June 5, 2013
EUGENE, Ore. - The Baylor track and field team opened its run in the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships with athletes competing in six events on Wednesday at Hayward Field.
"We were just a little bit off today," head coach Todd Harbour said. "In a meet like this you can't be off at all and that cost us today. Christina Holland had a great race and just got clipped at the line, but we have a bunch of athletes ready to go for tomorrow."
BU was unable to advance any athletes through to the finals of an event on the first day of competition, but the Bears had several near misses.
In each of the running events on the day the top two finishers in each heat earned an automatic spot into the finals, along with the next two fastest times.
Senior Christina Holland closed out the day with a strong performance in the 400-meter hurdles. In her final collegiate race, she held the lead in her heat with 100-meters to go. However, Holland was passed by two runners down the stretch and ended finishing third, only .04 seconds outside of second, with a time of 57.44. She took ninth overall in the event.
Both junior Blake Heriot and freshman Olicia Williams took fifth in their heats.
Heriot tried to make a late charge in the 400-meters and posted a time of 45.97, but a quartet of runners held him off to prevent him from advancing to the final.
Williams stayed with the lead group of her heat in the 800-meters, but with about 200 meters to go the leaders pulled away from the freshman and she was never able reel them back in as she posted a time of 2:06.74.
Baylor's lone field event participant on the day, hammer thrower Erin Atkinson, got better with each throw, but her improvement did not amount to a spot in the finals. Competing in the first flight of the day, Atkinson fouled on her first attempt, before tossing a throw of 186-10 [56.96m] on her next heave. On the last toss, Atkinson stayed in 11th place in her flight with a throw of 196-5 [59.86m]. Overall, the junior took 20th.
Both of Baylor's 4x100-meter relay teams were coming off season-best times at the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds, but they were unable to keep that momentum going on Wednesday.
The men's squad of Justin Allen, Heriot, Mark'Quis Frazier and Alex Reece never could quite catch up to the two leaders in its heat and finished in third at 39.78. That mark was 14th overall.
Meanwhile the women's quartet of Justine Charbonnet, Ashley Fields, Idia Omogiate and Justise Dayries placed eighth in its flight and 20th overall in a time of 45.27.
Baylor athletes will be back in action on Thursday at Hayward Field. Senior Skylar White opens the day for the Bears in the discus at 2 p.m. (4 p.m. CT). On the track, Fields will run in the 200-meter semifinals at 4 p.m. (6 p.m. CT) and both 4x400-meter relay squads will compete starting at 6:20 p.m. (8:20 p.m. CT).
Thursday's action will be streamed by the Pac-12 from 11 a.m.-3:50 p.m. PT, while from 3:50 p.m. to 8 p.m. ESPN3.com/WatchESPN will have the coverage.
Follow @BaylorTrack on Twitter for updates throughout the event.
COMPLETE BAYLOR RESULTS
12. Blake Heriot (JR) - 45.97
15. Olicia Williams (FR) - 2:06.74
9. Christina Holland (SR) - 57.44
20. Baylor (Charbonnet, Fields, Omogiate, Dayries) - 45.27
14. Baylor (Allen, Heriot, Frazier, Reece) - 39.78
20. Erin Atkinson (JR) - 196-5 [59.86m]