Jan. 30, 2010
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Baylor's track and field teams helped the Big 12 beat the Pac-10 and the SEC in the men's and women's team races at the Texas A&M Challenge in College Station, Texas.
On the men's side, the Big 12 piled up 297 points, compared to 235 for the Pac-10 and 144 for the SEC. For the women, the Big 12 scored 260, while the Pac-10 had 237 and the SEC had 192. The Big 12 consisted of Baylor, Texas A&M and Texas. The Pac-10 brought Oregon, Stanford and Washington State, while the SEC was represented by Arkansas, Florida, and South Carolina.
"This was a great meet for us to be a part of," head coach Todd Harbour said. "Its hard to single out any one performance because we had so many qualifiers today. We aren't where we want to be yet, but this was a huge step in the right direction."
The Baylor men did most of their damage in the sprints and middle distance races, led by Whitney Prevost's automatic-qualifying time in the 200 meters of 20.81, and the 4x400-meter relay's automatic time of 3:05.52. Trey Harts, Marcus Boyd, Michael Liggins, and Zwede Hewitt combined to run Baylor's fastest time of the season.
"We had some great performances with Whitney's automatic qualifier in the 200, and the 4x400 ran really fast for this early in the year," Harbour said. "It was great to see Whitney run that time, just a great confidence builder for him.
Also in the sprints for the men, Boyd hit the provisional mark in the 400, placing third with a time of 46.83. Liggins ran his fastest open 400, but just missed provisionals with a fifth-place time of 47.37. Along with Prevost in the 200, Courtney Thomas ripped off a 21.16 to meet provisionals standards and place fourth.
The men's middle distance were led by a trio of 600-yard performances and two solid 800-meter races. In the 600-yard event, James Gilreath took control of his heat from the opening gun and led all the way to the win with a time of 1:09.48. Zwede Hewitt was third with a time of 1:09.84 and Drew Seale was sixth at 1:10.88. In the 800 meters, senior Chris Gowell raced his way to a second-place finish, provisionally qualifying for the second time this season with a time of 1:48.71. Freshman Gavyn Nero placed sixth with a time of 1:51.60 in his first collegiate half-mile.
"James ran really well in the 600, even though you can't qualify for NCAA in that event, he will be ready to run it at the conference meet," Harbour said.
For the women, the provisional qualifiers were spread all over the track and field. On the track, Diamond Richardson hit the provisional mark in the 400 with a third-place time of 54.38, while freshman Stephanie Morgan ran her best 800-meter time of 2:07.84, also a provisional mark. Junior Tiffany Townsend provisionally qualified in both short sprints with a third-place time of 23.70 in the 200, and a fourth-place time of 7.39.
In the field events for the Lady Bears, Jessica Ubanyionwu avenged her near-miss last week, to hit the provisional mark with a leap of 41-7.75 to place second in the triple jump. All-American long jumper DeAna Carson also got back to form, provisionally qualifying with a leap of 20-2.25 to place fifth. "Our women also had a great meet, Diamond and Stephanie both ran well in their races," Harbour said. "it was great to see Jessica and DeAna hit the provisional marks in the triple jump and long jump."
Baylor also had some newcomers and underclassmen post solid performances. Freshman Christina Holland ran a season-best time of 8.59 to place fourth in the 60-meter hurdles. Baylor's school record holder in the shot put, Skylar White, placed fifth with a throw of 47-3.5, while transfer Dess Meek was fourth in the high jump with a clearance of 5-6.
Baylor will have a week off before traveling to the Tyson Invitational on Feb 12-13 in Fayetteville, Ark. at the Randal Tyson Track Center.