Feb. 11, 2017
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Baylor track and field athletes racked up six performances that qualify for the BU top-10 lists, including one school record mark, while competing Saturday at both the Tyson Invitational and the Iowa State Classic.
While inside the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark., the Bears established four Baylor top-10 marks, including Taylor Bennett in the 200 meters (second), Cion Hicks in the shot put (third), Annie Rhodes in the pole vault (fifth) and the women's 4x400-meter relay (third).
At the Iowa State Classic, Aaliyah Miller produced a school record in the 800 meters with a time of 2:02.89 to be second. The freshman Bear bettered the BU indoor record mark of Olicia Williams (2:03.21), which was set in 2015. Miller has now improved her personal-best time to 2:03.43 and then 2:02.89 in back-to-back 800-meter races. She was fifth through the first 200 meters (28.45) of the race, but ran 46.37 over the next 300 meters and closed with 48.08 over the final 300 meters to move up to the runner-up spot. Saturday's mark is No. 3 all-time on the American Junior Indoor performer list behind only Mary Decker (2:01.8), Ajee' Wilson (2:02.64).
Meanwhile at the Tyson Invitational, the Bears got a victory from Taylor Bennett in the 200-meter Olympic Development race. The sophomore came off the final curve and closed strong to notch a personal-best mark of 23.00. That mark is just .10 seconds off the school record of Tiffany Townsend (22.90), which was set in 2011 and .08 seconds better than Bennett's previous best, which she used to place second at last season's Big 12 Indoor Championship.
Cion Hicks got the rewriting of the record book started by winning the Tyson Invitational shot put with the third-best throw in school history at 56-11.25 [17.35m]. Hicks was just 1.50 inches away from her personal-best (57-0.75). Despite three fouls in her series of six throws, Hicks didn't have an attempt below 55-4.75 [16.88m], while achieving her best output on her third attempt.
All three of those marks by Miller, Bennett and Hicks will be inside the NCAA top-10 once results from around the country are gathered.
Annie Rhodes tied for fifth-best pole vault mark in school history by clearing 14-1.25 [4.30m]. That mark placed her sixth in the invitational pole vault competition.
In the final event of the day, the women's 4x400-meter relay of Bennett, Kiana Hawn, Kiana Horton and Leticia De Souza notched the third-fastest time in school history at 3:32.73 to finish second in the invitational section of the event. Bennett split 54.21, which left the Bears at the back of the pack at the first exchange, but Kiana Hawn (53.39) and Kiana Horton (53.37) pulled the Bears back to second. De Souza closed with a 51.77 to close the gap on the leader, but was unable to completely take the lead and held off a late charge from Arkansas to keep the Bears second.
Zak Curran turned in the final top-10 as he won his heat of the 800 meters at the Iowa State Classic in 1:48.75. The senior newcomer improved upon his season-opening race (1:50.47) by nearly two seconds to finish 11th in competition.
Besides Bennett and Hicks' victories, Rachel Toliver captured the collegiate section of the triple jump in Arkansas, winning with a season-best attempt of 41-5 [12.62m]. In the invitational section of the triple jump, Brianna Richardson carded a season-best mark on her final attempt, going 42-10.75 [13.07m] to be seventh.
In the men's 4x400-meter relay, the Bears narrowly missed on improving their season-best mark by turning in a 3:06.14. Wil London, Max Willis, Caleb Dickson and George Caddick finished seventh in the invitational section of the quartermile relay.
The Bears had six other top-10 finishers in Arkansas, including personal-best marks for Max Willis (21.15) and Kiana Horton (23.82), who were seventh and 10th respectively in the men's and women's 200 meters.
Jordan West used a personal-best time of 15:03.65 to place third in the 5,000 meters.
Meanwhile in the high jump, Alex Lord (5-5 [1.65m]) and Jenna Pfeiffer (5-5 [1.65m]) were tied for fifth and seventh, respectively.
The women's `b' relay of Victoria Powell, Jhane' King, Rachel Toliver and Jessica Purtell was ninth in the 4x400-meter relay in 3:42.88.
TOP QUOTE #1
"It was a very good day for both of our groups. We had outstanding performances across the board. This weekend was a great way to finish up as we now get ready for the Big 12 Indoor Championship." - head coach Todd Harbour on the weekend
The Bears will now enjoy their second off week of the season, before heading to the Big 12 Indoor Championship, Feb. 24-25, in Ames, Iowa.
To stay current on all things Baylor Track, follow the team on Twitter: @BaylorTrack.
Women - Olympic Development
1. Taylor Bennett (SO), 23.00 (personal best, 2nd-best in BU history and 3rd in NCAA entering weekend)
7. Max Willis (FR), 21.15 (personal best)
21. Antwuan Musgrove (SO), 21.73
31. Ian Braxton (FR), 22.08
3. Jordan West (JR), 15:03.65 (personal best)
9. Baylor (Victoria Powell, Jhane' King, Rachel Toliver, Jessica Purtell), 3:42.88
Women - Invitational
2. Baylor (Taylor Bennett, Kiana Hawn, Kiana Horton, Leticia De Souza, 3:32.73 (3rd-best in BU history)
7. Baylor A (Wil London, Max Willis, Caleb Dickson, George Caddick), 3:06.14
t5. Alex Lord (SO), 5-5 [1.65m]
t7. Jenna Pfeiffer (SR), 5-5 [1.65m]
11. Blaine Listach (SO), 6-6.75 [2.00m]
Women - Invitational
6. Annie Rhodes (SR), 14-1.25 [4.30m] (tied for 5th-best in BU history)
1. Rachel Toliver (SR), 41-5 [12.62m] (season best)
13. Jacinta Fisher (FR), 38-10.5 [11.85m] (season best)
17. Abeni Ofori (SO), 38-0.75 [11.60m]
Women - Invitational
7. Brianna Richardson (SR), 42-10.75 [13.07m] (season best & 17th in NCAA)
1. Cion Hicks (SR), 56-11.25 [17.35m] (season best, 3rd-best in BU history, & 7th in NCAA entering weekend)