By Parmida Schahhosseini
The No. 25 men’s and No. 17 women’s track and field teams are competing at the 2013 Michael Johnson Dr Pepper Classic on Saturday. The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Hart-Patterson Track Complex in Waco.
The event will feature top runners from 16 schools, including four schools in the Big 12.
The schedule begins with field events at 9:30 a.m. and concludes with evening running events, which will begin at 5 p.m. There will also be afternoon running events that will overlap the field events.
“Well, it’s always a special weekend and it’s getting more and more special every year,” head coach Todd Harbour said. “This is our last tune-up before the Big 12 meet.”
Baylor is coming off a strong showing at the Texas Invitational. Baylor took wins in three events, and junior thrower Erin Atkinson broke the school record in the hammer throw with a distance of 213-2.
Senior thrower Skylar White won the shot put and discus competitions at the same meet, marking this the second time she has done that this season. She recorded a 181-0 mark for the discus, which ranks No. 4 nationally. White also throwing the shot put 55-2, which is a season-best thus far. However, she is looking to get better at the shot put.
“The discus is always number one in my heart,” White said “I feel like the discus is going well. It’s better than shot put, but right now I’m coming along in the shot put. I have everything that I need to improve and get better in shot put, so I need to stop putting it to the side and go ahead and do it.”
Along with the shot put and discus, the field events include javelin, hammer throw, pole vault, long jump, high jump and triple jump.
Atkinson’s record-breaking performance ranks No. 7 nationally. Senior thrower Jasmine Adekoya also will take part in hammer throws.
Junior sprinter Blake Heriot along with senior sprinter Justin Allen led the men’s team in the sprints. Heriot ran a 10.45, a personal best, in the 100-meter dash to take second place. He also got second in the 200-meter dash with a time of 20.86. He will also run in the 400-meter dash this weekend.
“I’m excited because it’s the 400 again and I’ve been looking good in practice this whole week, and we’ve got a big one, a big practice today and I’ll look even better,” Heriot said.
Baylor is finished in the top five, in several other sprinting competitions. In the women’s 4X100 relay, senior sprinter Idia Omogiate, freshman sprinter Justise Dayries, sophomore sprinter Ashley Fields and junior sprinter Justine Charbonnet finished in second place with a time of 45.37.
Sophomore distance runner Rachel Johnson was fifth in the 1,500 with a 4:36.56 time.
Baylor will hope to improve before beginning the Big 12 Outdoor Championships that run from May 3 to May 5.