March 9, 2007
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -
Reggie Witherspoon and Trey Harts placed fifth and eighth, respectively, in the 200 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships held at the Randal Tyson Track Center. The Baylor women's distance medley relay team finished fifth to earn All-America honors for the second straight year as the Lady Bears finished fifth during the 2006 season.
Witherspoon (Marietta, Ga.) took third in his finals heat at 20.77 to place fifth overall. The senior started out well, and looked good through the turn, but Walter Dix of Florida State ran 20.32, the fastest time this season and 15th fastest time ever, to claim the title. With his fifth place finish, Witherspoon earned his third All-America honor.
Harts (Lake Charles, La.) finished fourth in his finals heat in 21.09. Starting on the inside, Harts fell behind early down the backstretch, but made up ground on the turn. The freshman could not gain any more down the homestretch, and finished eighth overall to earn his first All-America citation.
"We were very excited to have two guys in the finals of the 200 (meters)," said head coach Todd Harbour. "Reggie [Witherspoon] ran his best time of the season in the preliminaries, and to have Trey [Harts] make the finals and be an All-American as a freshman is pretty special. Now we are looking forward to tomorrow to see if we can score some more points."
The Baylor women's team placed fifth in the distance medley relay with a final time of 11:10.87. Nichole Jones (Spring, Texas) ran the leadoff 1,200 meter leg in 3:25. The freshman held the lead over the first four laps, before falling to second at the first exchange. Lauren Tillman (Lawrenceville, Ga.) closed the gap during the 400 meter second leg, running a 55.2 split. Lauren Hagans (Little Rock, Ark.) took the stick for the 800 meter leg, but lost ground to the leaders, slipping to seventh at the handoff with a split of 2:10. Erin Bedell (Plano, Texas) closed from seventh to fourth after the first half mile, but could not overtake the Michigan runner for third place. In a sprint to the finish line, Bedell was edged by Virginia Tech as the Bears fell to fifth place as Bedell clocked a 4:35 mile.
Witherspoon won his 200 meter preliminary heat in 20.68, the third-fastest collegiate time of the year. After starting on the outside in lane six, Witherspoon held a comfortable lead through the banking turn, and cruised to the preliminary win. Witherspoon finished third in the preliminary heats behind Walter Dix of Florida State and Rubin Williams of Tennessee.
Harts also took first in his preliminary heat at 21.00, to finish eighth overall in the prelims. Harts started on the inside and quickly chased down his opponents going into the last turn. He then held off a charging Orlando Reid of Middle Tennessee State to win the heat and finish one-hundredth of a second ahead of Florida's Willie Perry to earn a spot in the event finals.
Quentin Iglehart-Summers (San Antonio, Texas) finished second in 46.64 in his 400 meter preliminary heat. Starting in lane six, Inglehart-Summers sat in third place coming off the turn, then overtook Nebraska's Lukas Hulett on the back straightaway. He then made a run at heat winner Michael Bingham of Wake Forest, finishing just one-tenth of a second behind. Iglehart-Summers had the sixth-fastest time in the preliminary heats, and advances to the event finals on Saturday at 7:05 p.m.
Freshman LeJerald Betters (Waco, Texas) finished fourth in his 400 meters preliminary heat in 47.04 to place 10th overall. Betters started in lane five, and looked strong heading into the opening turn, but fell into fourth coming down the first homestretch. His kick at the end came up short , finishing one-hundredth of a second out of second place and a berth in the event finals. Betters earned All-America honors as the seventh-best American runner in the open 400 meters.
Baylor will return to action on Saturday as the Bears begin the second day of competition at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships. Bedell will compete in the women's 3,000 meters, while Iglehart-Summers runs in the open 400 meters and the Bears showcase their top-ranked 4x400 meter relay team.