June 6, 2013
EUGENE, Ore. - Despite a late substitution to its lineup, the Baylor men's 4x400-meter relay team qualified for the finals of the event for the 33rd time in the last 34 years with a time of 3:05.38 on Thursday at Hayward Field.
"Getting the men qualified was very rewarding, considering all that we have been through these first two days," head coach Todd Harbour said. "Nothing had gone our way. It is definitely satisfying for the men, after not making it last year. They all ran really well."
BU used the lineup order of Blake Heriot, Isaiah Duke, Joe Barb and Drew Seale for only the second time this season, because of an injury to Justin Allen, who ran the first leg for the Bears at both the Big 12 Championships and the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds.
However the change did not bother Baylor as Heriot opened with a split of 45.78 to hand the stick to Duke in first place. Duke kept the Bears in one of the necessary top two spots to qualify automatically as he passed the baton onto Barb in 46.18, just behind Florida. From there Barb and Seale held that position with splits of 46.35 and 46.85, respectively.
Baylor's time was eighth best on the day, but because the Bears qualified automatically they will not be in lanes one or eight for Saturday's final, which begins at 3:50 p.m. (5:50 p.m. CT).
If the Bears finish that race they will keep a streak alive of scoring in every NCAA Championship since 1977.
Senior Skylar White was Baylor's first competitor to reach the finals of an event. On the first three throws of the discus, White improved with each toss. She opened with a mark of 174-5 [53.16m], before upping that to 175-7 [53.53m] and closing out the preliminary rounds with a throw of 176-10 [53.89m].
With nine advancing to the finals in the field events, White made it as the last qualifier. However in the finals, she was unable to produce a better throw and ended up missing the awards podium with a ninth-place showing.
White closes out her Baylor career with 12 All-Big 12 performances and four All-American honors. She holds the Baylor school record in the indoor shot put and both the discus and shot put outdoors. She owns all of the top-10 throws in school history in both the indoor and outdoor shot put and eight of the 10 top throws in discus.
Baylor's other individual participant on the day, Ashley Fields, took fourth in her heat of the 200-meters in 23.06. That time placed the freshman 11th overall and outside of the top eight, which qualified for Saturday's final.
The women's 4x400-meter relay team of Idia Omogiate, Fields, Olicia Williams and Raena Rhone took fifth in its heat and 13th overall in time of 3:35.14.
With the relay team missing out on the finals, Baylor's women will not score at the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2007.
The NCAA Championships continue Friday at Hayward Field. Baylor's lone competitor on the day will be Desmine Hilliard in the discus. The sophomore begins competing at 4 p.m. (2 p.m.) CT.
Friday's action will be streamed by the Pac-12 from 12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. PT, while from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. ESNPU/WatchESPN will have the coverage.
Follow @BaylorTrack on Twitter for updates throughout the event.
COMPLETE BAYLOR RESULTS
Q = Qualified for finals
11. Ashley Fields (FR) - 23.06
13. Baylor (Omogiate, Fields, Williams, Rhone) - 3:35.14
8. Baylor (Heriot, Duke, Barb, Seale) - 3:05.38Q
9. Skylar White (SR) - 176-10 [53.89m]