Track awaits Big 12 indoor meet after strong weekend performance

By Lindsay Cash

The Baylor track and field team ventured back to College Station on Saturday for the A&M Challenge. The Bears joined forces with Texas A&M and Nebraska to take on three teams each from the SEC, Pac-10 and Conference USA for the A&M Conference Challenge.

The SEC brought along Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi State, while the Pac-10 had representatives of Arizona, Arizona State and USC. Houston, UTEP and Rice were the face of Conference USA.

“Coming from two travel weekends, in Arkansas and New York, overall, I’m pleased,” coach Todd Harbour said of his team. “We really got a lot out of this week.”

Baylor entered the A&M Challenge gripping eight top 25 NCAA performances; four of those being in top 10 nationally.

Junior Jessica Ubanyionwu, sophomore Skylar White, senior Tiffany Townsend and freshman Tiffani McReynolds are among the top 10.

The Bears’ final regular meet of the season revealed successful performances from an array of Baylor women.

Townsend, an All-American, automatically qualified for NCAA in the 200-meter, with her personal second-best time at 23.16.

“This was huge for Tiff. She’s a great leader, a great person. She competes hard, even through being banged up with this sore knee,” Harbour said.

“When it comes to being a senior and team leader,” Harbour said, “she has more All-American honors than any other female that’s come through Baylor.”

Junior Brittany OgunMokun duplicated a victorious performance in the 600. OgunMokun’s 1:21.68 time set the meet record as well as the fourth-best mark all-time at Baylor.

Ubanyionwu placed second in the triple jump at 42-11.5 on her final attempt.

White finished up with a solid fourth place throw of 53-10.5.

“We’re at a good place with the women’s performances. Along with Jessica, Skylar and Tiffany, we’re looking to see even more qualify for nationals,” Harbour said.

The men’s 4-x-400 meter relay team was also able to reach the NCAA qualifying mark with the second-fastest time nationally, at 3:05.92. Junior Whitney Prevost, senior Marcus Boyd, sophomore Drew Seale and sophomore Zwede Hewitt combined for the second place finish.

“This is good, this is good for our men. They had a strong 4-x-4 race. Now, we’re looking to get a good number for the guys qualifying individually,” Harbour said.

The Bears are one week away from the 2011 Big 12 Indoor Championships in Lincoln, Neb. On Feb 28-29.

The Devaney Center on the University of Nebraska campus will host Baylor and fellow Big 12 schools for the conference meet.