May 15, 2011
NORMAN, Okla. – Freshman standout Tiffani McReynolds claimed another Big 12 hurdle title and Baylor’s track and field team had 23 all-Big 12 performances on Sunday at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships in Norman, Okla.
In the team races, Baylor finished fifth on the women’s side with 77 points, their second-best finish in the last six seasons. The Baylor men place seventh overall with a total of 57.5 points. Texas A&M swept the team titles with 146 points in the women’s race and 175 points for the men.
"I thought we got all we could get in the points, and had a good meet," head coach Todd Harbour said. "We kept everybody healthy for the most part and we'll be ready for Oregon. I thought we had a great competitive effort all the way through. Jessica jumped a huge PR and had to really throw it out there to get into the top three. We just had so many great performances across the board."
McReynolds, who also won the Big 12 indoor title in the 60-meter hurdles, completed the high-hurdle sweep for the season with her winning time of 12.98. In second place with three hurdles to go, McReynolds made a surge on 2009 Big 12 champ Gabby Mayo of Texas A&M and passed her heading into the final hurdle, as Mayo took a fall at the end. Along with defeating the former Big 12 champ Mayo, McReynolds also beat the 2010 champ Natasha Ruddock of Texas A&M and the 2008 champ Latoya Greaves of Oklahoma.
"It's amazing for Tiffani to pull off something like that, winning the Big 12 both indoor and outdoor," Harbour said. "She did a great job in a great race. Conference titles are getting harder to come by, and we were happy to get that one."
Baylor’s 4x100-meter relays grabbed second-place finishes on both the men’s and women’s sides. Marcus Boyd, Whitney Prevost, Woodrow Randall and Zwede Hewitt combined for the men’s second-place finish with a time of 39.33, holding off a hard-charging Texas. For the women, McReynolds, Tiffany Townsend, Brittany Bruce and Brittany Carr came from behind to earn second place with a time of 43.85, their second-best of the season.
In the 4x400-meter relays, Baylor’s men claimed a second-place finish, while the women came in third. For the men, the Bears had another battle with Texas A&M and Texas Tech, splitting the two with a time of 3:02.88. Hewitt turned in a 45.9 split to start, followed by another 45.9 from James Gilreath. Drew Seale ran third with a 46.1 and Boyd finished hard with a time of 44.7 to nearly catch the Aggies’ Tabarie Henry.
For the women, the 4x400 relay that finished third at 3:34.05 started with a 53.6 opener from Richardson, followed by a 52.9 split by Bruce and a 52.7 carry from Brittany OgunMokun. Lizzy Whitney anchored the Lady Bears, turning in a leg of 54.0, just getting nipped by Texas.
In the women’s 800 meters, sophomore OgunMokun shattered her previous personal best by nearly two seconds to earn a runner-up finish with a time of 2:06.43. With 200 meters to go, OgunMokun made a move to the front of the pack and pushed the pace as she battled eventual winner Natalja Piliusuna of Oklahoma State. Fellow sophomore Lizzy Whitney added a sixth-place finish in the event with a time of 2:08.74. The time was the second straight race, and only two times in her career, that Whitney has broken 2:10.
Along with her contributions in the 4x100-meter relay, Townsend had another spectacular Big 12 weekend, placing in the top three in both the 100 and 200 meters. In the 200, she turned it on down the homestretch to make up two spots for a second-place finish with the nation’s second-fastest time of 22.74. In the 100, Townsend battled a headwind with the field to place third with a time of 11.57. She totaled 16 points, which marked the fifth-most by any women's competitor in the meet.
The Baylor women also earned a pair of third-place finishes in the field events with junior Jessica Ubanyionwu and sophomore Skylar White. Ubanyionwu had a career day in a tough triple jump competition, placing third overall with a career-best leap of 44-1.25. Her mark was nine inches further than her previous personal best, and was one of two jumps over 44 feet.
White, meanwhile, was battling the wind in the discus, but managed a third-place finish with a throw of 176-10. She was leading the competition with her best throw after the preliminary round, but was passed by two OU throwers in the finals.
In the men’s sprints, Boyd, Prevost and Randall each had a top BU finish individually on the day. Boyd was third in the 400 meters with a career-best of 45.42. Prevost turned in the top Baylor finish in the 200 meters with a fourth-place time of 20.87, while also placing eighth in the 100 at 10.65. Randall was the top BU 100-meter runner, placing sixth at 10.52. Along with Boyd in the 400, Hewitt also posted a career-best with a time of 45.64.
Junior James Gilreath also turned in a career outdoor best for the Baylor men adding six points and a third-place finish in the 800 meters with a time of 1:48.24.
A trio of Baylor runners posted all-Big 12 performances in the 400-meter hurdles. On the women’s side, sophomore Christina Holland neared her personal-best set yesterday, placing fourth with a time of 57.84. For the men, Chance Casey was fifth at 51.05 and Gabriel El Hanbli was sixth at 51.31, showing a bright future in the event on both sides.
Also earning points and all-Big 12 honors, McReynolds placed seventh in the 100 meters at 11.77, Kristen Hanselka also placed seventh in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at 10:48.10 and Richardson was eighth in the 400 meters at 53.66.
Baylor’s track and field team will be back on the track in the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds in just under two weeks at the University of Oregon. The event, held in Eugene, Ore., is scheduled for May 26-28.
Women’s 200 Meters - Finals
2. Tiffany Townsend (SR), 22.74 (Season best, No. 2 in NCAA this season)
Men’s 200 Meters - Finals
4. Whitney Prevost (JR), 20.87
Women’s 400 Meters - Finals
8. Diamond Richardson (JR), 53.66
Men’s 800 Meters - Finals
3. James Gilreath (JR), 1:48.24 (Career outdoor best)
Women’s 5,000 Meters
25. Katie Shaw (SR), 17:47.97
Men's 5,000 Meters
25. Brad Miles (FR), 15:24.15
Women’s 100-Meter Hurdles - Finals
1. Tiffani McReynolds (FR), 12.98 (Completed title sweep of Big 12 indoor and outdoor high hurdles)
Women’s 400-Meter Hurdles - Finals
4. Christina Holland (SO), 57.86
Women’s 3,000-meter Steeplechase
7. Kristen Hanselka (JR), 10:48.10
Women’s High Jump
t-9. Dess Meek (SR), 5-7.25 (1.71m)
Women’s Triple Jump
3. Jessica Ubanyionwu (JR), 44-1.25 (13.44m) (Career best; No. 2 all-time at Baylor)