May 28, 2004
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -
Baylor junior April Holliness (Duncanville, Texas) broke her own school record and set a new regional championship mark on her final jump with a leap of 6.66 meters (21-10 ¼) to claim the title Friday at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship at Anderson Track Complex.
Holliness, a three-time All-American, had a previous best of 21-4 ¼ in Waco in 2002. Nebraska senior Ineta Radevica finished second at 21-8, marking the first time she has ever been beaten in either a conference or regional championship.
"On the last jump I was just focusing on technique," Holliness said. "I knew I had the speed and the strength to do it, I just had to put it all together."
"When I hit the board I could tell in the setup and then I hung a lot more. I knew it was good when I stepped out of the sand and Coach (Danny) Brabham said, 'watch this' (the measurement) and he was right. It means a lot for my confidence going into nationals, because I knew I could do it. Now I know what that kind of jump feels like."
Holliness admitted to be fueled by junior teammate Chris Gillis' jump just moments earlier. Gillis (Pennsauken, N.J.) popped the fourth-best mark in school history at 7.81 meters (25-7 ½). On his final jump, Gillis moved up from seventh to second to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
"That's the thing about having great teammates," Holliness said. "When one does well, it inspires others to do well."
In the only other final of the day for the Bears, senior Kyle King (Sulpher Springs, Texas) finished fourth in the 5,000 meters in 14:18.56 to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
Junior LaKadron Ivery (Tyler, Texas) also had a great day at the meet by qualifying for tomorrow's finals in two events and picking up right where she left off last year when she broke the school records in the 100 and 200 meters. Ivery won her heat in the 100 and had the second-fastest qualifying time at 11.26, but the wind was slightly above the allowable limit to be counted as the school record. Ivery had the third-fastest qualifying time in the 200 at 22.95, the third-fastest in school history and just behind her record of 22.87. Ivery also anchored the 4x100 squad, which included sophomore Marquisha Sefas (Fort Worth, Texas), Holliness and junior Elizabeth Wilson (Duncanville, Texas) to the third-best time to earn a spot in the finals at 44.20.
Sophomore Jeremy Wariner
(Grand Prairie, Texas) and junior Darold Williamson
(San Antonio, Texas) each won their heats in the 400 to qualify for the finals. Williamson ran 45.46, while Wariner ran 45.60 the second and third best times of the day behind Minnesota's Mitch Potter at 45.11. Freshman Mark Teter
(San Antonio, Texas) also qualified for the finals with a personal best 46.94, the seventh-best time.
Freshman Braelon Davis (Dallas, Texas) qualified for the finals in both the 100 and the 200 meters. Davis ran a 10.46 for the eighth-best time in the 100 and 20.84 to qualify ninth in the 200 meters. Both marks were personal bests. Sophomore Wil Fitts (Desoto, Texas) qualified fourth in the 800 meters at 1:49.43.
Junior Danielle Myricks (Willingboro, N.J.) qualified with the fourth-best time in the 400-meter hurdles at 59.27, while Wilson qualified ninth in the 200 meters at 23.46. Wilson did not qualify in the 100, where she ran 11.63.
All of the Bears had great individual performances, but some were just not good enough to make it to the finals. Sefas ran a 23.91, while sophomore Jamen Saziru (Waco, Texas) ran 21.35 in the 200 meters. In the 400 meters, Joel Martin (Stephenville, Texas) clocked 47.12, while on the women's side, Rena Napoleon (Colorado Springs, Colo.) ran 54.56 and Shanta Bibbs (San Antonio, Texas) ran 57.02. In the long jump, freshman Dominique Zeigler (Killeen, Texas) jumped 6.98 (22-11), and Ivery had a mark of 5.90 (19-4 ¼). Freshman Bo Price (Atlanta, Texas) clocked 3:59.75 in the 1,500 meters.
The top five finishers in Saturday's finals will advance to 2004 NCAA Outdoor Championships June 9-12 at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas.