WACO, Texas - With an eye towards bolstering the Baylor's track and field team's distance crew, head coach Todd Harbour announced the signing of 11 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday.
"We felt like on the women's side, we were able to address some needs with some ladies that could come in and contribute right away," head coach Todd Harbour said. "The men's class is still a work in progress. We are not done by any stretch of the imagination, but we are excited about the guys we are signing and expect to sign a couple more."
Baylor's signing class includes three men and eight women with nine of the 11 student-athletes specializing in the distance events. There is also a pole vaulter (Annie Rhodes) and a thrower (Cion Hicks) among the group. In total, the signing class has four state champions and two athletes recognized by Gatorade as the best in their state.
"It is great to be able to keep two of the top athletes in the country in Central Texas," Harbour said. "Cion Hicks will come in with the ability to replace All-American Skylar White, while Annie Rhodes is one of the best pole vaulters in the country and will really bolster our performance in that event."
Besides the athletes listed below, several of Baylor's football signees will look to run track for the Bears.
"Coach Briles does a great job recruiting some of the best athletes in America," Harbour said. "We are excited that some of them will be able to help us on the track as well."
Full List of Signees
Randall Dias - Albuquerque, N.M. - (La Cueva HS) - Middle Distance
2012 New Mexico 5A high school state champion in 800-meters with personal-best time of 1:55.47... Part of sprint medley relay team that won state meet in 2012 for La Cueva high school in Albuquerque, N.M.
Alex Foster - (City College of San Francisco) - Middle Distance
Competed for one season at City College of San Francisco... Qualified for the Northern California Community College Track and Field state meet in 2012... Turned in a personal-best time of 1.51.54 in the 800-meters at that meet to take fifth... Member of 4X400-meter relay team that took fourth at state meet to earn All-American honors.
Jordan West - Chesterfield, Mo. - (Lafayette HS) - Distance
Finished third at the Paul Enke Invitational... Took fifth at Suburban West Conference meet and third at the Class 4 District 2 meet and fifth at the Sectional 2 meet... Placed 11th at the 2012 state meet.
Alex Davis - Ardmore, Okla. - (Plainview HS) - Distance
Two-time individual Oklahoma 3A state cross country champion for Plainview High School in 2011 and 2012... 2012 3A Champion in 3,200 track setting state record 10:47.67...Named Gatorade Oklahoma Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year in 2011 and 2012... Helped PHS win seventh-consecutive state cross country crown in 2012... Produced a winning of time 11:02 over the 3,200-meter course to beat rest of field by 27 seconds... Placed fourth at the Foot Locker South Regional championships and 26th at the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships... Took fifth in Nike Cross Nationals South Regional championships and 38th at the 2012 Nike Cross Nationals Final.
Cion Hicks - Killeen, Texas - (Shoemaker HS) - Throws
Finished second in shot put and discus at 2012 Texas High School 5A state meet... Advanced to state meet by winning Region II 5A meet in both events with personal-best throws of 45-10 in shot put and 170-0 in discus... Broke current Baylor athlete Skylar White's Region II 5-A discus regional record in 2012... Ranked as second-best discus thrower in the nation entering 2013 season as senior.
Maggie Montoya - Rogers, Ark. - (Rogers HS) - Distance
Gatorade Arkansas Girls Cross Runner of the Year in 2011 and 2012... Won the State Cross country title as an Individual in 2011 and 2012... Raced to Arkansas 7A individual state title in 5,000 meters, leading Rogers to the state title as a team in 2012... Has claimed a total of 12 individual state titles over high school career... Earned 13th-place finish at Foot Locker South Regional championships in time of17:40... Notched personal-best time of 17:34.0 in 5,000 meters at 2011 Arkansas Chili Pepper Festival Invitational.
Sofia Pitoulis - Athens, Greece -- (Athens College) - Middle Distance
Tallied a second-place finish at Balkan Junior Championships in 2012 in 1500-meters... Totaled five first-place finishes nationally, two in cross country and three in 1500-meter event... Holds 1500-meter youth national record... Personal Best in 1500 of 4:23.76... Coached by Christos Papachristos, who competed against current Baylor head coach Todd Harbour in European circuit in early 1980s.
Annie Rhodes - Waco, Texas (Midway HS) - Pole Vault
Achieved personal-best of 13-6 at 2013 Arkansas High School Invitational... Tied for the best vault in Texas and tied for second best vault in the nation in 2013... Finished second as junior at 2012 Texas High School state meet with vault of 13-0... Won the 2011 4-A state title with mark of 12-5.
Lindsey Smith - Highlands Ranch, Colo. (Mountain Vista HS) - Distance
Four-time cross country and track letter winner from Mountain Vista High School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado... Four-year Colorado state cross country meet participant... Ran a 5,000-meter personal-record of 18:33 at Nike Cross Southwest Regional meet in 2012... Colorado track state finalist in 3200 meter run in 2011 and 2012.
Peyton Thomas - Roswell, Ga. - (Roswell HS) - Distance
Posted personal-best time of18:08.5 in the 5000-meters to finish 16th at the 2012 Great America Cross Country Festival...Finished ninth at the 2011 Georgia 5A High School state meet for Mountain Vista High School.
Madison Zimmerman - Frisco, Texas (Wakeland HS) - Distance
Four-time 4A state qualifier in cross country for Wakeland High School in Frisco, Texas... Qualified for 2012 4A state meet on the track in the 3,200-meter event... Had a personal-best time of 17:53 in the 5,000-meters.