Feb. 25, 2013
AMES, Iowa - Six event titles propelled the Baylor men's and women's track teams to fourth-place finishes at the Big 12 Indoor Championships on Sunday at the Lied Recreation Center.
"Overall, I thought we performed very well," head coach Todd Harbour said. "To set a record for most Big 12 titles won is pretty special. We also had more personal-bests than at any conference championship that I can remember. We just had a lot of people step up and give some really inspiring performances. It was just an amazing weekend."
The Bears opened the day sitting in seventh in both the men's and women's team competition, but bolstered by 39 All-Big 12 performances each squad rallied.
The women had 14 athletes over the course of the two-day event record 20 All-Big 12 performances to score a total of 72 points..
Meanwhile the men had 13 competitors turn in 19 all-conference showings to produce 79 points. The fourth place finish for the men is BU's highest since 2010.
Individually for the men, Blake Heriot had a breakout day as he won the 200-meters in a career-best time of 20.77. That mark is also the ninth-fastest in school history and the fifth-best in the NCAA this season. Heriot's title was the sixth Big 12 Indoor title in the 200-meters for the Bears and the first since 2009.
Earlier in the day, the junior took second in the 400-meter event in a career-best time of 46.94. His 18 points scored were the third most for any male at the event.
Everett Walker was just .08 seconds behind Heriot in the 200-meters to give Baylor a 1-2. Walker also recorded an All-Big 12 showing in the 60-meter dash as he was fourth in 6.68, which ties his career-best mark. The senior was also just behind Heriot to be the fourth top individual scorer at the competition, netting 16.50 points.
Senior Joe Barb bettered his personal-record in the 600-yards by nearly two seconds to secure Baylor's fifth Big 12 Indoor title in the event. The senior turned in a 1:09.62 to improve upon his time at the 2012 Big 12 meet by over seven seconds. Drew Seale also carded an All-Big 12 performance in the event by taking fourth in a career-best time of 1:09.94.
A day after claiming third in the long jump, freshman Felix Obi set the school record for a third time this season en route to winning the school first men's triple jump Big 12 title. Obi eclipsed the 53-foot mark for the first time in his career with a leap of 53-1, which is currently fifth best in the NCAA. Obi gave BU a third competitor among the top-five individual scorers at the meet as he had 16 total points.
For the women, Tiffani McReynolds, who came in as the league-leading favorite and two-time defending champion in the 60 hurdles, finished strong in 8.12 to claim her third straight Big 12 title in the event. She is just the second female to win the 60-hurdle title three consecutive times in the Big 12, joining Texas' Nicole Hoxie (1999-2001). McReynolds teammate, senior Christina Holland was not far behind crossing the line in a career-best time of 8.37 to finish fourth.
Less than 10 minutes later, McReynolds added another All-Big 12 performance in the 60 meters. After getting off the podium from the 60-hurdle win, McReynolds got back in the blocks and turned in a 60-meter time of 7.49 to place eighth.
Baylor's final individual event title of the day came from senior Mariah Kelly, who posted a career-best time of 2:46.87 to win the 1,000 meters. Kelly got out to the earlier lead in the race and never looked as she became the second Lady Bear to win the 1,000 meter crown at the Big 12 Indoor Championships.
In the final events of the day, Baylor capped of its weekend in style. First the women's 4x400-meter team of Holland, Ashley Fields, Idia Omogiate and Raena Rhone posted a season-best mark of 3:36.05 to take second. That group currently has the 14th fastest time in the NCAA this year.
To conclude the championship, Baylor was back on top of the awards podium as its men's 4x400-meter relay squad of Isaiah Duke, Walker, Seale and Richard Gary turned in a 3:07.91 to win Baylor's six and final event title. That mark is the group's best this season and currently is 15th-best in the NCAA. BU has won a total of 13 Big 12 Indoor 4x400-meter relay titles, but this is the first since 2009.
Baylor got other All-Big 12 performances from its sprint crew on the women's side. Fields tied a career best in the 200-meters to place fourth in 23.64. Meanwhile, Rhone was fifth in the 400-meters in 54.10.
The middle distance crew had a solid day as Olicia Williams was fourth in the 800-meters in 2:07.83, while teammate Brittany OgunMokun was seventh in 2:15.42. In the 600-yard event, Michelle Nwachukwu was eighth in 1:24.13.
Adding to the All-Big 12 honor haul, Alex Reece concluded his first Big 12 event with a seventh-place showing in the 60-meters in 6.93, while Duke was eighth in the 400-meters in 48.07.
Obi's triple jump counterpart, Brianna Richardson opened her Big 12 career by taking fourth in the event with a leap of 40-7.75 in her final attempt.
Skylar White, on the other hand wrapped up her Big 12 Indoor career by taking third in the shot put event. Her toss of 56-0 was a season-best and secured her a top-four finish at the conference meet for a fourth straight year. White was third in 2010, fourth in 2011 and second last season. Her mark is currently eighth best in the NCAA.
In the men's heptathlon, junior Hunter Brook took eighth for a second straight season to earn All-Big 12 honors with 4,816 points. Over the course of the two days, Brook set personal-bests in the 60-meters (7.42) and the long jump (22.-2.25).
Baylor will now travel a select number of competitors to last-chance qualifying meets to be determined this weekend. The meets will give those with marks near qualifying one more chance to improve their national standing.
All-Conference Performers (27 competitors; 39 honors)
Women (14 competitors; 20 honors)
Erin Atkinson (Weight Throw), Skylar White (Shot Put), Brianna Richardson (Triple Jump), Tiffani McReynolds (60m; 60 Hurdles), Raena Rhone (400m, 4x400), Michelle Nwachukwu (600y), Brittany OgunMokun (800m), Olicia Williams (800m), Mariah Kelly (1,000m, DMR), Christina Holland (60 Hurdles, 4x400), Ashley Fields (200m, 4x400), Bree Schrader (DMR), Idia Omogiate (DMR, 4x400), Kristina Brown (DMR)
Men (13 competitors; 19 honors)
Felix Obi (Long Jump, Triple Jump), Hunter Brook (Heptathlon) Everett Walker (60m; 200m, 4x400), Alex Reece (60m), Blake Heriot (200m, 400m), Isaiah Duke (400m, 4x400), Drew Seale (600y, 4x400), Joe Barb (600y), Gavyn Nero (DMR), Justin Allen (DMR), Greg Bostick (DMR), Jonathan Tijerina (DMR), Richard Gary (4x400)
200 Meters - Finals
4. Ashley Fields (FR) - 23.64* (Ties career best)
1. Blake Heriot (JR) -20.77* (Career best, 9th best in school history and currently 5th best in NCAA)
2. Everett Walker (SR) - 20.85*
1,000 Meters - Finals
1. Mariah Kelly (FR) - 2:46.87* (career best, 2nd-best individual time & 4th best time in school history)
3,000 Meters - Finals
-- Rachel Johnson (SO) - DNF
-- Bree Schrader (SO) - DNF
-- Mariah Kelly (SR) - DNS
28. Brandon Reed (SR) - 8:33.52
30. Blake Niccum (SR) - 8:36.80
32. Matt Galvin (FR) - 8:47.40
-- Brad Miles (JR) - DNS
4x400-Meter Relay - Finals
2. Baylor (Holland, Fields, Omogiate, Rhone) - 3:36.05 (Season best, currently 14th in NCAA)*
1. Baylor (Duke, Walker, Seale, Gary) - 3:07.91* (Season best, currently 15th in NCAA)
8. Hunter Brook (JR) - 4,816 points*
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