Feb. 8, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Junior Tiffani McReynolds capped the Baylor track and field team's first day at the Tyson Invitational by breaking her own school-record in the 60-meter hurdles at the Randal Tyson Track Complex on Friday.
"Tiffani just did an incredible job today," head coach Todd Harbour said. "She is such a competitor. After getting second in the semifinals, she got a little more fired up and turned on the jets in the finals. She is special."
The reigning Big 12 champion produced a time of 8.02 in the finals to beat the rest of the field by .14 seconds. That mark betters the 8.03 time that McReynolds tallied in the 2011 NCAA Championships to earn second place and All-American honors.
It was the fifth time that McReynolds, who owns all of the top 10 performances in school history, had broken the Baylor school record. The mark is also the best in the Big 12 this year and the second-best in the NCAA.
McReynolds opened her day by posting the fastest mark (8.20) in preliminary action. Her teammates Christina Holland (8.51) and Taije Jordan, in a personal-best time of 8.54, also advanced to the semifinals by finishing 14th and 15th, respectively. However, McReynolds was the lone BU qualifier for the finals with the second-fastest time (8.21) in the semifinal round, setting the stage for her record-breaking performance.
Baylor's quarter-mile crew also had a solid day, freshman Richard Gary had a personal-best time of 47.45 to take sixth out of 51 competitors in the college division. Meanwhile, Drew Seale was 10th in a personal-best time of 47.77 and Isaiah Duke finished 11th in 47.79.
On the women's side in the event, Raena Rhone established a new personal-record in 54.09, which was good enough for second place on the day in the college division. Teammate Michelle Nwachukwu took 16th in that same race in a personal-best time of 55.40.
"We had a bunch of personal-bests in the 400-meters, so that was encouraging," Harbour said. "Richard did a great job and I thought Drew and Isaiah ran well. Raena improved a whole bunch on her PB, which was big."
Running in the Olympic Developmental division, freshman Olicia Williams finished third in the 800-meters with a personal-best time of 2:07.52. That mark is currently third-best in the Big 12 and 18th-best in the country.
In the final event of the day, Mariah Kelly set a personal-best mark of 4:54.67 in the mile to place fifth in the invitational division.
In the field events, weight thrower Erin Atkinson finished the day in second place with a heave measuring 66-8.75.
Freshman Felix Obi finished 10th out of 27 athletes in the long jump with a leap of 22-9.75.
In the 60-meters, Everett Walker (6.77) and Alex Reece (6.86) both qualified for the semifinals with top-24 times, but were then unable to reach the finals of the event with times of 6.72 and 6.86, respectively.
"We had a lot of good things happen today and as always a few disappoints, but overall it was a pretty good day," Harbour said. "We are improving as a conference team and as a national team and we will work to continue our preparation for the Big 12 meet tomorrow."
The action on Saturday at the Tyson Invitational gets underway at 11 a.m. with the women's shot put competition, while running events kick off at 1 p.m. with the women's 200-meters.
For updates on the team follow @BaylorTrack on Twitter.