March 2, 2012
WACO, Texas- Baylor's track and field team will enter competitors into three separate destinations, including Notre Dame, Arkansas and Iowa State, for last-chance NCAA qualifying on Friday and Saturday.
A total of 17 student-athletes will compete in the Alex Wilson Invitational in Notre Dame, Ind., the Arkansas Last Chance in Fayetteville, Ark., and the Iowa State Qualifier in Ames, Iowa over the weekend. The meets will give the competitors one more chance to improve their NCAA standing before the NCAA Indoor Championship field is released at the beginning of next week. According to the NCAA Pre-Championships manual, a minimum of 14 competitors will be selected for each of the 14 individual events and a minimum of 10 teams will be place in each of the two relays. Additional student-athletes will be added at the discretion of the NCAA selection committee to bring the total to 284 men and 284 women.
From the sprints up to the mile, as well as the relays and field events, Baylor will be among a nation full of teams looking to improve marks. For the sprint crew, the men's Everett Walker and Woodrow Randall will hit the fast track at Arkansas. Walker currently sits 17th in the 200 meters with his season-best mark of 21.08, but has dropped significant time in each of his last four races. Randall, an All-American in the 60 meters last season, sits 114th with his season-best of 6.81. With a lifetime best of 6.60, Randall will need a performance near that to make a big jump.
Also on the men's side, Baylor's fifth-ranked 4x400-meter relay team of Zwede Hewitt, Justin Allen, Drew Seale and Blake Heriot will travel to Iowa State to attempt to retain a spot in the top four. Being in the top four would ensure them of being in the fastest four-team heat at the NCAA Indoor Championship.
In the 800 meters, Baylor's Patrick Schoenball, Gavyn Nero and Brittany OgunMokun will each look to improve their marks at Notre Dame. Schoenball is currently 14th at 1:48.47 and Nero is 50th at 1:49.74 for the men, while OgunMokun is 45th at 2:07.74.
OgunMokun will also compete on the distance medley relay and 4x400-meter relay for the Lady Bears. The DMR, which includes Cate Westhenhover, Diamond Richardson and Rachel Johnson, is currently 16th with a time of 11:13.18. Richardson and OgunMokun will then be joined by Raena Rhone and Alyssa Nicholsto look for an improvement of their 4x400-meter relay time of 3:38.42.
Richardson is also entered in the 400 meters, trying to improve her season-best of 54.56, and Westenhover and Mariah Kelly will each compete in the mile. Westenhover is currently 76th at 4:45.65 and Kelly has a season-best of 4:55.26.
In the field events, Baylor will have a pair of competitors in their respective events at Arkansas with Erin Atkinson in the weight throw and Jessica Ubanyionwu in the triple jump. Atkinson currently holds down the No. 12 spot in the national rankings with her school-record toss of 68-4.5, but will seek an improvement in her standing to prevent from dropping if higher marks are attained this weekend. Ubanyionwu, a two-time All-American, will need to improve from her current 24th-ranked jump of 42-0.5 to get back to the indoor championship.
Baylor's Last Chance Competitors
Alex Wilson Invitational - Notre Dame, Ind. - March 2-3
Rachel Johnson - Distance Medley
Mariah Kelly - Mile
Gavyn Nero - 800m
Alyssa Nichols - 4x400m
Brittany OgunMokun - 800m, 4x400m, Distance Medley
Raena Rhone - 4x400m
Diamond Richardson - 400m, 4x400m, Distance Medley
Patrick Schoenball - 800m
Cate Westenhover- Mile, Distance Medley