March 11, 2010
Complete Championship Notes
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Baylor's track and field team will be represented by eight athletes, including the men's 4x400-meter relay at the NCAA Indoor Championships on Friday and Saturday, March 12-13, in Fayetteville, Ark.
Running Events: 4:55 p.m.
Field Events: Noon
Multi Events: 10 a.m.
Running Events: 6:15 p.m.
Field Events: 2 p.m.
Multi Events: 11 a.m.
Live results can be found at www.flashresults.com. Complete meet recaps can be found at the conclusion of each day of compeition at www.BaylorBears.com.
MEET PREVIEW: NCAA INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Bears' relay includes the traditional power and three-time defending national champion 4x400-meter crew. The 4x400-meter crew ranks second in the nation with a time of 3:05.37, but enters the meet at the three-time defending indoor champions. The men's 4x400-meter crew has been a consistent combination of Trey Harts, Michael Liggins, Zwede Hewitt and Marcus Boyd.
In the individual events, James Gilreath (800 meters) and Whitney Prevost (200 meters) earned Baylor's only automatic bids, while Harts (200 meters), Chris Gowell (800 meters) and Jessica Ubanyionwu (triple jump) earned a spot in the field on the strength of their provisional qualifying marks Gilreath, who saved his best for last, hit the 800-meter automatic mark of 1:48.00 on the button at the Alex Wilson Invitational in the last meet of the season over the weekend. Gilreath's mark broke Gowell's school record and ranks him as the ninth-fastest in the championship field.
Prevost met the qualifying mark earlier this season with his 200-meter time of 20.81, leaving him ranked seventh in the field. Gowell, who also broke his own school record last weekend, but finished behind Gilreath, enters with a qualifying time of 1:48.23, ranking him 12th. Harts, meanwhile, used the Arkansas Final qualifier to improve his 200-meter time by .03 seconds to 20.97, ranking him 16th in the field.
For the women, Jessica Ubanyionwu will be the only Lady Bear in the championship field, competing in the triple jump. The sophomore is ranked 10th in the field with her career-best jump of 43 feet, 1.25 inches at the Tyson Invitational one month ago.
Senior two-time All-American Chris Gowell has been a record-breaking machine thus far during the indoor season, breaking the BU invididual school record in the 1,000 meters and 800 meters, as well as running a leg on the record-breaking distance medley relay team.
In the season-opening Texas A&M Invitational on Jan. 16, the Newport, South Wales, native went out in a hunt for the NCAA record at 1,000 meters, falling just short. In the process, Gowell shattered the 22-year-old BU record of 2:24.44 set by Victor Valen with a time of 2:22.38. Gowell also just missed the Welsh national record of 2:22.21.
At the elite Tyson Invitational on Feb. 12-13, Gowell anchored the Baylor DMR squad to a school-record 9:38.46 with his 1,600-meter split of 4:01.95. Gowell joined forces with Gavyn Nero, Drew Seale and James Gilreath to break the previous BU record by an astounding four seconds.
Gowell has also broken the 800-meter record twice this season, but the most recent performance lasted just one race when sophomore James Gilreath stepped on the track one heat after Gowell's 1:48.23. Gilreath finished in a time of 1:48.00 at last weekend's Alex Wilson Invitational to automatically qualify for the NCAAs and claim the BU 800-meter record. The duo will make up half of Baylor's NCAA men's individual entries.
BAYLOR 200's STEALING THE HEADLINES
Baylor's 200-meter runners on the men's side will make up the other half of the Bears' individual entries with automatic qualifier Whitney Prevost and provisional qualifier Trey Harts.
For the women, All-American Tiffany Townsend has set the standard on the squad with her provisional qualifying time of 23.37. Townsend will not run at the NCAA Championships due to injury.
4x400-METER RELAY BATTLES
After winning 42 consecutive 4x400-meter races from the beginning of the 2007 indoor season until the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships, the Bears have worn a target on their backs in the event. Traditionally the team to beat, Baylor has won just one 4x400-meter event this season, placing second in each of the last meets. Baylor has second-fastest time in the nation 3:05.37, just behind Texas A&M's 3:04.86. Just over a month ago, Baylor and Texas A&M duked it out at the Big 12/Pac-10/SEC Challenge, then just two weeks ago, the 4x400 titans had another battle at the Big 12 Championhships . Texas A&M won each time in 2010, but the Bears the three-time defending national champions.
DMR JUST MISSES
Both the men's and women's distance medley relays just missed a berth to the NCAA meet. For the men, the Bears season-best time was .64 seconds behind the final qualifer, while the women were 2.08 seconds out of the field.