Feb. 25, 2017
AMES, Iowa - In dominant fashion, the Baylor women's track and field team captured the first Big 12 Championship title in program history Saturday at the Lied Recreation Center.
The BU women scored a program record 129.5 points to claim the team crown over second place Texas (100). The Bears used five individual event champions, four runner-up event finishes and 19 athletes, who recorded 28 All-Big 12 performances over two days of action to secure the trophy.
Baylor came into the final day leading the meet, but didn't keep that position throughout Saturday as Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Texas all owned the team lead at different points of the day as results rolled in from field and track events. However, the Bears retook the lead for good at the conclusion of the 200 meters and expanded on it over the course of the final three events.
Senior Cion Hicks opened Baylor's sensational Saturday by winning the shot put with a best heave of 54-9.25 [16.69m]. The Killeen, Texas, product was ranked No. 2 in the Big 12 entering the meet, but grabbed the lead after a first attempt of 53-5 [16.28m]. She bettered her mark on both her fourth and fifth attempts, never surrendering her first place standing for a wire-to-wire victory. Hicks is BU's first ever indoor shot put champion, after placing fourth a season ago.
Kiana Hawn, a junior, won the second event crown of the day by taking the 600-yard run title in 1:19.22. The junior turned in the third-fastest time in school history and held off a late charge from TCU's Tiffany Terry to capture BU's third ever win in the event. Hawn joins Barbara Petrahn (2002) and Raena Rhone (2014) as 600-yard champions from Baylor.
Senior Maggie Montoya made sure Baylor took home the trophy as she cruised to a victory in the 3,000 meters with the ninth-best time in school history (9:14.68). Less than 24 hours after placing third in the 5,000-meter race, Montoya became just the third Bear to ever win the event, Rachel Johnson in 2015 and Erin Bedell in 2006 were the others. She ran with the lead pack from the onset and then continued to extend that advantage throughout the middle part of the race, before hanging on for a 1.34 second win.
Montoya's triumph coupled with the fourth and fifth-place finishes of Anna West (9:25.00) and Lindsey Bradley (9:27.40) in the 3,000 meters locked up the team standings by giving the Bears a 20-point lead on the rest of the teams.
With the team battle decided, Baylor tallied its fifth and final event title for the weekend. The crew of Taylor Bennett, Hawn, Horton and Leticia De Souza won the 4x400-meter relay in 3:32.12, which was the second-fastest time in school history. It was BU's fifth title in that event and the second-straight year that the Bears have won the meet's final race. Bennett kept the Bears on Oklahoma's heels on the first leg, before Hawn took BU to the front and Horton and De Souza built on that lead for a 1.46 second victory.
After being third in the 60-meter dash a season ago, Bennett moved up spot with a season-best time of 7.33. The sophomore Bear pushed Texas' Teahna Daniels throughout the race, but come up just .03 seconds short at the line. The mark was still tied for the 10th-fastest in BU history. Later in the evening, Bennett for a second-straight year finished second in the 200 meters with a time of 23.24.
Leticia De Souza used the third-best time (52.62) in school history to secure third-place in the 400 meters. The junior Bear was third at the break-in and stayed in that position throughout the remainder of the race.
Kiana Horton was close behind Bennett in the 200 meters as she placed fourth in a personal best time of 23.68.
Freshman Aaliyah Miller held the lead for much of the 1,000 meters, but faded over the final 200 meters to place fourth in 2:47.72, which was the seventh-best time in BU history. Another freshman, Alison Andrews-Paul, took sixth in the 800 meters with a time of 2:08.91 to earn the Bears three points.
Alex Lord also snagged 1.5 points for BU's record tally with a personal-best clearance of 5-7.75 [1.72m] in the high jump to tie for seventh. The sophomore made that bar on her third and final attempt.
With the team title being decided as they were jumping, Brianna Richardson and Rachel Toliver both provided insurance points in the triple jump. The seniors finished fourth and eighth respectively with Richardson jump 41-8.5 [12.71m] and Toliver going 40-0.75 [12.21m].
On the men's side, Baylor had two event champions with a total of 13 athletes earning 18 All-Big 12 honors. The Bears finished with 68 points and seventh in the team standings.
