May 30, 2014
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Baylor's track and field team had seven student-athletes, Trayvon Bromell, TJ Holmes, Rachel Johnson, Tiffani McReynolds, Raena Rhone, Brianna Richardson and Everett Walker, earn a spot into the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., on Friday at the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds at John McDonnell Field.
To close out the night, Johnson ran the fastest NCAA West time of all-time and the second-fastest time in school history to win her heat of the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9:53.56. That time was just four seconds off her school record mark of 9:49.31 set earlier this year. The junior led wire-to-wire in her race as she posted the fastest time of anyone at the event by over eight seconds.
Baylor was perfect in the 100-meter dash as all three of its quarterfinalists punched their ticket to Eugene.
A day after running 10.18 in the opening round, Bromell duplicated the time to advance automatically by placing second in his heat. Walker also ran a 10.18, but that mark placed him fourth in his heat, forcing him to qualify on time.
On the women's side, McReynolds returned to the track just a little over an hour after running in the hurdles to post a time of 11.53 to be fifth in her heat. She waited until the final heat was run and then was forced to wait a little longer as she was tied for the final qualifying time. When the times were extended to hundredths of a second, McReynolds edged out Loudia Laarman of USC for a spot in Eugene by .008 seconds.
In the 400-hurdles, Holmes won his heat in a PR of time of 49.90 to automatically qualify for Eugene. Holmes' mark bested his Big 12 second-place finish time of 49.98 and was the fifth-fastest time at the meet.
Baylor's biggest surprise of the night came from junior captain Raena Rhone, who posted the best time of her career to qualify for Eugene by taking third in her heat of the 400 meters with a time of 52.57. Rhone had run 52.67 at the Big 12 Championships to place fourth and enter the West preliminary rounds with the 15th-best mark.
Baylor got its first field event participant to the NCAA Championships as Richardson took fifth in the triple jump with a mark of 42-8 [13.00m]. She achieved that mark on her first jump and it kept her in the top 12 throughout the competition.
The Bears also got seven more entries through to Saturday's quarterfinals.
All three of Baylor's short-distance hurdlers automatically advanced into Saturday quarterfinal action. McReynolds won her heat and produced the second-fastest qualifying time overall at 13.10 to notch the 14th-fastest time of her career. Sophomore Taije Jordan nabbed an auto-advancing spot by placing third in her heat with a time of 13.81. She finished ahead of the fourth-place runner by just .002. That quarterfinal will take place at 7:20 on Saturday.
Sophomore Bryce Grace took second in his heat of the 110-hurdles with a time of 13.92. He will run again in Saturday's quarterfinals of the event at 7:05 p.m.
Four BU 200-meter runners will also compete for a spot in Eugene on Saturday. Everett Walker and Blake Heriot both qualified for the quarterfinals automatically. Walker placed second in his heat with a season-best wind legal time of 20.57, while Heriot was third in his heat with a mark of 21.01. Those pair of Bears will run at 7:35 p.m. in the quarterfinals on Saturday.
Meanwhile on the women's side, Ashley Fields qualified for the quarterfinals by taking second in her heat with a time of 23.50. Kehri Jones had to wait on each heat to finish as she took fourth in her heat in 23.92. That mark was fastest enough to qualify her on time at 21st overall. Fields and Jones will be in the quarterfinals at 7:50 p.m. on Saturday.
- Rachel Johnson beat the NCAA West record of Colorado's Emma Coburn (9:55.03)
- Everett Walker and Tiffani McReynolds will have a chance to qualify for nationals in two individual on Saturday.
- Olicia Williams placed 15th in the 800-meter run in 2:07.58
- Kaitlin West took 24th in the triple jump with a leap of 40-3.25 [12.27m]
- Justise Dayries (27th, 24.23) and Alex Reece (38th, 21.65) both missed out on qualifying for nationals.
- Derwin Graham was 42nd in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:19.73.
STAT OF THE DAY
8 - the number of athletes Baylor has qualified for the NCAA Championships already. Henry Vildosola (decathlon) joins Friday's seven qualifiers, who are already going to Eugene.
TOP QUOTE #1
"It was a good day at the office for us. Our guys made it look easy today, but it is not that easy. You have to be on at this meet. I was really impressed with our sprinters and then Rachel (Johnson) closed out the day on high note. Tiny has been coming on strong for a while now and he had a great day. Raena (Rhone) is so mentally strong - to run a PR out of lane nine shows you that. TJ (Holmes) won his heat easily, so that says a lot for a freshman." - head coach Todd Harbour on the first day of the NCAA West Preliminary Championships
TOP QUOTE #2
"Tomorrow will be a big day for us. We have the relays and two in the field events and then all of our qualifiers from today." - Harbour on the final day of the NCAA West Preliminary Championships
Baylor senior Erin Atkinson will get things started for BU on the final day of the NCAA West Preliminary Championships as she takes part in the hammer throw events at 10 a.m. Running events for the Bears will begin at 6 p.m. with the men's 4x100-meter relay.
To stay current on all things Baylor Track, follow the team on Twitter: @BaylorTrack.
COMPLETE BAYLOR RESULTS
Q or q = Advanced to Second Round
(placing based on heat finish, not overall result)
** = Advanced to NCAA Finals site
400 Meters Second Round
6. Raena Rhone (JR) - 52.57** (personal best)
800 Meters Second Round
15. Olicia Williams (SO) - 2:07.58
110 Hurdles First Round
11. Bryce Grace (SO) - 13.92Q
400 Hurdles Second Round
5. TJ Holmes (FR) - 49.90** (personal best)
1. Rachel Johnson (JR) - 9:53.56** (NCAA West Meet record and second-fastest in school history)
42. Derwin Graham (JR) - 9:19.73