May 30, 2003
LINCOLN, Neb. - The Baylor track and field team opened competition today in the first ever NCAA Midwest Regional. The event is being held at the University of Nebraska's Ed Weir Track Stadium. The top five individuals and the top three relays in each event advance to the NCAA Championships. The women scored 12 points on the first day of the competition as two athletes advanced to the NCAA Championships. The men finished the day with four points.
All-American April Holliness needed her last jump of the finals to move from sixth to a qualifying-fifth place to earn her ticket to Sacramento. She recorded a leap of 6.41 meters on her sixth jump. Debbie Thornhill, who has already qualified for the national meet in the 10,000, finished second in the 5,000 with a time of 16:42.25. Kyle King put points on the board on the men's side, advancing to the NCAA meet with a fifth place finish in the 5,000. He clocked a 14:26.86.
"We've done everything we need to do," head coach Clyde Hart said. "April Holliness showed the heart of a champion. It was phenomenal that she came back in her final jump to move up a place and advance to the NCAA meet."
The women's 4x100 relay opened competition for the Bears today by winning their heat. The foursome of Marquisha Sefas, April Holliness, Elizabeth Wilson and Lakadron Ivery clocked a 44.88 to advance to the finals on Saturday with the second-fastest preliminary time. Ivery proceeded to easily qualify of the finals in the open 100, winning her heat with a school record time of 11.28. Prior to today she was tied with She She Crawford for the record at 11.29. Overall, Ivery had the fastest qualifying time. Ivery also clocked the fastest time in the 200. She broke the school record in that event with a time of 22.87. The previous best mark by a Baylor female was a 22.92 run by Barbara Petrahn at the 2001 Big 12 Championships.
"Lakadron Ivery continued her unbelievable year," Hart added. "Her records are phenomenal. She set records in both the sprints and anchored the relay to the finals. That's a pretty good day."
Jeremy Wariner opened up the competition for the men. He won his heat in a time of 46.45 to advance to the finals in the 400-meter dash. Darold Williamson took second in his heat with a time of 46.18. Both advanced to the Saturday finals. Williamson's time was fifth overall while Wariner was eighth in the prelims.
Two Bears also advanced in the men's 400 intermediate hurdles. Seth Billy and Jordan Lewis each finished second in their heats. Billy clocked a 51.36 to be the fourth fastest qualifier while Lewis was sixth overall with a 51.86.
In the men's 800, Wil Fitts finished fourth in his heat and eighth overall to advance to the finals with a time of 1:51.45.
Jamen Saziru ran a season-best 200 time of 21.00, but it was not quite fast enough to move on to the finals as he finished 13th. Janelle Mylkey and Jordan Willmann each competed in the 100 hurdles. Mulkey finished 15th with a time of 14.01. Willmann was 18th finishing in 14.11. Matt Chance finished 18th in the 5,000 with a time of 15:18.79.