Todd Harbour and Rachel Johnson
June 26, 2014
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - For the third time this year, Baylor track and field junior Rachel Johnson broke the school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. On Thursday, Johnson ran a 9:42.82 to be eighth out of 26 runners and advance to the event finals at the USATF Outdoor Championships.
The Plano, Texas, native place third in her heat to automatically qualify for Saturday's final at 3:56 p.m. CT. Johnson had placed third at the NCAA Championships earlier this month with another school-record performance of 9:44.47, but she was even better running against the country's top steeplers.
Meanwhile, Baylor's other competitor on the night, Everett Walker, just missed out on advancing in the 100-meter dash. Walker turned in a time of 10.42, which tied for the 16th and final qualifying spot. However, Walker's time of 10.418 came up just short to Justin Walker's 10.411 when the times were extended out to the thousandths of a second.
- Johnson was the top collegiate at the meet, besting Shalaya Kipp of Colorado (9:44.41), who was 10th. Kipp had finished second ahead of Johnson's third at the NCAA Championships on May 13.
- Johnson first school-record performance of the season came at the Stanford Invitational in April where she was second with a time of 9:49.31.
- Johnson has now run under 9:50 in the race three times this season. Before 2014, no Baylor female had ever accomplished that feat.
- Former Baylor All-American Marcus Boyd finished just out of qualifying in the 400 meters. Boyd ran a 46.25 to place 17th. That mark was just .03 seconds away from the 16th and final qualifying spot.
- Former Baylor great James Gilreath also came up just short in the 800-meters. Gilreath ran a 1:48.10 to place 14, which was just .003 seconds out of the 13 and final qualifying spot.
STAT OF THE DAY
1.65 - the number of seconds Rachel Johnson improved upon her previous school record (9:42.82 from 9:44.47)
Tiffani McReynolds will be the lone Baylor athlete competing on Friday at the USATF Championships as she takes part in the first round of the 100-meter hurdles at 7:25 p.m. CT.
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