June 11, 2014
EUGENE, Ore. - Senior hammer thrower Erin Atkinson nabbed All-America honors to highlight the Baylor track and field team's first day at the NCAA Championships on Wednesday at Hayward Field.
Atkinson opened the competition with a season-best throw of 205-2 [62.55m] to move into seventh-place. The St. Louis, Mo., native then posted an even better throw on her second attempt of 206-8 [63.01m] to jump to sixth. That throw earned Atkinson three more throws in the event finals, but she was unable to improve and ended the competition in eighth.
Freshman Trayvon Bromell wowed the 9,165 fans in attendance by turning in a time of 9.92 (2.2 m/s) to be the top qualifier in the 100-meter dash. The St. Petersburg, Fla., product was .18 seconds better than any other competitor in the field.
Junior Rachel Johnson closed out Baylor's day with an easy-looking 9:57.27 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase to be the third-fastest qualifier. The time was her third best of the season, but was also the fourth-best in school history.
Freshman TJ Holmes had some trouble with the seventh and eighth hurdles in the 400-hurdle race, but still managed to finish third in his heat with a time of 50.56. That mark was good enough to qualify for the finals as the event's sixth-fastest runner.
Through five events of the decathlon competition, senior Henry Vildosola established a personal-best in the long jump of 23-3.25 [7.09m] to help him rack up 3,639 points. That point tally has Vildosola in 20th place.
Baylor had some near misses on the first day as well.
The women's 4x100-meter relay team of Kehri Jones, Ashley Fields, Alyssa Nichols and Justise Dayries was ninth. The quartet posted a season-best time of 44.32, but was .15 seconds behind the final eighth-place qualifying team.
On the men's side in the 4x1 relay, Baylor's first handoff was not clean causing the Bears to drop out of the race.
Tiffani McReynolds placed 11th in the 100-meter dash in 11.32. However, the junior still has her signature event, the 100-hurdles on Thursday.
- Atkinson's throw was the seventh-best of her career and the seventh-best in school history as she owns all 10 of Baylor's top hammer throws.
- Atkinson garnered the first outdoor All-American honor of her career and the second All-American honor overall adding to the indoor weight throw accolade she won in 2012.
- Atkinson entered the event as the 20th-seeded thrower.
- Bromell's time was a Baylor school record and tied for the fourth fastest time ever run at the national meet.
- After not scoring any points at the meet in 2013, the Baylor women are on the leaderboard after the first day with Atkinson's finish earning the team one point to be tied for 19th.
STAT OF THE DAY
1 - the number of people who have ever run a qualifying 100-meter time as fast as Trayvon Bromell at the NCAA Championships (Charles Silmon of TCU, 2013).
TOP QUOTE #1
"It was a typical track meet day. We had some highs and a few lows. Obviously, Erin (Atkinson) getting All-America honors was really, really big. She just threw great. Watching Trayvon (Bromell) run that 100 was amazing. He made it look so easy and definitely wowed the crowd today." - head coach Todd Harbour on the first day of the NCAA Championships
TOP QUOTE #2
"Take out the disappointment of the men's relay and it is a great day, but that is just the way track meets are. Other athletes now have to step. We have a lot of work to do tomorrow." - Harbour on the meet
Baylor athletes will be back on Thursday at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Henry Vildosola will lead things off with the conclusion of the decathlon starting at 11 a.m. PT (1 p.m. CT). Baylor's running events start at 4 p.m. PT (6 p.m. CT) with the 200-meter preliminary heats.
To stay current on all things Baylor Track, follow the team on Twitter: @BaylorTrack.
COMPLETE BAYLOR RESULTS
Q or q = Advanced to event finals
11. Tiffani McReynolds (JR) - 11.32
1. Trayvon Bromell (FR) - 9.92Q [2.2m/s] (school record & best in NCAA)
15. Everett Walker (SR) - 10.27
18. Raena Rhone (JR) - 53.13
6. TJ Holmes (FR) - 50.56q
9. Baylor (Kehri Jones, Ashley Fields, Alyssa Nichols, Justise Dayries) - 44.32 (season best)
-- Baylor (Alex Reece, Blake Heriot, Everett Walker, Trayvon Bromell) - DNF
3. Rachel Johnson (JR) - 9:57.27 (fourth in school history)
Decathlon #2 - Long Jump
15. Henry Vildosola (SR) - 23-3.25 [7.09m] (personal best)