Track and Field team measures up at first meet of 2016

Staff photo-Rod Aydelotte Photo credit: Associated Press

Although they lost key members from last season’s team, the No. 11 women’s and No. 89 men’s Baylor track and field team stepped up last weekend in College Station during Baylor’s first meet of 2016.

The Bears took four event titles while several members set personal-best records, won medals and broke school records.

“We definitely lost some huge ones; four of the top kids we’ve had in the last 10 years, just with what they brought on the track, off the track, leadership. But we’ve had some girls that have stepped up. I like where our women’s program is. You’ve got a little more margin for error on the ladies’ side.” – Todd Harbour told Baylor Bear Foundation

On the women’s side, junior Maggie Montoya took the one-mile race with a time of 4:50.06 and junior Annie Rhodes recorded a new Baylor record while capturing the pole vault title at 14 feet, 3.5 inches and beating her old mark set during the 2015 NCAA Championships. The women pulled in two event titles and several top three individual finishes.

The Distance Medley Race crew of Chelsea Orr, Kaitylnn Lindsey, Charlotte Myers and Katie Grovatt placed second with a time of 11:57.26. Returning pentathlete Jenna Pfieffer placed third in high jump while returning junior Cion Hicks placed third in shot put with a personal best throw of 53-1.5.

The Lady Bears finished third on Saturday with 78.75 points. Before the meet, Harbour expressed how the men would have to work hard through the loss of Trayvon Bromell, who recently decided to pursue a professional career in sprinting.

Last season, Bromell was the 2015 NCAA Indoor Champion in the 200-meters and NCAA Outdoor All-American in the 100 and 200-meters. He also holds multiple school-records in these events and ended the season as the IAAF World Bronze Medalist in the 100-meters with a time of 9.92 seconds.

“We’ve got some guys that have been on that edge, and now they’re juniors and seniors and it’s time. They still have the potential to be a top-10 team at nationals and hopefully higher. But to score 20 points (for a top-10 finish) at the NCAA meet, without Trayvon, that’s a stretch. Some guys are going to have to really step up.” – Todd Harbour told Baylor Bear foundation

The men finished sixth (42 points), claimed two event wins and broke several personal-best records.

After a slow start, senior Bryce Grace won the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 7.90 seconds.

The 4×4 crew of Wil London, Richard Gary, Brandon Moore and Caleb Dickinson won with a time of 3:09.15 for the fourth event title of the day. Gary also earned silver medal honors in the 400-meters with a time of 47.48, while taking .03 seconds off his indoor personal-best record.

Senior jumper Felix Obi went 21-11 in long jump, which was a personal-best and the ninth-best jump in school history.

“We had some highs and we had some lows. I thought some of the ones we need to compete at a high level as the season progresses started off really well.” – Todd Harbour said in a press release after the meet in College Station

The next stop for Baylor track and field is Lexington, Ky., for the Rod McCravy Memorial meet on Friday.