March 7, 2007
WACO, Texas -
The Baylor track and field team will compete at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships Friday and Saturday, March9-10, at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark.
The Bears enter the meet looking to improve on their eighth-place finish at the 2006 NCAA Championships. The Lady Bears finished in a tie for 45th at the 2006 NCAA meet. In 2006, the men's team scored 21 points, and captured a national title in the 60 meters. The Bears also earned a runner-up finish in the 60 meter hurdles. The women's team finished with four points from a fifth-place finish in the distance medley relay.
The Baylor men's team has a top finish of third (25 points) at the 1985 NCAA Indoor Championships. The Bears also scored 25 team points in 2004 when Baylor finished in sixth palce. The Bears have recorded three straight top-20 finishes. The Lady Bears earned a fourth place showing in 1999 with 24 points. The Baylor women's team has two other top-20 finishes (13th in 1985, 11th in 1998)
Baylor will bring five individual athletes and two relay teams to the NCAA Championships. Reggie Witherspoon (Marietta, Ga.) leads the way for the men's team in the 200 meters. Witherspoon, the 2007 Big 12 champion in the 200 meters and 400 meters, was named the Big 12 Indoor Male Athlete of the Year for the second straight time. In 2006, Witherspoon became the first athlete in Big 12 history to win both the indoor 200- and 400-meter crowns, duplicating the feat during the 2007 season.
Sophomore Quentin Iglehart-Summers (San Antonio, Texas) and freshman LeJerald Betters (Waco, Texas) rank fourth and sixth, respectively, in the 400 meters. Inglehart-Summers finished second, while Betters took third, at the 2007 Big 12 Championships in Ames, Iowa.
Freshman Trey Harts (Lake Charles, La.) holds the fifth fastest time in the country in the 200 meters with a 20.89 at the Big 12 Championships. Harts has recorded four provisional qualifying times this season, and has run under 21 seconds on two occasions. He finished second at the Big 12 Championships to earn all-league honors.
The Bears bring a potent 4x400-meter relay team to the NCAA meet, with six runners contributing to a provisional or automatic qualifying time in every 2007 race. Baylor holds the top three times in the nation this season, including a 3:04.96 to win the Big 12 title two weeks ago, and has not dropped a collegiate race all season. Along with Witherspoon, Inglehart-Summers, and Betters, Harts, Kevin Mutai (Round Rock, Texas), and J.T. Scheuerman (Littleton, Colo.) could be included in Baylor's final relay team.
Erin Bedell (Plano, Texas) is the lone individual participant from the women's team. The sophomore earned two all-conference citations after finishing seventh in the 800 meters and fourth in the Mile. Bedell enters the NCAA Championships seeded 16th in the women's 3,000 meters with a top time of 9:20.43. Bedell was the Big 12 Indoor Champion in the 3,000 meters in 2006.
The women's distance medley relay team is seeded third this weekend with a time of 11:10.71. The Lady Bears battled injury during the Big 12 Championships, finishing in third place to earn All-Big 12 honors.
The NCAA Championships concludes Baylor's indoor track and field season, however the Bears begin the outdoor season on March 24 by hosting the 2007 Dr. Pepper Invitational at the Hart-Patterson Track and Field Complex.