April 26, 2012
DES MOINES, Iowa - Baylor's track and field team will enter a total of eight different relays into one of the most historic meets in the nation Thursday through Saturday at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.
In its 103rd annual running, the Drake Relays continues to be a staple on Baylor's schedule. The Bears will enter four relays on both the men's and women's side, placing a set of teams in the 4x100, 4x400, 4x800 and distance medley relays.
Baylor will be in action starting Thursday night with a pair of 5,000-meter runners, while the main relay events will run on Saturday and Sunday.
Drake is Baylor's second relay meet of the season after performing at the Texas Relays three weeks ago. At Texas, Baylor's men managed to rack up six top-three finishes in relay events, including a victory in the sprint medley relay with the team of Whitney Prevost, Justin Allen, Zwede Hewitt and James Gilreath.
On the women's side at Texas, the Lady Bears got their best finish of fourth in the distance medley relay with Rachel Johnson, Michelle Nwachukwu, Mariah Kelly and Cate Westenhover. Johnson, however, will compete in the 5,000 meters on Thursday night alongside fellow freshman Erin Hegarty.
In addition to Baylor's relay squads, the team's top-ranked throwers Skylar White and Erin Atkinson, as well as jumper Jessica Ubanyionwu will be in the field events. White is coming off consecutive two-win weeks, taking the shot put and discus at the Texas Tech Open and the Michael JohnsonDr Pepper Classic. She enters with a discus best of 189-2 from the TTU meet and a shot put best of 55-5.75 from the Texas Relays, ranking 3rd and 11th nationally.
Atkinson unleashed her career-best and school-record hammer throw of 202-10 at the MJ Classic to win the meet and rank 13th in the NCAA. Ubanyionwu had a season-best triple jump effort of 42-0.5 to win the Texas Tech Open two weeks ago, then followed with a win at the MJ Classic.
Baylor's men and women have battled through injuries to the sprint crew, but have built depth to overcome any setbacks. With a leg injury to one of the team's top sprinters, Woodrow Randall, and 4x100-meter anchor leg Zwede Hewitt, BU employed decathlete Eric Bostick and quartermiler Blake Heriotto earn a win at the MJ Classic in the 4x100-meter relay with a time of 39.69.
In the women's 4x100 relay, Baylor will be without the services of sophomore Tiffani McReynolds, who will miss her first collegiate meet due to injury, but will add junior Idia Omogiateto the mix. Omogiate has come on strong in the outdoor season, setting career-bests in the 100 and 200 meters over the past two weeks.
The Drake Relays will be streamed live by subscription on www.goDrakeBulldogs.com. Also, follow the action through live results or on the Official Baylor Track and Field Twitter feed, @BaylorTrack.