By Savannah Pullin
In a competitive field Saturday, the Baylor Bears again made a big impression.
On Saturday, the Baylor track and field team traveled to Austin for the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relay.
The Bears brought home two wins — one from the men on the track, and one from the women’s side in the field— and had many second-place finishes and personal bests.
“We had an outstanding showing a lot of ways,” the head coach Todd Harbour said. “It’s hard to win Texas Relays because you have the best in country. It’s really an honor to even win one, but we get a little greedy sometimes and would like to win a couple of them.”
The Baylor men’s team, consisting of Mt. Vernon, N.Y., junior Justin Allen and seniors Whitney Prevost of Texas City, Zwede Hewitt of Trinidad and Tobago, and James Gilreath of Bartlett, Tenn., captured the win in the 200-200-400-800 spring medley relay.
Going into the last leg of the race, Baylor was in second behind USC.
When Gilreath grabbed the baton for the 800 meters, he knew it was up to him to push the Bears across the finish line first. He saw an opportunity and jumped on it.
“Initially I wanted to make up as much as possible in the first lap and just get in his pocket pretty much,” Gilreath said.
“But he took out pretty quickly so I knew with the pace he took at it that I was stronger than he was so it was just a matter of time of waiting for him to falter,” Gilreath said.
Gilreath kicked it up in the last 200 meters of his race to beat out the Trojans for a win with a time of 3:17.47.
“He ran a real smart race,” Harbour said about Gilreath’s performance. “James knew what he was doing and he ran his own race and just gradually worked on him. It was an exciting race. He ran well, and he ran really smart. He ran like a senior.”
In addition the relay victory, field powerhouse DeSoto junior Skylar White won the single victory in the shot put.
“Skylar (White) did a fantastic job in the shot put. She’s just been so consistent for us,” Harbour said in a press release Saturday.
White, who threw a season-best toss of 55- 5 3/4, moved from fifth in the NCAA to fourth as she took the win.
White’s win is the first for Baylor in that event at the Texas Relays.
Another outstanding performance came from San Antonio junior hurdler Christina Holland on the first day of competition.
Holland dropped nearly two seconds off her season-best time in the 400-meter hurdles last weekend.
Entering the weekend with a season-best of 59.58, she was able to finish her race in 57.74 seconds, qualifying her for third overall in Saturday’s final.
“I was pretty excited about running so I was more willing to try new things,” Holland said.
“I just changed my race strategy. I normally just kind of get out enough and finish strong, but this time I actually started strong and then tried to hold it.”
Holland’s new record moved her from 14th in the NCAA to the top-three.
“It was a great performance for Christina (Holland),” Harbour said. “She’s been working hard, and you could kind of see that she was ready to do that.”
After last weekend, Gilreath said he is feeling more confident, and Holland is anxious to see what other big performances she can display this season.
This excitement is exactly what the team needs to keep them motivated for the rest of the season.