In his last try, senior George Caddick finally captured the indoor 400-meter conference crown. He used a personal-best time of 46.17 to pick up his second individual title in the event, after also winning the 2015 outdoor quartermile crown. Caddick was in the middle of the pack at the break-in, but closed extremely well to notch BU's 10th-title in the 21-year history of the meet, but its first since LeJerald Betters won it in 2008.
Max Willis had a breakout performance in his first Big 12 Indoor Championship. The freshman from Upper Marlboro, Md., captured the 200-meter title in personal-best mark of 20.76. He is BU's eighth champion in the event and the first since Trayvon Bromell in 2015. Earlier in the day, he took second in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.67, finishing just .08 seconds behind three-time Big 12 champion Senoj-Jay Givans of Texas. Willis scored 20 points at the meet to be the second-highest point scorer out of all men's athletes.
To end the night, the men's 4x400-meter relay of Willis, London, Dickson and Caddick finished second in 3:06.25. Caddick very nearly ran down race leader Texas in the final 100 meters, but came up just .17 seconds short.
In a tightly contested 60-meter hurdle race, Rhys Phillips finished third with a time of 7.88. The senior Bear earned his third-straight All-Big 12 honor, but missed on a title by just .02 seconds and on second place by .005 seconds.
Sophomore Wil London was close on Caddick's heels in the 400 meters, placing third in 46.50.
Junior Malik Wilson grabbed three points by placing sixth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.80. It was his second All-Big 12 honor in the event, after being eighth in 2015.
In the middle distances, the Bears racked up 12 points with Zak Curren taking second in the 800 meters in 1:48.43 and Dickson finishing fifth in the 600-yard in a personal-best 1:09.85. Freshman TJ Sugg added another two points in the mile as he raced to a seventh-place finish in 4:19.37.
Senior Chase Hood used the fourth-best heptathlon point total in school history (5,048) to place eighth in that multi-event. It is his first indoor all-conference honor, after earning All-Big 12 outdoor honors in the decathlon a season ago.
Baylor's 129.5 points were 24.5 more than the previous record of 105 achieved in 2015.
Baylor's highest previous team finish at the meet was second in 2014.
Baylor's five event champions were one more than the four achieved in 1998 and 2015.
Baylor had never won a conference title in women's track and field.
The last conference title won by the track and field program was the men's 1996 Southwest Conference indoor crown.
TOP QUOTE #1
"It is very, very humbling. I don't know if I have the right words to describe it. We worked very hard for this for a few years now. To get it done actually is pretty special. I am excited for the group of young ladies and the staff. It is a special moment and hopefully we will win a few more, but getting the first one is always going to be a special memory. Our ladies believed and fought hard all the way through it. Across the board, every event coach had athletes that contributed in a big way." - head coach Todd Harbour on winning the women's team title
TOP QUOTE #2
"George (Caddick) and Maxwell (Willis) had amazing days. We had some guys that stepped up huge. They fought hard. Obviously the 4x4 didn't turn out the way we wanted it to, but they will use this and be a lot better outdoors." - Harbour on the men's team
Baylor currently has nine entries into the NCAA Indoor Championships. Taylor Bennett (200m & 4x4),Leticia De Souza (400m & 4x4), Kiana Hawn (4x4), Cion Hicks (shot put), Kiana Horton (4x4), Aaliyah Miller (800m) and Annie Rhodes (pole vault) are scheduled to represent the women on the national stage, while George Caddick (400m) and Max Willis (60m & 200m) give the Bears three entries on the men's side into the NCAA field. The NCAA Indoor Championships are scheduled for March 10-11 in College Station, Texas.
To stay current on all things Baylor Track, follow the team on Twitter: @BaylorTrack.
