By Jeffrey Swindoll
Baylor track and field followed up its successful Big 12 indoor championships with another strong showing at the NCAA Indoor Championships Fayetteville, Ark., last week, bringing home an individual national champion and a record-breaking finish from the women’s team.
“Overall, it was just incredible. It was an amazing week,” head coach Todd Harbour said. “Everybody contributed, everybody we brought up here. We had five school records at the meet. That’s unheard of. You don’t see that at national meets.”
Sophomore sprinter Trayvon Bromell claimed the 200-meter national title, marking his second year in-a-row winning a national championship (2014, 100-meter). Bromell ran an all-time school-record and 2015 world-leading time (20.29 seconds) in the 200-meter semifinals on Friday.
He then surpassed his semifinal time to finish the 200-meter in a historic 20.19 seconds in the finals on Saturday. His performance ranks at No. 5 on the all-time list of the 200-meter and best time in the world in 2015. Bromell’s time ties Wallace Spearmon for the second fastest American and collegiate performances of all time.
“Honestly, this indoor 200 title is way bigger than that 100 title, because everybody knows I love the 100,” Bromell said. “I knew I could run [the 200-meter event], and I’m not going to say I doubted myself, but I just felt like my short sprints would be better than my 200.”
The 2015 200-meter indoor title was Baylor’s fourth time claiming the honor.
Baylor’s women’s team earned four All-American honors and set a program record for total points (27), finishing seventh overall at the 2015 indoor championships. Sophomore long-distance runner Maggie Montoya, pole-vaulter Annie Rhodes, junior triple-jumper Brianna Richardson, junior long-distance runner Olicia Williams, senior long-distance runners Rachel Johnson and Mariah Kelly were each named All-Americans in their respective events.
Baylor’s distance medley relay team, consisting of Kelly, Williams, Montoya and senior runner Raena Rhone, finished fourth. Rhodes finished eighth in the pole vault event. Richardson posted a season-best triple jump to finish fifth overall. Williams also finished third in the 800-meter run. Johnson finished sixth in the 3,000-meter run and second in the 5,000-meter.
“She did a great job coming back in the 3K. And I want to say that’s probably the fastest 9:02 for sixth place. A lot of years, 9:02 will win it,” Harbour said. It was just an absolutely loaded 3K field, and they just rolled.”