May 26, 2017
AUSTIN, Texas - Baylor's track and field team had five student-athletes, Taylor Bennett, George Caddick, Kiana Hawn, Wil London and Maxwell Willis, earn a spot into the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., Friday during the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
Athletes in all of the day's quarterfinal running events needed to finish in the top three of their heat or among the next three-best times overall to be among 12 qualifiers to advance to Eugene, Ore.
In the 400 meters, a pair of Bears advanced to Eugene. In the opening quarterfinal heat, senior George Caddick secured his third-straight trip to the national meet in the quartermile event with a personal-best time of 45.45. Caddick was in fifth as the race moved into the final 100 meters, but he found another gear and closed strong to lock up the third and final automatic qualifying spot for his heat. Caddick's time was eighth overall for the day.
Meanwhile, sophomore Wil London charged from the back of his heat with 150 meters to go to take over the lead and he held that advantage to win it in a personal-best of 45.02. London had the second-fastest time of anyone at the meet, behind only the collegiate record time of 43.70 run by Texas A&M's Fred Kerley.
In the 100 meters, the Bears got a male and female athlete through to Eugene. Sophomore Taylor Bennett was one of the final athletes out of the blocks in her race, but used superior throughout the race to close the gap and ended up taking fifth in her quarterfinal heat in a time of 11.28. However, Bennett was the final time qualifier to Eugene in the event.
On the men's side, freshman Maxwell Willis cruised to a third-place finish in his quarterfinal heat in a time of 10.10. His time was eighth-fastest on the day.
To close out the night, Bennett and Willis both advanced to the 200-meter quarterfinals, which will be held Saturday. Bennett (22.83) closed extremely well to finish second in her heat and seventh overall. Meanwhile, Willis blew away his heat with a time of 20.39 to register the fifth-fastest time overall.
Junior Kiana Hawn was Baylor's final qualifier to Eugene on the day as she controlled the latter half of her quarterfinal heat of the 400-meter hurdles to win it in a personal-best time of 57.12. It is the second-straight year that Hawn has made the national meet. Her time on Friday was also the fourth-fastest in school history.
Leticia De Souza (53.48) was in a fast quarterfinal heat of the 400 meters and faded down the final 100 meters to place sixth in the heat and 14th overall with a time of 53.48.
Cion Hicks placed 17th in the discus with a throw of 170-10 [52.07m]. The senior Bear led off the third flight of that event with that throw, but then fouled on her next two attempts.
Junior Zak Curran ended up being in the fastest quarterfinal heat of the 800 meters and couldn't quite hang with the leaders as he finished 17th overall in 1:49.99.
To open the day Greyson Gonzalez (29th) and Ryan Womack (32nd) both cleared the opening two bars of the pole vault, but ended with a best clearance of 16-4.75 [5.00m].
In the 200-meters, Juanita Mainoo (23.62, 27th) and Malik Wilson (21.14, 30th) both missed out on moving on to Saturday's quarterfinals.
After suffering an injury in Thursday's 100-meter race, Kiana Horton did not run in the 200 meters. She had the 17th-best time in the region coming into the meet.
Battling a leg injury, Rhys Phillips did not run the in 110-meter hurdles. He had the 14th-fastest qualifying time.
Baylor athletes will return to the NCAA West Preliminary Championships at 3 p.m. Saturday as Felix Obi takes part in the triple jump. Running events get started for the Bears at 6 p.m. with the running of the 4x100-meter relay event.
To stay current on all things Baylor Track, follow the team on Twitter: @BaylorTrack.
COMPLETE BAYLOR RESULTS
Q or q = Advanced to Second Round
** = Advanced to NCAA Finals site
100 Meters Quarterfinal
11. Taylor Bennett (SO) - 11.28**
8. Maxwell Willis (FR) - 10.10**
400 Meters Quarterfinal
14. Leticia De Souza (JR) - 53.48
800 Meters Quarterfinal
17. Zak Curran (JR) - 1:49.99
110 Hurdles First Round
-- Rhys Phillips (SR) - DNS
400 Hurdles Quarterfinal
5. Kiana Hawn (JR) - 57.12** (personal best, fourth-best in school history)
17. Cion Hicks (SR) - 170-10 [52.07m]