AUSTIN, Texas - Baylor's track and field team completed a solid second day at the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds with five more qualified for the NCAA Championships on Friday at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas.
The second day of the preliminary rounds featured mostly finals with qualifiers from yesterday's events, plus the first round of the high hurdles and 200 meters. In the second round events, competitors were searching for the top-12 finish needed to earn a berth to the final NCAA Championship site in Des Moines, Iowa, in two weeks. Of Baylor's 10 entries qualified from yesterday's first rounds, five earned the coveted championship berth.
"We definitely had an up and down day, but there were a lot of positives with five more moving on to the NCAA Championships," head coach Todd Harbour said. "I really liked the way we competed today, we just got in some races that didn't go the way we had hoped. That's just the way the Preliminary Rounds go, it's a tough meet. And we've still got tomorrow to go out there and get some more things done, so we are definitely looking forward to that."
On the track, Everett Walker and Zwede Hewitt earned a berth for the Baylor men, while Christina Holland, Diamond Richardson and the lone Baylor field-event competitor of the day, Skylar White, all earned berths for the women.
The berth for White accompanies her qualifying performance in the shot put yesterday to put her in two events at the finals site. In the discus, White entered her final throw of the preliminary round sitting 20th and needing to be in the top 16 to earn three more throws, but the junior unleashed the competition's second best toss of the day of 182-0 to solidify her spot. That mark held up in second place on the day, earning white a third-consecutive championship berth in the event.
Hewitt and Richardson started things off on the track for Baylor in the 400 meters. On the men's side, Hewitt was fifth in his heat, but his time of 46.28 was good enough to stay in the top 12 at 11th. Blake Heriot just missed a berth, finishing 13th overall at 46.46. For the women, Diamond Richardson narrowly missed a personal-best with a time of 52.73, but accomplished the more important feat of finishing third in her heat for a championship berth.
Walker got off to a quick start in his performance in the 100 meters. The junior cruised down the track in 10.28 seconds to finish third in his heat and ninth overall to earn his first berth to the championship site.
Holland then added a championship-qualifying performance for the women in the 400 hurdles. She came on strong down the homestretch over the last two hurdles to finish in a time of 57.58 and place eighth overall.
In qualifying on the day, Walker and Whitney Prevost lit up the track in the 200 meters to one of the 27 spots in tomorrow's second round. Walker finished second in his heat at 20.87, while Prevost was third in his heat with an identical time of 20.87.
Baylor's day was also filled with a few more near-misses. In the 800 meters, James Gilreath missed a berth by .24 seconds in 14th at 1:49.21 for the men, while Brittany OgunMokun was edged out by one place with a time of 2:06.73.
Baylor will be back on the track on Saturday for the final day of action in the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds at Mike A. Myers Stadium. Field events begin at 11 a.m., followed by running events starting at 6 p.m.
30. Christina Holland (JR) - 13.68
8. Christina Holland (JR) - 57.58**
2. Skylar White (JR) - 182-1 [55.49]**