Big wins for Baylor at Big 12 Track and Field Championships

On the first day of Big 12 Track and Field Indoor Championships in Ames, Iowa., Baylor tallied 22 personal-best records and had 11 athletes earn All-Big 12 honors.

In the field events, Junior Annie Rhodes made a final clearance of 13-10.5 in the pole vault to place second overall, making it her third All-Big 12 honor in a row while tying the sixth best record in school history.

Jenna Pfieffer, senior pentathlete, earned 3,915 points to place fifth while earning the third-best record in school history. This was also her third year with All-Big 12 honors.

The distance events lagged while Maggie Montoya lead strong but fell back to place sixth in the 5,000-meters while both men’s and women’s DMR crew placed seventh.

In qualifying, freshmen Taylor Bennett highlighted the meet by earning the No.1 qualifying in the 60-meters of 7.30 seconds, which placed fifth-best in school history and No. 10 in the NCAA entering the weekend. In the 800-meters senior Olicia Williams also produced a top qualifying time of 2:08.42.

On the men’s side, George Caddick had a top qualifying time and personal-best record of 46.44 seconds in the 400-meters while both Bryce Grace and Rhys Phillips each earned automatic spots in the 60-meter hurdles by finishing first and second in their heat with 7.84 and 7.88, respectively.

“Overall, it was a good day for the men. I think they exceeded expectations. Taylor Bennett was the highlight for the women. Coming in where she was seeded in the 60 meters and then to have the top qualifying time was outstanding.” Coach Todd Harbour said at the meet. “However, we also had some disappointments on the women’s side. We felt like we would come out a little better today than we did, so that is tough. We will regroup and have a better day tomorrow.”

On Saturday, Baylor took three event championships while also having 15 women athletes claim 20 All-Big 12 honors and 13 male athletes earn 16 All-Big 12 accolades.

In the 4×400-meter relay, both men and women took the event. The women’s team of Taylor Bennett, Kiana Hawn, Kiana Horton and Olicia Williams produced the fourth-fastest time in school history, 3:33.47. This was the first time since 2006 and the fourth in Baylor’s program.

The men’s team of Wil London, Richard Gary, Caleb Dickson and George Caddick ran 3:04.16 to produce the second-fastest time in school history. This was the second-straight year and the 15th time in the 20-year history of the Big 12 Conference.

In the 800-meters Williams returned to a run a time of 2:04.50 to win the event, being her third-straight year with All-Big 12 honors. Her time was the third-best in school history. It is also the first individual conference title of her career and she became the second Baylor female to win the race since 2002.

“That was a great way to finish a track meet. To have our men and women both win in the 4×4 was special.” Harbour said at the meet. “Each of those groups just ran unbelievable and it looks like the women did enough to make it to nationals. Overall, we had some bumps along the way this weekend that hurt us in the team race, but it was good to end with momentum as we head to the NCAA meet and then the outdoor season.”

Several athletes will head to Birmingham, Ala., to compete in the NCAA Indoor Championship March 11-12.