AUSTIN, Texas - On the first day of the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds, Baylor pole vaulter Annie Rhodes secured her spot at the national meet in Eugene, Ore., while seven other student-athletes qualified for the quarterfinal round in track events Thursday at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
To open the day, Rhodes, a senior, earned her third-straight trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the pole vault. After passing on her opening two bars, Rhodes proceeded to clear the next three heights on first attempts. She was one of only two athletes to record zero misses on a windy day that wreaked havoc on many other vaulters. Rhodes ended up being one of only 10 athletes to clear 14-1.25 [4.30m], which locked up her spot in Eugene.
Athletes in all of the day's running events, except for the 10,000 meters, needed to be finish in the top three of their heat or among the next six-best times overall to be among 24 qualifiers to advance to the quarterfinal round of competition. All seven of BU’s advancing athletes on the day automatically made the quarterfinal round by finishing in the top three of their respective heats.
In the 400-meter hurdles, Kiana Hawn controlled her heat throughout and with an auto-advancing spot guaranteed slowed up in the final 10 meters to finish second in her heat and ninth overall with a time of 58.77.
Despite a slow start, Taylor Bennett cruised to a second-place finish in her heat of the 100-meters with a time of 11.19 (5.2m/s). Overall, the BU sophomore had the eighth-fastest time on the day. On the men’s side in the 100 meters, Maxwell Willis quickly asserted his speed, bursting to the lead 25 meters in to the race and then held that advantage throughout. He won his heat in 10.07, which was the eighth-fastest time on the day.
Through 200 meters, Leticia De Souza was near the back of her 400-meter heat, but charged through the final curve and closed strong to place second with a time of 53.24. That was the 11th-fastest mark on the day.
On the men’s side in the 400 meters, Baylor pushed two athletes to the quarterfinals. Over the final 150 meters, Wil London sprinted to the front of his heat to win it in 45.78. That mark was the second-fastest overall at the meet. Senior George Caddick showed the same final kick as London as he blistered the field over the last 100 meters to win his heat in 45.76 and lock up his spot in the quarterfinal round.
After missing the Big 12 Championship due to injury, Zak Curran posted an impressive showing in the 800 meters by placing second in his heat with a time of 1:51.06. The senior Bear was sixth with 500 meters to go, but charged to third at the bell and then moved up to second and held that position over the final 300 meters.
To close out the night, Baylor’s two 10,000-meter runners, Lindsey Bradley and Peyton Thomas, just missed out on advancing. Bradley finished 15th in a time of 35:18.07, but she was in contention for the 12th and final qualifying spot throughout. Meanwhile, Thomas started slow, but raced to challenge for the 12th spot in the middle part of her race, but as she moved up to 12th she collapsed and did not finish the race.
• After struggling at the seventh hurdle, Antwuan Musgrove finished 44th overall with a 400-meter hurdle time of 54.05.
• Despite throwing the fourth-best javelin mark in school history, Megan SaxvanderWeyden, 150-10 [45.99m], finished 20th.
• Jenna Pfeiffer, who is already going to Oregon in the heptathlon was 39th in the javelin at 135-4 [41.27m].
• Juanita Mainoo (11.76) and Kiana Horton (17.02) finished 45th and 46th, respectively in the 100 meters. Horton pulled up with an injury a little underway halfway through, but was able to continue across the line.
• Freshman Victoria Powell placed 35th overall in the 400 meters with a time of 54.94.
Baylor athletes will be back on Friday at the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds at 12 p.m. as Cion Hicks will compete in the discus and Greyson Gonzalez and Ryan Womack compete in the pole vault. Running events get started for the Bears at 5 p.m. with the running of the 100-meter hurdles.
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COMPLETE BAYLOR RESULTS
Q or q = Advanced to Second Round
** = Advanced to NCAA Finals site
8. Maxwell Willis (FR) - 10.07Q
18. Zak Curran (SR) - 1:51.06Q
9. Kiana Hawn (JR) - 57.77Q
44. Antwuan Musgrove (SO) - 54.05
t1. Annie Rhodes (SR) - 14-1.25 [4.30m]**