June 7, 2013
EUGENE, Ore. - Baylor discus thrower Desmine Hilliard bettered his own school record by 6-feet-7 inches with a throw of 194-0 [59.13m], but finished ninth at the NCAA Championships on Friday at Hayward Field.
"Desmine went in there and competed hard and I was really proud of him for that," assistant head coach Danny Brabham said. "I knew when he let his first throw go that it was going to be a good one and it was. If I get some more time with him, he is going to be a major contender for a national title."
The sophomore finished three inches outside of eighth place, which would have landed him on the awards podium with All-American honors and given Baylor one team point.
Hilliard opened the day with the new school-record throw, before uncorking tosses that would have previously been school records on his second and third attempts, 193-3 [58.91m] and 191-9 [58.46m], respectively.
As the first thrower in the second flight of 12 athletes, Hilliard completed the three preliminary throws in eighth position overall, which guaranteed him three more throws in the event's final.
Throwing second in the final, Hilliard fouled on his first two attempts. In between those attempts, Kentucky's Andrew Evans, who was in ninth place, produced a throw of 206-0 [62.78m] to pass Hilliard.
Needing a big throw to get back into a scoring position, Hilliard tallied a mark of 181-1 [55.21], which did not improve his standing any.
Entering postseason competition, Hilliard ranked 27th in the country with his previous school record throw of 187-5 [57.12m]. That throw netted the sophomore a second-place finish at the Big 12 Championships in May. He then took 10th at the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds with a throw of 185-0 [56.40m] to get to Eugene.
Last season, Hilliard's best throw was 171-3 [52.19m] at the Big 12 Championships, meaning an improvement of 23 feet in just a little over a calendar year.
Hilliard is BU's third ninth-place finisher at this year's event as Christina Holland took ninth in the 400-hurdles and Skylar White was ninth in the women's discus.
Hilliard currently splits time between BU's track and field program and its football program. He is slated to be the starting right guard for the Bears in their 2013 season opener in August.
The NCAA Championships wrap up on Saturday at Hayward Field. The Baylor men's 4x400-relay team will close out BU's participation in the championship by taking part in the finals of that event at 3:50 p.m. (5:50 p.m. CT).
Saturday's action will be streamed by the Pac-12 from 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m. PT, while from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. ESNPU/WatchESPN will have the coverage.
Follow @BaylorTrack on Twitter for updates throughout the event.
COMPLETE BAYLOR RESULTS
9. Desmine Hilliard (SO) - 194-0 [59.13m]