Green meets gold: Track and field wins 14 titles at second annual Baylor Invitational

Photo credit: Andrew Ko

The Baylor Invitational was held Saturday at the Clyde Hart Track and Field Stadium, where a total of 70 Baylor athletes were listed to compete among 13 other schools from across the nation, also including former Baylor athletes Trayvon Bromell and Jeremy Wariner.

The day started off rainy and cold, but as the rain wore off, fans electrified the stadium as Baylor racked up 14 event titles and intense second place finishes.

In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, junior Madison Zimmerman led early and created space to win with a time of 10:56.95 while junior Peyton Thomas won the 3,000-meter with a time of 9.41.10.

All-American junior Maggie Montoya won the 1500-meter with a time of 4:48.24 while junior Rhys Phillips ran the 110-meter hurdles to capture the title while already ranking 13th in the NCAA with a time of 13.80 seconds.

In field events, both the men’s and women’s triple-jump highlighted the show. Returning senior Felix Obi was welcomed back with large applause as he leaped to 51-9.75 to gain the ninth-best jump in school history and the NCAA. Freshman Rachel Toliver grabbed the women’s title with a jump of 40-2.25.

Junior Annie Rhodes also earned recognition, clearing 14-2-5.25 in pole vault. This clearance set a new stadium record and is second-best in school history.

Freshman Wil London put on a show in the 400-meter dash to capture the event title while running in the lane next to Olympic gold-medalist and former Baylor athlete Jeremy Wariner. Wariner clocked in at 45.70 with London right behind him at 45.76, the third-best time in the NCAA.

“{Jeremy} practices with us and he taught me a lot of good things that I have to work on and good things that I did,” London said. “It was a good experience.”

Another former Baylor athlete, Trayvon Bromell, competed this weekend in the 200-meter dash as he glided to the finish line with a time of 20.30 claiming the fourth-fastest time in the world.

On the women’s side of the 200-meter, freshman Taylor Bennett set records of her own, clocking in at 22.71, which is second-best in the NCAA and third-best in school history. Bennett also claimed the 100-meter event title with a time of 11.38, currently 13th-best in the NCAA. These times also set new stadium records.

Freshman Kiana Horton and senior Justise Dayries joined Bennett in breaking the stadium record while running 23.71 and 23.76 respectively.

The 800-meter titles were claimed by junior Brandon Moore with a time of 1:49.14, sitting 21st in the nation, and junior Jessica Purtell with a personal-best of 2:09.53.

Despite multiple injuries to 400-meter runners, both the men’s and women’s 4×400 teams captured the last event titles of the night. The men’s team of Moore, London, Antwon Musgrove and Caleb Dickson ran 3:07.95 while the women’s team of Dayries, Horton, Bennett and Purtell ran 3:36.13.

“It was an outstanding home meet. We had some really solid performances,” head coach Todd Harbour said. “We had a few sit out as the injury bug has kind of nipped us, but the ones that competed did an outstanding job.”

The team will return to Clyde Hart Track and Field for the Michael Johnson Invitational on April 23.

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