Track finishes in middle, but athletes excel at Big 12

By Savannah Pullin

Baylor didn’t bring home the Big 12 Team Indoor Championship title last weekend — the women finished fourth, and the men fifth — but was supported by great individual performances.

Sophomore Tiffani McReynolds claimed the 60-meter hurdles Big 12 Indoor Championship for the second year in a row.

“It feels really good,” McReynolds said. “It shows that I’m consistent and I work hard. It’s not something that’s easy.”

McReynolds said one of her goals this year was to go indoors and defend her Big 12 title. She accomplished and exceeded those goals in College Station when she won her race with a season-best time of 8.15 seconds.

McReynolds said the competition was fierce and anyone could have won.

However, McReynolds had been in the position before and understood how the pressure felt, leaving her confident in her ability to win.

“Before the race I was less nervous,” McReynolds said. “I feel like I was more confident this year.”

She said it was an amazing feeling to reach such a huge milestone in her track career.

“I couldn’t help but smile after I accomplished one of my goals. It’s just fulfilling,” McReynolds said.

The key to her success, she said, was just going out there and having fun. Earlier, she had started to look at running more as a job than as a way to have fun.

Last weekend, McReynolds said, she went out on the track and had fun running and competing; she wasn’t worried about winning or losing.

Another great performance came from junior Eric Bostick, who broke the Baylor school heptathlon record with 5,017 points.

“Our guys in the heptathlon kind of typified the whole effort for the weekend,” head coach Todd Harbour said. “They fought right down to the wire, and finishing just one point ahead of sixth, we needed everything they gave us. It was huge.”

Along with Bostick, sophomore Hunter Brook also broke the heptathlon record, which he had previously held, finishing all-conference in eighth, right behind Bostick who finished seventh.

“[Breaking the school record] is kind of like a personal competition,” Bostick said. “Somebody breaks it every time we compete, and it’s going to be nice to hold it until next year.”

Bostick said he looked to his teammates, after a poor performance in the high jump, to get him back on the winning path. He said he was inspired by Brook’s incredible performance and used that to his advantage.

After watching Brook, he was able to perform at his highest, allowing him to break the school record.

As the team prepares for the outdoor season, Bostick said he learned something from his performance at the Big 12 Championship.

“I learned to stick with it if you have a bad event,” Bostick said. “You can’t let one bad thing get you down.”

Overall, Harbour said he was satisfied with the performance of his athletes during the championship.

“We were very pleased,” Harbour said. “You obviously always want to win the Big 12, but sometimes that’s not realistic, so you go for as high of a finish as you can.”

The distance medley relay team felt the pressure when junior Gavyn Nero was unable to race due to illness.

“A lot of people picked up slack and stepped it up so we were able to recover,” Harbour said.

In addition to McReynolds picking up a win, the men’s 4×400-meter relay team finished in second, along with freshman Patrick Schoenball, senior Jessica Ubanyionwu and junior Skylar White, who each posted runner-up finishes in their events.

Juniors Cate Westenhover, Drew Seale and Brittany OgunMokun all finished third in the middle distance races.

Westenhover finished with a career-best mile of 4:45.65, the fastest for the Baylor women in three years.

“It’s tough every year. [The Big 12] is one of the top conferences in the nations, and you know what you’re getting in to,” Harbour said. “I won’t say we exceeded expectations; I think we met our expectations.”

Baylor starts its outdoor season March 17, when it travels to Fort Worth for the TCU Invitational.