June 10, 2008
WACO, Texas -
Complete Release in PDF Format
BAYLOR SET FOR NCAA OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Baylor men's and women's track and field teams are set to travel to the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Wednesday-Saturday, June 11-14 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa. The meet will mark Baylor's second trip to Lincoln this season, and the fourth in the last two years. The Bears also competed at the Drake Relays this year, and participated in the Drake Relays and NCAA Midwest Regional during the 2007 season. Live results and live streaming video for the NCAA Outdoor Championships can be found at www.GoDrakeBulldogs.com. Complete meet recaps can be found at the end of each day at www.BaylorBears.com.
LAST YEAR AT THE NCAA OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
Baylor's 4x400-meter relay claimed the national championship in record fashion, and Reggie Witherspoon and LeJerald Betters earned individual All-America honors on the final day of competition at the 2007 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Baylor, who also won the 2007 Indoor National Championship, blew past the competition to its second title of the season, winning in a school record time of 3:00.04. The Bears broke the previous school record of 3:00.60 set in 1995 in the preliminaries of the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Knoxville, Tenn. That relay squad included current assistant coach Michael Ford on leadoff, and featured 400 meter legends Raoul Howard, Corey Williams, and Deon Minor. The quartet went on to win the event finals in 1995 with a time of 3:01.57. Baylor's time of 3:00.04 ranks as the fourth-fastest in NCAA history, trailing only LSU (2:59.59) who set the collegiate record in 2005, UCLA (2:59.91) in 1988, and Georgia Tech (2:59.95) in 1992. Last season, Baylor clocked four races faster than 3:03 in the mile relay. On two occasions the Bears broke 3:02, and last year's race marks the first time for Baylor under 3:01 this season. Baylor won both the indoor and outdoor national titles in the 4x400-meter relay for just the fourth time in school history. Baylor last accomplished the feat in 2004, with Olympic Champions Jeremy Wariner and Darold Williamson. The Bears won four straight mile relay championships during the 1990 and 1991 seasons, winning the 4x400-meter relay at the indoor and outdoor national meet. The feat of winning both indoor and outdoor mile relay championships in the same season has only happened ten times in the 43-year history of running both indoor and outdoor national meets, with Baylor responsible for four of those occurrences. Remarkably, four of the ten repeat winners have come in the past five years as Baylor pull off the feat in 2004 and 2007, and LSU matched the Bears in 2003 and 2006. LeJerald Betters opened the competition on the final day in the event finals of the open 400 meters. The 2007 Big 12 Outdoor Freshman of the Year ran 45.66 out of lane one, recording his third-fastest time of the season to finish in sixth place. At the Big 12 Outdoor Championships, Betters clocked 45.62 in the preliminaries, and followed with a personal best 45.33 to win the Big 12 title. Reggie Witherspoon, running out of lane two, set a time of 21.03 in the event finals of the men's 200 meters to place sixth overall. Witherspoon, the 2007 Big 12 Outdoor Champion, clocked his first time over 21 seconds in his last six races. In the preliminaries at the Big 12 Championships, the senior clocked a personal best time of 20.32, his first career time under 21 seconds, to rank second all-time at Baylor behind world record holder Michael Johnson.
LAST TIME OUT
The Baylor men's and women's track teams swept the 4x400-meter relay titles, and Baylor won four regional championships on the second day of competition at the 2008 NCAA Midwest Regional Championships. The Baylor men won their 28th-straight race with a time of 3:03.19 to close the meet. The Bears have not lost a race to an NCAA team since the 2006 NCAA Outdoor Championships and have since won three-straight national championships (2007 indoor and outdoor, 2008 indoor). Baylor also wins its sixth-straight Midwest Regional title, winning every championship since the regional format was introduced in 2003. The Lady Bears followed its strong showing at the Big 12 Championships with another win in the 4x400-meter relay. LeJerald Betters won the Midwest Regional title in the men's 400 meters with a time of 45.04, the second-straight meet that he has run 45.0 in the open 400 meters. At the Big 12 Championships, Betters clocked 45.01 to win his third-straight 400 meter title. Robert Griffin clocked 49.53 in the 400-meter hurdles to set a new Midwest Regional record. Griffin got out quickly, making up the stagger on the backstretch. He finished strong holding off Nick Robinson of Texas A&M and teammate J. Boyd, duplicating the same 1-2-3 finish as the Big 12 Championships.