Track and field finishes with eight Top 5 finishes at Texas Relays

Texas A&M Kingsville's Javier Lopez, left, and Baylor's Rhys Phillips, right, compete in the men's 110-meter hurdles during the Texas Relays, Saturday, April 2, 2016, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Stephen Spillman) Photo credit: Associated Press

Despite weather conditions costing the Baylor track team a few events and delays, the Bears managed to rack up several Top 10 finishes this past weekend at the 89th Nike Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin.

The team started off warm on Thursday as sophomore Kiana Hawn produced a personal best of 57.38 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles, standing as the sixth-fastest time in school history and the sixth-best for the current NCAA outdoor season.

In the finals on Friday, she started her race strong but struggled through the end to finish fifth with a time of 1:01.61.

Along with Hawn, two javelinists competed Thursday, gaining top finishes. Senior Richard Hansen produced a throw of 196-3 on his second attempt of six, which ranked him eighth. Freshman Megan SaxvanderWeyden produced her best throw of 138-2 on her third attempt to finish ninth.

With a full schedule on Friday, the team fought through lightening delays and multiple scratches of events, including several sprinters and jumper Felix Obi. Nevertheless, this did not stop Baylor from gaining eight Top 5 finishes.

A major highlight was the sprint medley relay team of Wil London, Malik Wilson, Isaiah Duke and Brandon Moore claiming a bronze medal for producing a time of 3:19.26.

Field events claimed three of the seven finishes with junior Rachel Toliver placing fourth in triple jump of the ‘a’ section with a jump of 41-11.5. In the ‘b’ sections, senior Desmine Hilliard placed sixth is discus with a throw of 169-7 while freshman Blaine Listach tied for seventh in high jump with a mark of 6-7.

Along with the top finishes, the Bears had two events qualify for finals on Saturday. The women’s 4×100-meter relay of Kiana Horton, Taylor Bennett, Juanita Mainoo and Justise Dayries produced the sixth-fastest qualifying time 44.86.

Junior Rhys Phillips produced a non-legal wind time of 13.94 in the 110-meter hurdles for the second-fastest qualifying time. On Saturday, Phillips ran a personal-best legal time of 13.80 to finish fourth. The time is currently ranked No. 11 in the NCAA.

The women’s 4×100-meter team placed fourth with a time 43.91, the eighth-fastest time in school history and the best since Tiffani McReynolds, Tiffany Townsend, Brittany Bruce and Britttany Carr ran 43.75 at the 2011 Big 12 Outdoor Championships. The time is also 11th-best in the NCAA.

The women’s 4×800-meter relay team of Jessica Purtell, Charlotte Myers, Amanda Dillon and Olicia Williams highlighted Saturday by placing second with a time of 8:53.57.

The relay teams continued to strive as the men’s 4×400-meter relay team of Richard Gary, Caleb Dickson, Brandon Moore and Wil London finished fourth with a season-best time of 3:04.24, while the women’s side of Taylor Bennett, Kiana Hawn, Kiana Horton and Williams ran a season-best time of 3:32.31 to earn a bronze medal. This time earned the fifth-best spot in the NCAA

In the field events, junior Cion Hicks excelled in both throwing events while placing third is discus with a personal-best throw of 178-0, currently ranked 15th in the NCAA and a 31-inch improvement from her previous record. In shot put, Hicks finished fifth with a throw of 53-7.75, sitting 17th in the NCAA.

In the pole vault, Annie Rhodes placed third with a clearance of 14-1.25. This vault is the fourth-best in school history.

“I thought we had a good day with the way our women’s 4×1 crew ran and Rhys (Phillips) in the hurdles,” said head coach Todd Harbour. “Cion had a big throw in the discus, and Annie cleared 14 feet while battling some tough conditions. We are excited now to get to host some great teams on Saturday at the Baylor Invitational.”

The Baylor Invitational will take place all day Saturday at the Clyde Hart Track and Field Stadium.