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Track Treks to Prestigious Drake Relays

Senior Michael Liggins will help Baylor try to win a sixth straight Drake Relays 4x400-meter title.

Senior Michael Liggins will help Baylor try to win a sixth straight Drake Relays 4x400-meter title.

April 21, 2010

DES MOINES, Iowa - Baylor's track and field team hits the road to the familiar confines of the Drake Stadium for the 101st Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, from Thursday, April 22 to Saturday, April 24.

While Baylor has had a ton of success in the Drake Relays over the years, the past three seasons have been record-breaking. The Bears have combined to win 16 titles at the event over the past three season, with a record seven in 2008. The Bears won a then-record four in 2007 and five more last season.

"I think we've got the type of teams going up there this year that if we put it all together, we could have maybe the best Drake Relays ever," Baylor coach Todd Harbour said. "There will be some great teams and great competition. And relay titles are hard, because you've got to have four people all hitting on the same day. But we feel like we've got a good group going."

Last season, the Bears successfully defended titles in the men's 4x400, men's 4x200, women's distance medley relay, along with taking titles in the men's 100-meter dash and women's 10,000-meter run. The men's 4x400-meter title marked the fifth in a row at Drake, while the men's 4x200 title was the third in a row, and the women's DMR title was the second in a row. Baylor has won 10 men's 4x200-meter titles all-time, tied for the most ever at Drake with Texas and Illinois.

With Trey Harts' 100-meter title and Katie Shaw's 10,000-meter title last season, the Bears have now won 12 individual titles at Drake.

This season, the Bears have had to dodge the weather, with their first home meet, the Dr Pepper Invite being cancelled, and last weekend's Michael Johnson Classic ending early. But, a solid week at the Texas Relays, highlighted by a the men's 4x100-meter title and Nick Lyons' javelin school record, along with seven event victories at the MJC has Baylor in the national charts.

On the track, four Baylor members and both men's relays rank among the nation's elite. The men's 4x100 and 4x400 relays each currently rank third in the NCAA with times of 39.18 and 3:02.70. Senior Erin Bedell has the third-fastest 3000-meter steeplechase time at 10:03.81, while Diamond Richardson posted the nation's 10th-best time with her personal record of 53.12 at the MJC.

In the women's 400-meter hurdles, Christina Holland ranks as the top freshman and sits 11th overall with her time of 57.94. Fellow freshman Skylar White ranks as the third-best freshman and 19th overall in the discus throw with a toss of 168-11.

On the men's side, Lyons' school-record-shattering toss of 239-7 in the men's javelin has him in fourth in the NCAA. On the track for the men, senior Michael Liggins put himself in 12th in the nation with a 400-meter time of 46.08 last weekend.

Baylor will get rolling at Drake Stadium on Thursday with the afternoon and evening distance carnival beginning at 2:30 p.m. Friday features individual sprint events as well as the relays and field events, capped off by a fireworks show. Saturday morning starts the day with a full slate of relays, concluding with the men's 4x400-meter relay at 6:05 p.m.



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