By Savannah Pullin
During their second meet of the outdoor season, the Bears made a huge impression on a pretty big stage.
Baylor track and field claimed 10 wins over the weekend at the UCF Invitational in Orlando, Fla.
“It was just one of those meets where a lot of things went right,” head coach Todd Harbour said. “We knew they could do it. They just finally did it.”
The Baylor men brought home six wins, and the women four. Many increased their personal bests or moved up in the NCAA rankings over the weekend.
Junior Everett Walker and sophomore Tiffani McReynolds both won their respective events and are currently ranked No. 1 in the NCAA.
Walker, who ran won the 200-meter dash with a time of 20.53 and holds first in the NCAA in that event, also picked up a win with the men’s 4×100-meter relay, finishing in 39.43, No. 2 in the country.
“It was pretty fast. It’s pretty early, though,” Walker said. “In the 200, 20.53 is a big jump from 20.70 in one week. I was surprised in all the races at how fast I ran.”
Throughout the indoor season, the men’s team seemed to struggle a little due to injury and eligibility issues.
Fortunately, they found a way to get back on track in Florida.
“I think what led to that was the disappointment,” Walker said. “At indoor we didn’t feel like we did what we needed to do, so we had a burden on our shoulders. We needed to show people what we’re really about.”
McReynolds, one of the top hurdlers in the country, brought home the win for the Bears in the 100-meter hurdles.
“It feels good because coming back from NCAAs I wasn’t feeling all that great,” McReynolds said. “Just being able to open up in Florida with that time and being number one so far, that makes me feel a lot better and more confident in myself.”
While most sports get a little practice early in the season by playing against smaller or lower-ranked teams, Baylor track pulled out their 10 wins among some strong competition that Harbour said is usually only seen at nationals.
“The competition was good,” McReynolds said. “It’s always challenging when you have schools like Clemson and Ohio State and even UCF. They all have really good hurdlers.”
After last weekend, the confidence in the team overall has risen, from both coaches and players.
“We have a very good team,” Walker said. “We have a chance to get into the top five in the NCAA. This could be a big one for Baylor.”
Harbour said he expects his athletes will do whatever they need to get Baylor in to that elite position.
“We’ve got a lot of hungry athletes right now and we’ve got a bunch of fighters,” Harbour said. “They’re very competitive and any time they get on a big stage and have an opportunity to well, they’re going to take advantage of it.”