May 17, 2003
AUSTIN, Texas -
The seventh Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships got underway today at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the University of Texas campus. After the first day the women are in fourth place with 10 points. The men did not score on the opening day of the competition.
Senior Debbie Thornhill won the women's 10,000-meter race for the second-consecutive year. After running with the lead pack for the majority of the race, she took the lead for the first time on the backstretch of lap 23. With a strong kick at the end she earned her second-straight title with a stadium-record time of 35:43.14. Thornhill won the fourth title in the event for the Baylor women in the seven-year history of the conference.
"I'm definitely excited," Thornhill said. "I'm pleased that I can help the team. Defending a title does not happen very often, and I'm just happy I was able to do it."
Junior Jordan Willmann got a tremendous start in the heptathlon. She recorded personal-best marks in three events and tied her best in a fourth to finish the day in second place with a total score of 3,338. Willmann began the day with the third-fastest time in the 100-meter hurdles. She earned 973 points for clocking a season-best time of 14.04. She proceeded to tie her personal best in the high jump, clearing 5-8. Then, the Llano, Texas-native recorded a 37-2 ½ in the shot put, outdistancing her previous best by more than a foot and a half. The final heptathlon of the day was the 200. Willmann dropped more than one second from her previous best, clocking a 25.34.
Missouri's Fiona Asigbee leads the heptathlon compiling a total score of 3,470 with three events remaining. Willmann is in second followed by Jessica Stockard of Missouri (3,284) and Ashley Selig of Nebraska (3,282).
"We are very, very proud of Debbie (Thornhill)," head coach Clyde Hart said. "She ran an outstanding race and finished with a convincing victory.
"Jordan Willmann has done everything we could ask. With personal bests in three of the events, she is nearly 200 points ahead of where she has been before. She is in second place right now, and we feel she has a chance."
In the men's 10,000, Sam Bernal finished 16th with a time of 33:11.12.
The heptathlon will conclude on Sunday before the running prelims. Select field events also will take place tomorrow.