March 22, 2012
ORLANDO – With new preseason top-15 rankings in tow, Baylor’s track and field team will face an elite field this weekend at the UCF Invitational on Friday and Saturday in Orlando, Fla.
In the first United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) rankings of the season released Thursday, BU sits 12th on the men’s side, while women are 13th. Baylor’s men are among five top-25 teams on the men’s side in the meet, including No. 1 Florida, No. 10 Virginia Tech, No. 22 Princeton and No. 25 Ohio State. For the Lady Bears, the field will feature three other ranked teams in No. 4 Clemson, No. 11 Florida and No. 12 UCF.
Other teams in the field include Albany, Cincinnati, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Marshall.
The meet will open on Friday with the javelin kicking off field events at noon, followed by the pole vault, hammer throw and discus over the course of the day. Friday evening will feature the 3,000-meter steeplechase at 7 p.m. followed by the 10,000 meters. On Saturday, field events will begin at 9 a.m. and track events will start at 12:30 p.m.
Baylor enters the second weekend of the outdoor season after a successful opener at the TCU Invitational. In Fort Worth, BU managed to capture six wins and a school record in a well-rounded team effort. Sophomore Erin Atkinson won the weight throw and broke the school record by 35 feet in the process with her toss of 197-7.
Also gathering victories were junior Skylar White in the discus, sophomore Gabriel El Hanbli in the 400 hurdles, freshman Matt Galvin in the 3,000 meters, the men’s 4x100-meter relay and the women’s 4x400-meter relay.
The men’s 4x100 relay victory came on a combined effort from senior Woodrow Randall and Whitney Prevost, junior Everett Walker and sophomore Blake Heriot. For the women, the winning 4x400 relay was comprised of sophomore Alyssa Nichols, freshman Raena Rhone, junior Christina Holland and senior Diamond Richardson.
Walker and Randall each also had standout efforts in their respective sprint events at TCU. Walker turned in a wind-aided time of 20.78 to place second, while Randall had a wind-legal 100-meter time of 10.38 to open the season.
On the women’s side, Richardson, Holland and Justine Charbonnet each opened the season with solid marks. Richardson recorded a 200-meter time of 23.74 to place fifth at TCU, while Holland was second in the 400 hurdles at 59.58. Charbonnet, meanwhile, shattered her career-best in the long jump with a leap of 19-6.75 to place third.