June 11, 2009
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - DeAna Carson finished fifth overall in the women's long jump and the Bears qualified eight to Friday and Saturday finals on the second day of competition at the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Thursday at John McDonnell Field.
Carson earns All-America honors for the second time in her career. At this year's indoor championships, Carson placed 12th overall, but finished as one of the top eight American-born competitors.
The junior set a new personal best mark with a leap of 6.52m (21-04 ¾) on the third jump of her series, improving on her previous career best of 6.44m (21-01 ½) entering the meet. She also popped a jump of 6.49m (21-03 ½) on her fourth jump.
Carson was just two centimeters out of first place, as the top three competitors all recorded jumps of 6.54m (21-05 ½). Carson tied for fifth with Florida's Shara Proctor, but Carson's second-best jump of 6.49m (21-03 ½) was better than Proctor's 6.45m (21-02).
The fifth-place finish ties for the second-best finish in the long jump in Baylor history, and the best finish since April Holliness took third in 2004. This marked just the fourth time in Baylor history that a Lady Bear scored at the indoor or outdoor national meet in the long jump.
Both of Baylor's 4x400-meter relay teams automatically qualified for the event finals on Saturday afternoon. The women's team rallied for a second-place finish in 3:33.96 to earn an automatic qualifying position.
Katrina Taylor led off for the Lady Bears with a carry of 53.32 seconds to put Baylor into first place at the first exchange. Brittany Bruce led the second lap, but was edged by Texas at the second exchange after a 53.21-second split.
Tiana Hood split 54.83 seconds on the third leg, but faded down the stretch, passing in fourth place. Diamond Richardson got out quickly and made her first pass with 200 meters to go. She continued her kick, passing Louisiana Tech with 50 meters to go, splitting 52.36 seconds on the anchor leg.
The men's squad won its preliminary heat in 3:04.29. Zwede Hewitt split 46.26 seconds on the first leg, passing off in second place behind Western Kentucky. Marcus Boyd, running on his first 4x400-meter relay since Drake Relays, closed the gap over the first 200 meters and made the pass on the curve. He split 45.93 seconds to move Baylor into first place.
J.T. Scheuerman kept Baylor in the lead over Texas A&M on the third leg, passing off in a dead heat over the Aggies with a 46.63-second split. Texas A&M anchor Justin Oliver got out quickly over Quentin Iglehart-Summers, building as much as a 10-meter lead on the backstretch. LSU and Southern California got strong carries by their anchor legs, pulling even with the Baylor senior. Iglehart-Summers side-stepped LSU while passing Texas A&M on the final straightaway, splitting 45.18 seconds to lead Baylor to the preliminary win.
Tiffany Townsend and Trey Harts both advanced to Saturday's finals in the 200 meters following two preliminary heats on Thursday afternoon. Both won their first round heats, with Townsend running 23.26 and Harts clocking 20.85. In the event semifinals later in the afternoon, Townsend won her heat in 22.91, while Harts slowed at the finish to take third in 20.56.
Chris Gowell advanced to Saturday's final in the 800 meters, with a career-best time of 1:47.32 to finish third in his semifinal heat. Gowell sat in ninth after 500 meters, but started making up ground down the backstretch, moving into sixth place with 150 meters to go. Gowell swung out into lane four down the homestretch to move into third place and an automatic qualifying position.
Baylor returns to action on Friday for the third day of competition at the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Live results and live streaming video can be found online at www.ArkansasRazorbacks.com. In addition, Friday evening's action will be shown live from 6-8 p.m. on CBS College Sports.