COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Sophomore Erin Atkinson won the weight throw for the fourth straight meet and Baylor collected a total of four victories at the Texas A&M Invitational on Saturday in College Station, Texas.
In the final meet before the Big 12 Conference Championships, Baylor battled fellow conference mates Texas A&M and Missouri, as well as Alabama, USC, TCU, UTEP, Rice and Houston. BU finished second in the women's team race with 118 points and third in the men's race with 82 points.
Baylor's women claimed all four wins on the day, getting two victories on the track and two in the field, Tiffani McReynolds won the 60 hurdles and Brittany OgunMokun took the 800 meters, while Skylar White and Erin Atkinson won the shot put and weight throw.
"We had a good day and were able to get some good work in to get ready for conference," head coach Todd Harbour said. "We had solid performances again from our great throwers and Tiffani (McReynolds) in the hurdles. I thought Brittany (OgunMokun) was on a mission in the 800, and it was great to see her go after it like that. I'm proud of the way we came out and competed today."
The Lady Bear's throwing duo of White and Atkinson have now combined for seven wins on the season, with Atkinson taking the weight throw at all four meets and White now totaling three shot put wins. Atkinson's best throw on the day of 66-1 out-distanced the field by nearly three feet, while White's toss in the shot put of 54-4.5 was more than three feet better than the field.
Sophomore hurdler Tiffani McReynolds posted a victory in the 60 hurdles with a time of 8.26. The victory is McReynolds second of the season in the event, and marks the fourth consecutive top-three finish. In the men's 60 hurdles, Gabriel El Hanbli qualified sixth for the finals, but improved his time by .15 to 8.33 and placed second overall.
Baylor's two fastest middle distance runners stayed true to form and moved up on both the conference and national lists. For the women, junior Brittany OgunMokun ran a career-best of 2:07.74 to earn her first victory of the year and move into second in the league. On the men's side, freshman Patrick Schoenball used a late kick to move from fourth to second and finish with a top-10 NCAA time of 1:48.47. His time ranks third in the Big 12 this season and fourth in Baylor history.
Baylor's men and women each added depth in the middle distances with good finishes at 600 yards and 1,000 meters. For the women, sophomore Michelle Nwachukwu knocked 2.5 seconds off her personal-best to place second in the 600 yards with a top-10 NCAA time of 1:23.84. In the 1,000 meters, Mariah Kelly also ran a personal best to finish second with a time of 2:52.15, the sixth-fastest in the Big 12 this season. On the men's side, senior Philip Raaf earned a third-place finish in the 600 yards with a time of 1:11.85, and Jonathan Tijerina matched with a third-place 1,000-meter run of 2:28.77. His time is a personal-best and is the ninth-fastest individual time in BU history.
In the sprints, junior Everett Walker had a season-best day in two races. To open the day, Walker ran his best times of the year in the 60-meter prelims and finals, ending with a fourth-place time of 6.80. In the 200 meters, Walker shaved his season-best from 21.55 to 21.23 to place fifth on the day.
Baylor's quartermilers had a solid day on both sides, led by a career-best from senior Zwede Hewitt for the men. Hewitt turned in a third-place time of 47.18 and was one of three Bears in the top six. Junior Justin Allen was fifth with a season-best of 47.79 and senior Dennis Scruggs was one spot back with his own season-best of 48.20. For the women, senior Diamond Richardson and freshman Raena Rhone each finished in the top five on the day. Richardson was fourth at 54.57, and Rhone continued her steady improvement in fifth with a career-best of 55.17.
In the relays, the 400-meter group had a solid days as well, improving their time by two seconds on the women's side to place third, and placing second on the men's side. For the women, Rhone, Alyssa Nichols, OgunMokun and Richardson combined for a time of 3:38.81. In the men's race, Hewitt, Allen, Drew Seale and Blake Heriot fell just short on the final lap to Texas A&M with a time of 3:08.08.
In the distance races on the women's side, Baylor collected two top-five finishes in the 3,000 meters with freshman Karlee Kleiber and senior Samantha Patty. Kleiber finished fourth with a career-best of 9:58.76, and Patty was less than one second behind in fifth at 9:59.24.