All-Conference Performers (32 competitors; 46 honors)
Women (19 competitors; 28 honors)
Alison Andrews-Paul (800m, DMR), Taylor Bennett (60m, 200m, 4x4), Lindsey Bradley (3,000m, 5,000m), Leticia De Souza (400m, 4x4), Kiana Hawn (600y, 4x4), Cion Hicks (shot put), Kiana Horton (200m, 4x4), Alex Lord (high jump), Aaliyah Miller (1,000m), Maggie Montoya (3,000m, 5,000m), Jenna Pfeiffer (pentathlon), Victoria Powell (DMR), Jessica Purtell (DMR), Annie Rhodes (pole vault), Brianna Richardson (triple jump), Gabby Satterlee (DMR), Peyton Thomas (5,000m), Rachel Toliver (triple jump), Anna West (3,000m, 5,000m)
Men (13 competitors; 18 honors)
Eric Anderson (DMR), George Caddick (400m, 4x4), Zak Curran (800m), Caleb Dickson (600y, 4x4), Chase Hood (heptathlon), Danny Leland (DMR), Wil London (400m, 4x4), Brandon Moore (DMR), Matthew Parham (DMR), Rhys Phillips (60h), TJ Sugg (mile), Max Willis (60m, 200m, 4x4), Malik Wilson (60m)
COMPLETE BAYLOR SATURDAY RESULTS (*Earned All-Big 12 honors)
60-Meters - Finals
2. Taylor Bennett (SO) - 7.33* (season-best, tied for 10th-best in BU history, second-straight All-Big 12 honor)
2. Max Willis (FR) - 6.67*
6. Malik Wilson (JR) - 6.80* (second All-Big 12 honor)
200 Meters - Finals
2. Taylor Bennett (SO) - 23.24*
4. Kiana Horton (SO) - 23.68* (personal best)
1. Max Willis (FR) - 20.76 (personal best, BU's 8th Big 12 title in event)
400 Meters - Finals
3. Leticia De Souza (JR) - 52.62* (3rd-best in BU history)
1. George Caddick (SR) - 46.17* (personal best, BU's 10th Big 12 title in event)
3. Wil London (SO) - 46.50*
600 Yards - Finals
1. Kiana Hawn (JR) - 1:19.22* (personal best, 3rd-best in BU history, BU's 3rd Big 12 title in event)
5. Caleb Dickson (SO) - 1:09.85* (personal best)
800 Meters - Finals
6. Alison Andrews-Paul (FR) - 2:08.91
2. Zak Curran (SR) - 1:48.43*
1,000 Meters - Finals
4. Aaliyah Miller (FR) - 2:47.72* (seventh-best in BU history)
Mile - Finals
7. TJ Sugg -4:19.37* (first All-Big 12 honor)
3,000 Meters - Finals
1. Maggie Montoya (SR) - 9:14.68* (BU's third Big 12 title in event)
4. Anna West (FR) - 9:25.00*
5. Lindsey Bradley (FR) - 9:27.40*
12. Peyton Thomas (SR) - 9:37.07
60 Hurdles - Finals
3. Rhys Phillips (SR) - 7.88* (third-straight All-Big 12 honor)
4x400-Meter Relay - Finals
1. Baylor (Taylor Bennett, Kiana Hawn, Kiana Horton, Leticia De Souza) - 3:32.13* (second-best in BU history, BU's fifth Big 12 title in event)
2. Baylor (Max Willis, Wil London, Caleb Dickson, George Caddick) - 3:06.25*
t7. Alex Lord (SO) - 5-7.75 [1.72m]* (personal best)
11. Jenna Pfeiffer (SR) - 5-3.75 [1.62m]
11. Blaine Listach (SO) - 6-7 [2.01m]
4. Brianna Richardson (SR) - 41-8.5 [12.71m]*
8. Rachel Toliver (SR) - 40-0.75 [12.21m]*
14. Jacinta Fisher (FR) - 38-7 [11.76m]
1. Cion Hicks (SR) - 54-9.25 [16.69m]* (BU's first Big 12 title in event)
Heptathlon - Overall
8. Chase Hood (SR) - 5,048 pts.* (fourth-best in BU history)
12. Hunter Powell (JR) - 4,334 pts.
-- Luke Littlefield (FR) - DNF
Heptathlon - 60 Hurdle
9. Chase Hood (SR) - 8.57
10. Luke Littlefield (FR) - 8.66
16. Hunter Powell (JR) - 9.98
Heptathlon - Pole Vault
t3. Chase Hood (SR) - 15-7 [4.75m]
9. Hunter Powell (JR) - 13-3.5 [4.05m]
-- Luke Littlefield (FR) - NH
Heptathlon - 1,000 Meters
11. Hunter Powell (JR) - 3:01.93
14. Chase Hood (SR) - 3:14.51
-- Luke Littlefield (FR) - DNS