Jan. 28, 2012
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Baylor's track and field team was led by a victory and school record from thrower Erin Atkinson as part of a solid team performance at the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark.
Atkinson, who transferred to Baylor after last season, showed her national prowess in the women's weight throw, shattering her own school record set last week by nearly eight feet. Her toss of 67 feet, 6.25 inches was good enough to win the meet and move her into sixth in the NCAA.
Along with Atkinson's new record, sophomore Hunter Brook broke the BU heptathlon record for the second time in his career. Brook broke the record early last season, but had it re-broken by teammate Henry Vildosola. This weekend, Brook reclaimed his spot in the record books with a score of 4,944 points, a 322-point improvement on the record.
"We had some really solid performances, and still have room to improve as a group," head coach Todd Harbour said. "It was a super meet with great competition, and we had some really good personal bests across the board. We were really proud of Erin (Atkinson) and Hunter (Brook) today, breaking school records. Erin's throw moves her way up the national list. We were really close to getting auto (qualifying) marks on a few, and we're starting to put it all together."
Sophomore Tiffani McReynolds shaved significant time off her season-best in the 60 hurdles, placing second at the meet in 8.22 seconds. Her time moves her into the top 10 nationally.
Baylor also got back on track in the 400 meters and 4x400-meter relay. Blake Heriot had the fastest open 400, placing sixth with a time of 47.30. He then anchored the relay that also featured Zwede Hewitt, Justin Allen and Drew Seale. The group shaved four seconds off Baylor's last time on the track to place third at 3:07.17, a top-five NCAA mark. The Baylor women's 4x400-meter relay team of Raena Rhone, Brittany OgunMokun, Michelle Nwachukwu and Diamond Richardson combined for a fourth-place finish in 3:42.25. Richardson also placed 10th in the individual 400 meters at 55.23.
In the women's 3,000 meters, freshmen Rachel Johnson and Erin Hegarty each turned in personal bests in separate races. Competing in the invitational section, Johnson placed eighth with a time of 9:28.46, a three-second personal best. Hegarty competed in the college section and took fourth overall with a time of 9:46.99.
Baylor's women also got a seventh-place finish from OgunMokun in the invitational section of the 800 meters. OgunMokun battled a stacked field to turn in a time of 2:09.96.
In the field events, senior Jessica Ubanyionwu took third place in the women's triple jump with a leap of 41-4.5.
Baylor will be back on the track next weekend in the Big Apple, traveling to New York City for the annual New Balance Collegiate Invitational on Feb. 3-4 at the Armory.