May 28, 2011
EUGENE, Ore. – Baylor’s track and field team had a fantastic final day, gaining eight more NCAA qualifiers on Saturday at the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds in Eugene, Ore.
Baylor finished the weekend with a total of 13 NCAA qualifiers, including senior Tiffany Townsend, who will compete in a team-high four events at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
"It was a pretty good day, to get all of those relays and everybody in," head coach Todd Harbour said. "I told them I was proud of them and that I thought they battled hard all weekend. Today, we just had some great efforts out of everybody having to step in on those relays. For Chance Casey to step up and not have run in a 4x1 in who knows how long, I thought he did as good of a job as we could have ever asked. It was a total team effort all the way around."
In the men’s relays, injuries over the previous two days to 4x100-meter leg Woodrow Randall and 4x400-meter leg James Gilreath gave Baylor a whole new look, but the Bears found a way to get through. In the 4x100-meter relay, Chance Casey, a 400-meter hurdler and cornerback on the Baylor football team, took the leadoff leg in his first-career sprint relay race at BU. The sophomore handed to Whitney Prevost, who passed to the normal starting leg Marcus Boyd. Senior Zwede Hewitt, who took over the anchor leg halfway through the outdoor season finished, nearly winning the heat with a time of 39.61. The time was the third-best overall on the day, and earned the Bears an automatic qualifying spot in the NCAA Championships.
The 4x400-meter relay featured another makeshift group with two substitutions from the fastest crew of the season. Replacing Gilreath and Whitney Prevost, Joe Barb and Drew Seale joined leadoff leg Zwede Hewitt and anchor leg Marcus Boyd to win their heat for an automatic spot at nationals. Boyd passed two teams on the final leg to complete the race for the fourth-fastest overall time of 3:06.68.
Senior Tiffany Townsend and freshman Tiffani McReynolds each qualified for the NCAA Championships in an individual event after helping Baylor’s 4x100-meter relay team earn a qualifying spot as well. In the sprint relay, the pair joined Brittany Bruce and Brittany Carr to get the baton around the track, placing second in Heat 2 and fifth overall with a time of 44.23.
The Baylor women’s 4x400-meter relay team used a strong third leg from Brittany OgunMokun and a solid anchor leg from Townsend to earn their spot in the NCAA Championship field. With leadoff legs from Diamond Richardson and Brittany Bruce positioning the Lady Bears in fifth place, OgunMokun made up two spots to third and Townsend moved up one more for a second-place finish in Heat 2. The group finished with a time of 3:36.92, the ninth-fastest overall.
Townsend, who also earned an NCAA berth in the 100 meters on Friday, added the 200 meters to her national championship slate. Cruising to an easy heat win, Townsend was able to ease into the final few strides for a time of 23.11, the seventh-best overall. Townsend, who is a 15-time All-American, will then have three chances to break her tie with Tony Miller for the all-time highest total of All-American certificates in Baylor history.
McReynolds, meanwhile, came right back after the relay to win her heat of the women’s 100-meter hurdles. The national leader in the event, McReynolds got a great start and smoothly finished the heat with the fourth-best time of the day at 13.17.
After missing out on an NCAA berth in the shot put, sophomore Skylar White was able to punch her ticket to the championships in the women’s discus. White battled through a tough weekend to place 11th in the event with a toss of 168-1.
Baylor’s track and field team will take a total of 13 entries into the NCAA Outdoor Championships on June 8-11 in Des Moines, Iowa. Drake University will host the championships at Drake Stadium. The visit will be the second of the year for Baylor, after competing in the Drake Relays at the end of April.
COMPLETE BAYLOR RESULTS
Women’s 200 Meters – Quarterfinals
7. Tiffany Townsend (SR), 23.11 (Earns NCAA berth)
13. Brittany Bruce (SR), 23.80
Men’s 200 Meters – Quarterfinals
4. Whitney Prevost (JR), 20.95 (Earns NCAA berth)
Women’s 100-Meter Hurdles – Quarterfinals
4. Tiffani McReynolds (FR), 13.17 (Earns NCAA berth)
Women’s 4x100-Meter Relay – Quarterfinals
5. Tiffani McReynolds, Tiffany Townsend, Brittany Bruce, Brittany Carr – 44.23 (Earns NCAA berth)
Men’s 4x100-Meter Relay – Quarterfinals
3. Chance Casey, Whitney Prevost, Marcus Boyd, Zwede Hewitt – 39.61 (Earns NCAA berth)
Women’s 4x400-Meter Relay – Quarterfinals
9. Diamond Richardson, Tiffany Townsend, Brittany OgunMokun, Brittany Bruce – 3:36.92 (Earns NCAA berth)
Men’s 4x400-Meter Relay – Quarterfinals
4. Zwede Hewitt, Joe Barb, Drew Seale, Marcus Boyd – 3:06.68 (Earns NCAA berth)
Women’s High Jump – First Round
32. Dess Meek (SR), 5-5 [1.65m]
Women’s Discus – First Round/Quarterfinals
11. Skylar White (SO), 168-1 [51.24m] (Earns NCAA berth)