Track earns medals at Big 12 indoor meet

By Lindsay Cash

To conclude the regular season, Baylor’s track and field squad traveled to battle the rest of the conference at the Big 12 Championships on Feb. 25-26 in Lincoln, Neb.

Starting Friday in victory mode was sophomore Gavyn Nero, as he led a Baylor comeback to win the men’s distance medley relay. Bringing Baylor back from fourth, Nero and his team turned in a time of 9:48:67. The group stretched past Kansas to claim the DMR title for the second year in a row.

“I remember coming up on the backstretch, seeing my team lined up chanting ‘Bosen,’ a nickname I acquired from home. That was my motivation. I know for a fact I couldn’t have done it without my team,” Nero said.

Nero’s goals are set for nationals: make finals, and be an All-American.

For the women’s qualifying rounds, senior Tiffany Townsend and freshman Tiffani McReynolds paved the way. Townsend had already qualified for the NCAA Championship’s 200 meters. She qualified for Saturday’s 60-meter final with the day’s fastest time of 7.24, fourth in the NCAA this season. She also qualified in Saturday’s final round of the 200 meters.

McReynolds qualified in the 60 meters and 60-meter hurdles for Saturday’s finals. In the hurdles, she broke her own school record with an impressive finish. On Saturday, McReynolds explosively won the 60-meter hurdles to bring a championship victory home for the Bears with a time of 8.11.

“I was not expecting to win, at all,” McReynolds said with a smile.

Coach Todd Harbour was equally impressed with her victory, but knew all along she had the capability to take first place.

“It actually didn’t surprise me. Tiffani is the top freshman in any event, men or women. She got up there and had to beat some of the top hurdlers in the country, and I knew she could do it. It was just a matter if she believed in herself,” Harbour said.

McReynolds joined Townsend in gaining 60-meter all-Big 12 honors; Townsend finished third overall and McReynolds hit her personal best while placing fifth.

McReynolds’ total of 14 points was the fifth most by any female competitor at the meet.

Nearly grabbing the title, the men’s 4×400-meter relay team finished second. Whitney Prevost, Zwede Hewitt, Drew Seale and Marcus Boyd pulled together a time of 3:07.55.

Marcus Boyd ran his best time on the season to place third in the men’s 400 meters. Drew Seale and James Gilreath both earned all-Big 12 honors as they each placed sixth in their events. Seale earned a 1:11.1 in the 600 yards and Gilreath finished at 1:50.85 in the 800 meters.

All-conference honors for the men included Provost and Woodrow Randall. Prevost placed fourth in the 200. Randall placed in the 60 and 200 meters, placing third and fifth respectively.

For the field events, jumper Jessica Ubanyionwu and thrower Skylar White showed remarkable efforts in their competition. Ubanyionwu tied her best triple jump mark of the season and placed second overall, only four centimeters from victory. White was able to throw her second best and grab a fourth place spot.

Conference championships have completed, and Coach Harbour will bring a select number of athletes to the last qualifying meet at Notre Dame on March 4-5.