Bears To Face Tough Competition At Sun Angel Classic

April 9, 2003

Joe Sellah Track at Sun Angel Stadium - Tempe, Ariz. - Apr. 12, 2003

Field Events: 8 a.m. Running Events: 4:30 p.m.

Invited Teams: Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Auburn, Baylor, Boise State, BYU, Colorado State, Florida, Northern Arizona, USC

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This Week
The Bears will make their longest journey of the outdoor season so far when they travel to Tempe, Ariz. for the Sun Angel Classic at Arizona State's Joe Sellah Track at Sun Angel Stadium. Both the men and women will be up against tough competition. The list of invited teams on the men's side includes four teams ranked among the best in the nation in the Trackwire rankings. The top-ranked Auburn men have been invited as well as No. 5 USC, No. 17 Florida and No. 25 Boise State. For the women, USC is the highest-rated team at No. 4 followed by No. 6 Florida, No. 11 Auburn, No. 12 BYU and Arizona and Northern Arizona, who are tied at No. 23.

Bears Among the Trackwire Dandy Dozen
Four individuals and the men's 4x400 relay team are among those listed in the first outdoor installment of the Trackwire Dandy Dozen. The quartermilers lead the way for the men. Darold Williamson is 10th in the 400 followed by Jeremy Wariner in 12th. Both All-Americans run on the 4x400 relay, which also ranks 12th. On the women's side, Debbie Thornhill is listed as No. 10 in the 10,000-meters while Lakadron Ivery is 12th in the 100.

Willmann Shines in Heptathlon
After breaking the indoor school record in the pentathlon at the Big 12 Championships, junior Jordan Willmann has easily made the transition to the heptathlon for the outdoor campaign. At the College Station Multi Event Festival and Relays, Willmann took fourth with a provisional qualifying total of 5,102 points. In the process, she cleared a regional-qualifying height of 1.73m (5-8) in the high jump. She matched that high jump mark at the Texas relays en route to finishing second in the heptathlon, bettering her provisional mark to 5,152.

Women Meet Regional Standards at Texas Relays
Before the Texas Relays, five women had qualified for the NCAA Regional. While each of them tied or bettered their regional-qualifying marks at the Texas Relays, they were joined by four more individuals and two relays. Lakadron Ivery (100), Danielle Myricks (400 IH), Angela Marvin (Steeple), Jordan Willmann (high jump) and April Holliness (long jump) all qualified in the first two weeks of the season. The steeplechase was the best event for the women at the Relays as Leah Marbach won the race with a qualifying time of 10:50.34 followed by Stephanie Bennet in third with a 10:56.02. Senior Eboni Hammond finished fifth the discus with a toss of 46.43m to qualify while freshman Janelle Mulkey clocked a qualifying time of 14.04 in the 100 hurdles. The women's 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams also recorded qualifying times.

Hart Leads Baylor for 40th Season
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.

Thornhill Runs Stellar 10K at Stanford
Senior Debbie Thornhill traveled to Stanford's Cobb Track and Angell Field March 28 to compete in the 10,000-meter race at the Stanford Invitational. She had an incredible race clocking an automatic NCAA qualifying mark of 33:34.85. It was the second-fastest 10K time ever recorded by a Baylor female as well as being the fastest women's time clocked at a meet other than the national championships. Thornhill, who is the defending Big 12 champion in the event, ran the fastest time in the Big 12 so far this season to qualify for her first trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, which will be held in Sacramento, Calif. June 11-14.

Distance Runners Off to Fast Start
After just three weeks of the outdoor season, the Baylor distance runners have already had success. Along with Debbie Thornhill, who has automatically qualified in the 10K, several runners have recorded top marks. Freshman Angela Marvin has done well. In the first 3,000 steeplechase of her career, she finished first at the Tom Tellez invitational with a regional-qualifying time of 10:53.17. She will be joined in the event at the regional meet by seniors Leah Marbach and Stephanie Bennett, who took first and third, respectively, in the event at the Texas Relays. Sophomore Anna Kaczmarek also ran well at the Relays, finishing seventh in the 10,000 meters while freshman Lisa Cornelius took 11th in the 5,000. On the men's side Junior Matt Chance ran the 10,000 at the Stanford Invitational. He narrowly missed the provisional mark, clocking a 29:49.72 to finish eighth in the second section of the race. At the Tellez Invitational, Bears finished 1-2 in the 3,000 with Rob Morrow crossing the finish line in 8:32.27 followed by Sam Bernal in 8:33.90 while Nick Devenport won the 1,500 with a time of 3:55.09. At the Texas Relays, Bernal took eighth in the 10K and Morrow finished 13th in the 5K. Overall the men's and women's distance runners' names appear 11 times in the current Big 12 rankings.

Men's Relay Teams Take Second
The 4x400 relay has annually been the signature event for the Baylor men's track team, but the other relays ran well at the Texas Relays. Competing in the event for the first time this season, the 4x800 team of Jon Capron, Wil Fitts, Brian McDonald and Nick Devenport took second place finishing the race in 7:27.01. A day latter, running the race for the first time outdoors, Devenport and Fitts teamed with Joel Martin and Kyle King to take second in the distance medley relay with a time of 9:45.47.

Wariner and Williamson Return to Action
All-American quartermilers Jeremy Wariner and Darold Williamson returned to competition during the second week of the outdoor season at the Tom Tellez Invitational. Wariner experienced leg cramps in the open 400 at the NCAA Indoor Championships a few weeks ago. Williamson had been out since straining a hamstring while running the 400 at the Tyson Invitational on Feb. 14. Both athletes were part of the winning 4x400 relay team at Houston.

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.

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.

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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