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Track and Field Travels To Houston

March 27, 2003

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This Week
Baylor travels to Houston for the annual Tom Tellez Invitational. The women will compete against Houston, Illinois, Seton Hall, Syracuse and TCU while the men face Houston, Seton Hall, Syracuse, Texas and TCU. Field events will start at 10 a.m. on Sat., March 29 with the running events beginning at 1 p.m.

Bears Record Qualifying Marks
Five Bears recorded regional qualifying marks in the opening week of the outdoor season. Sophomore Lakadron Ivery clocked an 11.54 in the 100-meter dash to be the only female runner to qualify on week 1. She was joined by All-American April Holliness, who met the regional qualifying standard in the long jump with a leap of 6.25 meters (20-6). Heptathlete Jordan Willmann met the provisional NCAA mark (the multi and 10,000-meter events still qualify for nationals by the traditional method) compiling a total of 5,102 points at the College Station Multi-Event Festival. In the process, she also exceed the regional standard in the high jump, clearing a height of 1.73 meters (5-8). On the men's side, Seth Billy and Brian McDonald, who both qualified for indoor nationals as part of the 1,600 relay team, clocked regional qualifying times in the 400-meter hurdles. Billy won the race at the Dr Pepper Invitational with a time of 51.79 followed by McDonald in second with a 52.56.

Distance Runners Head West
Distance runners Debbie Thornhill and Matt Chance will compete at the Stanford Invitational on Friday in an attempt to meet the NCAA qualifying marks in the 10,000-meter run. Thornhill, who took 14th in the 5,000-meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships, is the defending Big 12 Champion in the 10,000-meter event and is looking to qualify for her first outdoor championships. Chance is attempting to qualify for the championships for the first time. Chance is scheduled to run in the second heat of the men's event, slated for 11:10 p.m. CST at Cobb Track and Angell Field. Thornhill is ranked ninth among the college and professional athletes in her event, which is scheduled to start at 11:50 p.m. CST.

Hart Begins 40th Season at Baylor
Clyde Hart begins his 40th season as the head coach of Baylor's track and field program this season. In his tenure at BU, Hart has firmly established the Bear program as one of the best in the nation. Hart has coached athletes to 24 national championships (11 individual/13 relay) and 446 All-America awards (148 individual/298 relay). Named the men's assistant coach for Team USA at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, Hart has coached athletes to ten world record performances. In 1996, he was named the Coach of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee. That year he coached Michael Johnson to gold medals in the 200-meters and 400-meters at the Games of the 26th Olympiad in Atlanta, Ga. Hart also was named the NCAA Indoor Coach of the Year in 1996 after garnering such honors in 1989. A four-time Southwest Conference Indoor Coach of the Year, Hart has established Baylor as a quarter-mile powerhouse after producing 13 4x400 relay national champions and four individual 400-meter national champions.

School Indoor Records Fall
The Baylor recordbooks were rewritten during the 2003 indoor campaign. Junior Kyle King ran an impressive 5,000-meter race in the Olympic Development heat at the Tyson Invitational. He finished the race in a school-record and NCAA automatic qualifying time of 13:57.22. Senior Rebecca McPherson cleared a pole vault height of 10-8 1/4, which is a new indoor best for a Baylor women's pole vaulter. Sophomore Lakadron Ivery had an impressive meet at the Big 12 Indoor Championships. She set new school records in both the 60-meter dash (7.37) and the 200-meters (23.69) en route to scoring in both events. Junior Jordan Willmann also placed her name in the record book at the conference meet, accumulating a school-record pentathlon total of 3,891 points.

Wariner Garners All-America Accolades
Freshman Jeremy Wariner clocked a season-best time of 46.12 to finish second in his heat and fourth in the prelims of the 400-meter dash at the NCAA Indoor Championships at the University of Arkansas' Randall Tyson Track Center. He proceeded to the finals where he finished seventh with a time of 46.21 to earn his first career All-America honor.

Ivery has Stellar Indoor Campaign
Sophomore Lakadron Ivery exploded out of the blocks during indoor competition. She set school records in both the 60-meter (7.37) and 200-meter (23.69) dashes. Both of those times were NCAA provisional qualifying marks. Ivery also met the provisional standard in the long jump. She placed in all three events at the Big 12 Indoor Championships. She made her first trip to the NCAA Championships, competing in both the 60 and 200.

Petrahn Concludes Career at Big 12 Indoor Championships
Barbara Petrahn concluded her stellar Baylor career at the Big 12 Indoor Championships. She is tied for the women's record, earning nine All-America honors. During her time with the Green and Gold, Petrahn anchored six relays to the NCAA finals as well as running third on one relay and twice earning individual All-America honors in the 400. Petrahn also was a five-time Big 12 champion, which also ties her for the Baylor women's record. The Gyor, Hungary-native clocked a provisional time of 54.24 in the 400, but it was not fast enough to qualify for another shot at All-America honors.

NCAA Indoor Championships Recap
Four individuals and the men's 1,600 relay made the trip to Fayetteville, Ark. for the 2003 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. For the women, sophomore Lakadron Ivery and senior Debbie Thornhill each qualified for the first time. Ivery competed in both the 60 and 200-meter dashes, taking 20th place in the 60 (7.47) and 18th in the 200 (23.96). Thornhill exceeded the provisional mark in the 5,000-meter run. With a time of 16:26.36, she finished 14th.

On the men's side, junior Kyle King and freshman Jeremy Wariner qualified as individuals. King clocked a 14:28.60 to finish 15th in the 5,000-meter run. Wariner earned his first All-America honor, taking seventh in the 400-meter dash. Sophomore Darold Williamson had also met the automatic standard in the 400 but was unable to compete due to injury. The men's 1,600 relay made its 19th-consecutive trip to the indoor national championships, but was unable to run because of injuries to Williamson and Wariner. Overall, the men tied for 54th place with a total of two points.

Outdoor Track and Field Changes to Regional Format
Instead of qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships by the traditional method of automatic and provisional qualifying standards, the 2003 season will be the beginning of regional qualifying. Four two-day regionals will be held across the country with the top five individuals and the top three relays advancing to nationals. At large bids, expected to be around six for individual events and five for relays, will then be selected based on the descending order lists compiled throughout the season and the conference championships. The participants in the multi events, heptathlon and decathlon, and the 10,000-meter run will continue to be determined by the traditional format of automatic and provisional qualifying marks. The move to regional qualifying will increase the number of NCAA competitors to nearly 1,100 participants.



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