
-- Matt Parham (SO) - DNS
13. Jenna Pfeiffer (SR) - 9.18
3. Rhys Phillips (SR) - 8.12
2. Rhys Phillips (SR) - 7.94
1. Baylor A (Victoria Powell, Kiana Hawn, Aaliyah Miller, Leticia De Souza) - 3:34.00
12. Baylor B (Jhane’ King, Emma Bakke, Taylor Houston, Jenna Pfeiffer) - 3:56.91
2. Annie Rhodes (SR) - 14-4 [4.37m] (second best in school history)
2. Rachel Toliver (SR) - 40-2 [12.24m]
16. Michelle Campa (SO) - 42-6 [12.95m]