AUSTIN, Texas - Freshman hurdle sensation Tiffani McReynolds defeated the NCAA's best competition in the 100-meter hurdles on Saturday in front of 18,369 fans at the 84th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin, Texas.
"The Texas Relays always brings out the best in us, and today was no different," head coach Todd Harbour said. "We did a great job of carrying over the momentum from yesterday to have a great day today. Tiffani (McReynolds) was outstanding again in the hurdles, and our men's 4x400 had an amazing time for this early in the year."
In the closest race of the day, McReynolds nipped USC senior Nia Ali at the finish line by less than one-hundredth of a second to take Baylor's first-ever 100m hurdle title at the meet. With the wind at an NCAA-legal +3.6 meters per second, McReynolds held her spot with the top time in the NCAA and broke the BU record for the third time. She will finish the day with the third-fastest time in the world this year and a top-20 all-time collegiate mark under any conditions.
"I'm just really blessed and grateful that I'm able to run those types of times, especially just being a freshman," McReynolds said. "I wasn't expecting to run those times until maybe my junior year. I'm just really excited about how this season is going so far. My best time last year (in high school) was 13.7, so to come from 13.7 all the way to 12.7, that's crazy. That's a whole second. And I'm just really excited."
The Kansas City, Kan., native actually held the fastest time in the world for a few minutes, as professionals Kristi Castlin (12.68) and Tiffany Ofili (12.71) each turned in faster times in the next race with a +4.9 mps wind reading.
The men's 4x400-meter relay also turned in a season-best performance, eclipsing their previous season best by nearly four seconds with a time of 3:01.77. The second-place trio of Zwede Hewitt, Whitney Prevost, James Gilreath, and Marcus Boyd ran Baylor's fastest time since the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
After breaking records in the prelims of the 100 meters yesterday, Tiffany Townsend and Woodrow Randall each had great performances in the finals. Townsend tied her one-day-old school record of 11.09 to place fourth in the women's race, while Randall turned in a solid time of 10.20 to place second on the men's side.
"(Texas Relays) is like a pre-NCAA meet," Randall said of the tough competition. "It gets you prepared and mentally prepared for what you're going to get in June. This meet just gets me focused on what I need to do instead of what I'm doing now."
The Baylor men had a full day of competition in the relay races, competing in the distance medley, 4x100 and 4x400-meter relays. In the distance medley relay, Zac Flowers led off the with the 1200-meter leg, followed by Drew Seale in the 400, James Gilreath in the 800 and Gavyn Nero on the closing mile. Nero found himself in a tight five-team pack at the front for the first three laps of his leg, but broke away from the group with Arkansas national champion Dorian Ulrey. Down the stretch, Ulrey was able to hold off Nero for the win as Baylor finished second in a time of 9:48.84.
In the men's 4x100-meter relay, Baylor's crew of Marcus Boyd, Whitney Prevost, Woodrow Randall and Zwede Hewitt turned in its fastest time of the season of 39.21. In just their second race together ever, this foursome now ranks third in the region and fifth in the NCAA.
On the women's side, McReynolds joined the two-relay crew of Tiffany Townsend, Brittany Bruce and Diamond Richardson for the 4x100-meter relay, while Brittany OgunMokun was the trio's fourth for the 4x400-meter relay. In the sprint relay, the group placed sixth overall with a solid time of 44.26. The time is the third time this season group as run in the 44.2-range.
In the 4x400-meter relay, the BU women's crew combined to place seventh overall with a season-best time of 3:35.65. The time marked the second consecutive race with a season best.
Individually, sophomore Christina Holland placed seventh in the 400-meter hurdles with her second-best time of the season of 59.59. Junior Jessica Ubanyionwu had her best triple-jump performance of the season with a leap of 42-10.75. Her mark moves her into the top 10 in the NCAA this season. Also, in the women's shot put, sophomore Skylar White placed fourth with a toss of 54-0
Baylor will be back on the track in two weeks in the familiar confines of the Hart-Patterson Track and Field Complex. With next weekend off, Baylor will host the Michael Johnson/Dr Pepper Invitational on April 23 in Waco, Texas.
COMPLETE BAYLOR RESULTS
Women's 100 Meters
4. Tiffany Townsend (SR), 11.09 (Tied her own school record set in prelims on Friday)
Men's 100 Meters
2. Woodrow Randall (JR), 10.20
Women's 1,500 Meters
9. Leigh Ann Ganzar (SR), 4:36.55
Women's 100-Meter Hurdles
1. Tiffani McReynolds (FR), 12.74 (Third in World under any conditions; Best in NCAA; BU record)
Women's 400-Meter Hurdles
7. Christina Holland (SO), 59.59
Women's 4x100-Meter Relay
6. Baylor - Tiffani McReynolds, Tiffany Townsend, Brittany Bruce, Diamond Richardson - 44.26
Men's 4x100-Meter Relay
3. Baylor - Marcus Boyd, Whitney Prevost, Woodrow Randall, Zwede Hewitt - 39.21 (Season best; Fifth in NCAA)
Women's 4x400-Meter Relay
7. Baylor - Brittany OgunMokun, Tiffany Townsend, Brittany Bruce, Diamond Richardson - 3:35.65 (Season best)
Men's 4x400-Meter Relay
2. Baylor - Zwede Hewitt, Whitney Prevost, James Gilreath, Marcus Boyd - 3:01.77 (Season best)
Men's Distance Medley Relay
2. Baylor - Zac Flowers, Drew Seale, James Gilreath, Gavyn Nero - 9:48.84
Women's Triple Jump
7. Jessica Ubanyionwu (JR), 42-10.75 (Season best, Top 10 in NCAA)
Women's Shot Put
4. Skylar White (SO), 54-0