April 27, 2011
DRAKE RELAYS CENTRAL
WACO, Texas – Coming off a fantastic weekend at home, Baylor’s track and field teams enjoyed a big jump in the team rankings and will take their efforts to the Drake Relays from April 28-30 at the Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.
With eight victories last weekend that included top-10 NCAA performances, Baylor jumped 11 spots on the men’s side to 10th in the latest USTFCCCA team rankings, while the women climbed two spots to 12th. The teams currently combine for 16 top-20 marks, including nine in the top 10.
Last weekend’s Michael Johnson/Dr Pepper Classic was a big stepping stone for Baylor’s field events in particular. Senior Nick Lyons won the javelin and broke his own school record by nine feet and moved into second in the NCAA with a toss of 257-2.
On the women’s side, Skylar White won the discus and now ranks seventh nationally with a toss of 178-3, while also placing second in the shot put with a throw of 55-3. Her season-best from earlier this season of 56-3.75 also ranks her seventh in the nation. Junior Jessica Ubanyionwu set a new outdoor career best in the triple, winning the event and moving into seventh in the NCAA with a leap of 43-3.25.
While each of those field event athletes will be competing at Drake, the Bears will also put 10 relay teams on the track with five on each side. Among NCAA competitors, Baylor has top-10 ranked 4x100 and 4x400-meter relays on the men’s side with the latter posting the NCAA’s second fastest time. In those two events, Both of Baylor’s women’s teams are among the nation’s top 20 teams.
With those highly-ranked relay teams, Baylor can expect similar success to years past at the prestigious meet. The Bears have had ton of success in the Drake Relays, but the past four seasons have been record-breaking. While gathering a large following at the meet, BU has combined to win 21 titles at the event over the past four seasons with a record seven in 2008. The Bears won a then-record four in 2007 and five more each of the past two years.
In 2010, BU’s men claimed titles in the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400, while also returning a healthy part of each of those teams. Senior Marcus Boyd
took part in each of the victories, while Whitney Prevost
took part in two of them. The win in the 4x400 marked the sixth consecutive season the Bears have taken home the Drake Relays title in the weekend’s final event.
Baylor’s women started the 4x400 relay sweep for the school with a win, while senior Tiffany Townsend also added the lone individual victory on the weekend with a win in the 100 meters.
Baylor will get rolling at Drake Stadium on Thursday with the evening distance carnival beginning at 4 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 5:42 p.m.