Feb. 27, 2010
AMES, Iowa - Sophomore James Gilreath took control of the men's 800 meters and never looked back on his way to the Big 12 title at the Big 12 Indoor Championships on Saturday in Ames, Iowa.
In the team races, Baylor's men finished fourth overall for the second consecutive season with 80 total points. Oklahoma took a narrow title with 114 points over Nebraska's 110. Texas A&M was third with 99.5. The Baylor women finished ninth overall with a total of 40 points. Texas A&M won the team title for the women with a total of 130.5 over Texas Tech's second-place total of 115.
"Our men had an outstanding meet, just a super team effort," head coach Todd Harbour said. "We didn't have a perfect meet, but we squeezed about as much out of it as we could, coming in with a few people banged up. This conference is tough and when you are just a little bit off like our women's team, it is merciless. We just have to take the good and the bad and get ready for the next season."
In that men's 800 meters, Gilreath sprinted into the lead, pushing it to as many as 15 meters with 200 meters left to go. The Bartlett, Tenn., native then held on to the lead, winning by nearly a full second with a time of 1:49.21, ranking Gilreath fourth on the BU all-time list. Freshman teammate Gavyn Nero held strong in the third or fourth position most of the race before running down Missouri's Blake Irwin to claim second place. Nero finished with a career-best and provisional-qualifying time of 1:50.17.
"James has been through a lot this offseason, and came in a little banged up," Harbour said. "So to see him come in and take control of a race like he did, is very impressive. He had a big day."
Freshman Skylar White continued her record-breaking ways in the shot put, this time in a big way. White broke her own BU by more than two feet. The DeSoto, Texas, native placed third overall, after entering the meet ranked fifth in the Big 12, on the strength of a career-best and BU record 51-07.25. The throw marks the fourth time this season that White has broken the school record.
"Skylar came in seeded eighth in the Big 12 and moved up to third breaking her school record by big distance," Harbour said. "It was great to see her get that provisional mark and throw the way she did."
Baylor's men's 4x400-meter relay team, coming with a streak of 12 straight Big 12 titles, battled Texas A&M down to the wire, but couldn't pull it out with a time of 3:05.37. The Aggies finished with a time of 3:04.99. Baylor's squad consisted of Michael Liggins, Trey Harts, Zwede Hewitt, and Marcus Boyd. Baylor's time was their fastest of the season.
On the track, senior Chris Gowell recorded a second-place finish in the men's 1,000 meters with a time of 2:27.89. The South Wales native dueled Texas' Patrick Todd right to the wire, but was nipped at the finish. Also in the middle distance races, Zwede Hewitt notched a fourth-place finish in the 600 yards with a time of 1:10.15.
In the sprints, Marcus Boyd recorded his fastest 400-meter time of the season with a run of 46.80 to place third overall. His time was the 14th fastest in the NCAA this season. Michael Liggins also raced his way into the top five in the 400 meters, with a career-best of 47.06. Trey Harts took home a fourth-place finish in both the 60 and 200 meters. He turned in a time of 6.79 at 60 meters and 21.12 at 200 meters. Whitney Prevost was fifth in the 60 at 6.81, and Courtney Thomas was fifth in the 200 at 21.39.
Senior All-American Erin Bedell had the top finish on the track for the women with a fourth-place finish in the 3,000 meters with a season-best of 9:26.98. Three Lady Bears recorded fifth-place finishes on the track, starting with Tiffany Townsend in the 60 meters with a time of 7.40. Diamond Richardson was fifth in the 400 with a season-best of 54.22, while freshman Stephanie Morgan was fifth in the 800 meters with a time of 2:10.24.
Sophomore Jessica Ubanyionwu added to the total of fifth-place finishes with one of her own in the women's triple jump. Ubanyionwu recorded her second-best leap of the season at 42-04.
The Bears will possibly be back in action at a Last Chance Qualifier meet at Arkansas or Notre Dame. Student-athletes on the verge of gaining an NCAA berth have an opportunity to improve their time or mark.
The NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships are scheduled for March 12-13 in Fayetteville, Ark., at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
4. Zwede Hewitt, 1:10.15
2. Chris Gowell, 2:27.89
8. Robbie Knorr, 8:14.15
2. Baylor, 3:05.37
5. Tiffany Townsend, 7.40
5. Diamond Richardson, 54.22
5. Stephanie Morgan, 2:10.24
6. Leigh Ann Ganzar, 2:52.95
4. Erin Bedell, 9:26.98
5. Baylor, 3:41.17
3. Skylar White, 51-06.25
5. Jessica Ubanyionwu, 42-04