AUSTIN, Texas -The Baylor track and field team closed out the 89th Nike Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays with eight top-five performances Saturday at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
In the final events of the meet for Baylor, the women's 4x400-meter relay of Taylor Bennett, Kiana Hawn, Kiana Horton and Olicia Williams ran a season-best time of 3:32.31 to earn a bronze medal. Using splits of 52.74, 53.25, 53.18 and 52.92, the quartet currently owns the NCAA's fifth-best time for the current season.
On the men's side in the 4x400-meter relay, Richard Gary, Caleb Dickson, Brandon Moore and Wil London also produced a season-best mark of 3:04.24 to finish fourth. All four of the fastest times in the NCAA for 2016 where achieved during the race.
Despite fouling on five of six attempts in the discus, Cion Hicks placed third with the seventh-best throw in school history of 178-0 [54.25m]. After fouling on her first two attempts, Hicks uncorked her personal-best throw on her third attempt to make the finals. The throw was 31 inches better than her previous best of 175-5 [53.47m] set at the 2015 Texas Relays. Saturday's thrown is also 14th-best in the NCAA for the 2016 outdoor season.
Less than two hours later, Hicks was competing in the shot put competition where she finished fifth with a season-best throw of 53-7.75 [16.35m], which is currently 17th-best in the NCAA.
The 4x100-meter relay of Kiana Horton, Taylor Bennett, Juanita Mainoo and Justise Dayries secured a fourth-place finish with a time of 43.91. Horton and Bennett, a pair of freshman, had the Bears in the lead at the second exchange, but strong legs from LSU, Texas A&M and Purdue dropped BU to fourth. However, the crew still ran the eighth-fastest time in school history and the best since Tiffani McReynolds, Tiffany Townsend, Brittany Bruce and Britttany Carr ran 43.75 at the 2011 Big 12 Outdoor Championships. The time is also 11th on the current NCAA qualifying list for 2016.
Junior Rhys Phillips used a personal-best time of 13.80 to take fourth in the finals of the 110-hurdles. After a slow start, Phillips finished strong to eclipse his previous personal-best (14.00) by .20 seconds. With the run, Phillips ranked No. 11 in the NCAA for 2016.
In the pole vault, Annie Rhodes placed third with a clearance of 14-1.25 [4.30m]. That vault is the fourth-best in school history and Rhodes' second-best of the season. Rhodes only missed one bar at the first three heights, but then was unable to get past the 14-5.25 [4.40m] bar as she was battling a swirling wind.
To open Baylor's day, the women's 4x800-meter relay of Jessica Purtell, Charlotte Myers, Amanda Dillon and Olicia Williams recorded the highest showing of the day by placing second with a time of 8:53.57. Purtell staked BU to a lead through the first leg as the Bears had won the event each of the past two years at the Texas Relays. However over the course of the final three legs, Clemson opened up a large lead in the event.
TOP QUOTE #1
"I thought we had a good day with the way our women's 4x1 crew ran and Rhys (Phillips) in the hurdles. Cion (Hicks) had a big throw in the discus and Annie (Rhoades) cleared 14 feet, while battling some tough conditions. We are excited now to get to host some great teams on Saturday at the Baylor Invitational." - head coach Todd Harbour on the meet
Baylor will now return home to host the Baylor Invitational on Saturday, April 9, at Clyde Hart Track and Field Stadium
To stay current on all things Baylor Track, follow the team on Twitter: @BaylorTrack.
TEXAS RELAYS COMPLETE SATURDAY BAYLOR RESULTS
110 Hurdles - Final
4. Rhys Phillips (JR) - 13.80 (personal best and currently 11th in NCAA)
4x400-Meter Relay - Final
Women - Invitational
3. Baylor (Taylor Bennett, Kiana Hawn, Kiana Horton, Olicia Williams) - 3:32.31 (season-best and currently fifth in NCAA)
Men - Invitational
4. Baylor (Richard Gary, Caleb Dickson, Brandon Moore and Wil London) - 3:04.24 (season-best and currently fourth in NCAA)
4x800-Meter Relay - Final
2. Baylor (Jessica Purtell, Charlotte Myers, Amanda Dillon, Olicia Williams) - 8:53.47
3. Annie Rhodes (JR) - 14-1.25 [4.30m] (fourth-best in school history)
Women - Section A
3. Cion Hicks (JR) - 178-0 [54.24m] (personal best, seventh-best in school history & currently 14th in NCAA)
Women - Section A
5. Cion Hicks (JR) - 53-7.75 [16.35m] (season-best and currently 17th-best in NCAA)