Baylor will have a weekend off before coming back to College Station, Texas, for the Big 12 Indoor Championships on Feb. 24-25 at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium.
4. Diamond Richardson (SR), 54.57
5. Raena Rhone (FR), 55.17
8. Alyssa Nichols (SO), 56.12
3. Zwede Hewitt (SR), 47.18
5. Justin Allen (JR), 47.79
6. Dennis Scruggs (SR), 48.20
9. Joe Barb (JR), 48.55
2. Michelle Nwachukwu (SO), 1:23.84 (Personal best; Top 10 in NCAA)
5. Lizzy Whitney (JR), 1:27.37
7. Midori Starks (SO), 1:29.01
8. Taylor Thorpe (FR), 1:32.90
3. Philip Raaf (SR), 1:11.85
9. Ben Anderson (FR), 1:15.90
-- Drew Seale (JR), DQ
-- Gabriel El Hanbli (SO), DQ
1. Brittany OgunMokun (JR), 2:07.74 [Personal best; No. 2 in Big 12; No. 3 individual in BU history)
14. Ivorie Walker (SO), 2:17.83
19. Michelle Ratliff (SO), 2:23.28
22. Lauren Rover (SO), 2:28.10
2. Patrick Schoenball (FR), 1:48.47 [Personal best; No. 3 in Big 12; No. 4 individual in BU history
6. Gavyn Nero (JR), 1:49.74
14. Greg Bostick (FR), 1:55.61
21. Jesse Brooks (SO), 1:57.67
2. Mariah Kelly (SO), 2:52.15 (Personal best; Moves to No. 6 in Big 12 this season)
9. Courtney Cox (FR), 3:05.59
11. Kristina Brown (SO), 3:08.62
3. Jonathan Tijerina (FR), 2:28.77 (Personal best; No. 9 individual in BU history)
6. Eric Bostick (SR), 2:38.76 (Personal best)
60 Hurdles - Women
1. Tiffani McReynolds (SO), 8.39q
14. Christina Holland (JR), 8.88
20. Jessica Shadley (SO), 9.28
22. Michelle Ratliff (SO), 9.44
23. Lauren Rover (SO), 9.90
1. Tiffani McReynolds (SO), 8.26
3. Baylor `A' (Rhone, Nichols, OgunMokun, Richardson), 3:38.81
5. Baylor `B' (Omogiate, Holland, Nwachukwu, Whitney), 3:46.58
2. Baylor `A' (Hewitt, Allen, Seale, Heriot), 3:08.08
7. Baylor `B' (Scruggs, Walker, Schoenball, Nero), 3:17.40
Distance Medley Relay
2. Baylor (Kelly, Whitney, Starks, Hanselka), 12:04.69
5. Baylor (Tijerina, Barb, Raaf, Gifford), 10:17.08
High Jump Women
6. Jennifer Gueldner (SO), 5-4.5 [1.64m]
9. Lauren Rover (SO), 5-2.5 [1.59m]
12. Lauren Cook (FR), 5-0.5 [1.54m]
13. Jessica Shadley (SO), 5-0.5 [1.54m]
t-6. Kyle Cash (SR), 6-6.25 [1.99m]
t-6. Hayden Loudenslager (SO), 6-6.25 [1.99m]
11. Hunter Brook (SO), 6-2.25 [1.89m]
-- Henry Vildosola (SO), NH
-- Kim Parr (FR), NH
-- Becca Luedeker (FR), NH
-- Angel Tsai (SO), NH
-- Jennifer Gueldner (SO), NH
6. Henry Vildosola (SO), 13-5.75 [4.11m]
-- Eric Bostick (SR), NH
-- Hunter Brook (SO), NH
4. Jessica Ubanyionwu (SR), 18-7 [5.66m]
6. Jessica Gabler (JR), 18-2.25 [5.54m]
8. Justine Charbonnet (SO), 17-9.75 [5.43m]
16. Michelle Ratliff (SO), 16-4.25 [4.98m]
11. Hayden Loudenslager (SO), 20-11.25 [6.38m]
13. Henry Vildosola (SO), 20-1.5 [6.13m]
7. Kaitlin West (FR), 37-11.50 [11.57m]