Track and field opens outdoor season with strong meet at TCU

By Lindsay Cash

Just six days after its last indoor challenge, the track and field team took its momentum outdoors. The men and women combined to win six events at TCU’s Lowdown Track Complex on Friday.

“We had a solid opener. We had a few days from the NCAA indoor championships to rest up, which was exactly what they needed,” coach Todd Harbour said.

While the men finished the indoor season ranked outside of the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association top 25, the women sat at 18th in the final poll.

The Bears were expected to start hungry after their near-perfect ending to the indoor season, and they did.

Two gold medals belonged to sophomore thrower Skylar White. White was victorious in both the shot put and discus. White’s shot put won at 52-10 1/4. Her discus throw of 164-7 helped her win by 12 feet, even in disruptive winds.

“Going into the event, I stay calm, cool and collected. I go through the motions,” White said.

Moving from indoor to outdoor does nothing but good things for White, she said.

“Going to outdoor, you add the discus event. I love shot put with all my heart., but I love discus with all my heart and more,” White said.

Two more events from the field contributed to Baylor’s victories. The women’s high jump winner, master’s candidate Dess Meek, leaped a bar of 5-8. 3/4 for victory. Junior Joe Farley won the men’s pole vault, clearing over 16-2 3/4.

When the Bears took it to the track, sophomore Christina Holland and senior Leigh Ann Ganzar left their marks. Holland won the 400-meter hurdles after battling an injury for the majority of the indoor season.

“Christina is about at 90 percent,” Harbour said. “It was good to see her get a good opener, and get her confidence going.”

Her time was 1:00:31 and almost two seconds faster than runner-up.

Ganzar stole a close 800-meter race with a time of 2:09.52, improving her personal best by four seconds.

“Leigh Ann had an impressive run,” Harbour said.

Newcomers and veterans made top-three finishes at TCU as well.

For the women, junior Samantha Patty hit a personal best and was runner-up in the 3,000-meters with a time of 10:05.78. Junior Brittany OgunMokun finished at 55.90 in the 400-meters to earn third. Junior Diamond Richardson landed fourth in the 200-meter with her time of 23.52.

The men also made a smooth transition into outdoor. Freshman Brad Miles placed second in the 3,000-meters with a time of 8:56.30. Sophomore Gavyn Nero got his third-place finish in the 800-meter at 1:51.16. Junior James Gilreath was placed third in the 400-meters, with 47.62. Gilreath’s fastest leg in the men’s 4-x-400 relay, at 45.7 seconds, brought them to second place behind TCU.

As temperatures continue to rise, so do the expectations of the Bears. The squad prepares to travel to Tempe, Ariz., for the Arizona State Invitation this weekend.

On the same weekend, other team members will compete in Palo Alto, Calif., at the Stanford Invitational.