By Savannah Pullin
The rainy conditions the No. 16 Lady Bears and No. 28 Bears’ track teams endured during practice on Wednesday are a far cry from the conditions they will be competing in this weekend.
The Baylor track and field teams will be in Arkansas to compete in the Razorback Invitational.
“We’ve got some really good athletes who are going to make this trip,” head coach Todd Harbour said.
Baylor will be joined by 12 other teams including LSU, Florida State, Texas, and Stanford.
Harbour focused on getting his team stronger and getting more work in.
“We’ve got so many [athletes] right now who are ready to really step up and move into the national rankings,” Harbour said.
Harbour admits that the talent on the women’s team is more spread out over the events compared to the men. Performers such as senior Diamond Richardson, freshman Rachel Johnson, senior Jessica Ubanyionwu, and sophomore Tiffani McReynolds are just a few examples of why Harbour has so much faith in his team.
McReynolds took first place last weekend at A&M in the 60-meter hurdles. She is also running the 200-meter dash in Arkansas.
“I’ve been running [the 60-meter hurdles] forever,” McReynolds said. “I don’t consider the 200 my race. I just like to use the 200 to help me better prepare for the 60 hurdles.”
McReynolds won her race of choice last weekend, but she did not walk, or run, away without having learned something.
“This time I need, even if I’m out ahead, to continue to finish the race and not necessarily back off,” McReynolds said. “That’s something I definitely learned from Texas A&M. I need to stay throughout the race.”
Harbour made sure to include the boys during all the hype around the girls.
“We’ve got a bunch of 400 guys who are ready to roll,” said Harbour.
Junior Justin Allen, junior Joe Barb, senior Zwede Hewitt and sophomore Blake Heriot, who brought home the win in the 400-meter dash, are a few of the athletes Harbour expressed excitement to see run in Arkansas.
Harbour said he is also excited to see his athletes who are returning from injury, including senior Woodrow Randall, who suffered from a strained hamstring last week during his 60-meter sprint.
When asked how he feels after just coming back from an injury, Randall said, “At first I was a little scared, but now not so much scared. I’m really excited to run this week.”
Randall said not to expect an injury to keep him from competing at his highest and making up for lost time.
“I’m going to do more than what I was supposed to do,” Randall said. “I’m going to warm up a lot more and keep my muscles as loose as possible.”
In addition to talent, the Baylor track and field team also takes pride in something others may see as a disadvantage.
Baylor is traveling to their second indoor meet this semester without having the luxury of training in an indoor facility.
“It doesn’t really matter,” Randall said. “Practicing outdoors makes you mentally tough to go back inside.
The Bears seem ready to go this weekend. They have tough competition, but are ready to prove themselves.
“We put our athletes in the position to compete against the best in the country,” Harbour said.