By Tori Jackson
Baylor track and field will compete in the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, starting Thursday and continuing through Saturday.
The Bears have competed in the Drake Relays 22 of the last 24 years. Baylor will have 18 men and 22 women participating in the three-day meet.
“We are very, very excited to go back to the Drake Relays,” head coach Todd Harbour said. “It was a tough one to miss last year, but we are excited to be taking a good group up there this year. Before our stretch drive with conference and NCAA meets, this will be an opportunity for our athletes to have a little fun and compete hard in some relays.”
Last Saturday at its final meet at the Hart-Patterson Track and Field Complex, the Bears won nine event titles.
Baylor claimed two titles early Saturday morning in the field events.
Senior thrower Taylor Torres won the javelin with a throw of 139-0 [42.36m].
Senior Erin Atkinson won her third straight Michael Johnson in the hammer throw. Atkinson had a mark of 186-9 [56.92m].
Briana Richardson was the Michael Johnson triple jump champion. Richardson recorded a leap of 41-11.5.
Despite a cramp that locked up his right leg, Trayvon Bromell took the title in the 200-meters with a time of 20.59.
“Oh, I was going to break the record,” Bromell said. “The last 50 meters, I felt the cramp going all the way up my leg, and I didn’t want it to turn into a severe injury. So I started to slow down at the 50-yard mark. I was like I’m just going to finish strong and get the time I get.”
Bromell was disqualified after a false start in the 100 meter.
Tiffani McReynolds won the 100-meter hurdle event with a time of 13.04. This was her first outdoor title of the 2014 season.
“I got out well and hit the second hurdle, but I kept it together and finished the race,” McReynolds said. “It would have been a lot more fluid if I could have continued to use the momentum I had from the start and carried that through the rest of the hurdles.”
Juniors Rachel Johnson and Derwin Graham each brought home event wins in the 1,500-meter race. Johnson finished with a time of 4:25.64. Graham finished with a personal best of 3:51.29.
“I felt strong,” Graham said. “I was trying to maintain contact with about 200 meters to go and make a move, and I felt the energy of the crowd. It was emotional at the end, and it felt good to beat Texas.”
In the latest USTFCCA rankings, the men are listed at No. 13 and the women are 18th. Baylor has nine individuals that rank inside the top 20 in the NCAA.
When the Bears return from Iowa, they will travel back to Austin for the Longhorn Invitational on May 3.