By DJ Ramirez | Sports Writer
The Baylor track and field team will compete in the Texas Tech Classic Friday and Saturday in Lubbock after a strong performance in Iowa where the women’s team placed first with 91 points and the men’s team finished sixth in the Larry Wieczorek Invitational.
The Bears returned from Iowa with eight wins, including both the men’s and women’s relay.
Head coach Todd Harbour said it was an overall good weekend for both teams, with the men’s team moving up in the national polls at No. 16 and the women’s team being ranked No. 27.
“On paper our ladies had a better meet than the men, but in reality, our men moved up nationally,” Harbour said. “That’s kind of how our sport works sometimes. The obvious isn’t always obvious.”
The Bears kicked off the meet with five wins on Friday night.
Sophomore Tuesdi Tidwell and freshman KC Lightfoot both earned their first collegiate titles in the pole vault event with Tidwell achieving a personal record and Lightfoot being named Outstanding Male Field Event Athlete.
It was a clean sweep for the Bears in the women’s 200 meters, with seniors Kiana Horton and Raven Grant taking first and second, and sophomore Sydney Washington placing third. Washington then proceeded to take first in the 60 meters premier on Saturday with a time of 7.41. Washington said she wanted to continue to improve after her strong start to the season as the team prepares for the invitational in Lubbock.
“I’m definitely trying to work on running without wasting motion,” Washington said. “Since the 60 is such a short and technical race, there’s not a lot of room for error, so I’m really trying to refine the things that I already do well […] I know at Tech there’s going to be a lot of competition.”
Sophomore Kennedy Bailey placed second in the 60-meter hurdles, becoming the No. 2 indoor performer in program history with a time of 8.31.
Junior sprinter Maxwell Willis placed third in the 60 meters after coming off a win in the season opener. Willis said he is focusing on doing more to stay healthy and keeping the same execution he had in his College Station meet.
Senior Caleb Dickson posted a meet record in his victory of the men’s 600 meters with a time of 1:19.36. Freshman Matthew Moorer also broke a meet record in his win of the men’s 200 meters. Junior middle-distance runner Alison Andrew-Paul placed second in the women’s 1,000 meters, her first competition of the indoor season. Freshman Jake Merrell took third in the men’s 1,000 meters.
Harbour said the Texas Tech Classic will be one of the best competitions of the season.
“This meet here, we’ve been telling them since day one, this is the meet,” Harbour said. “You better buckle your chin straps and let’s get ready because it’s loaded. Florida’s pulled out, but you still have Florida State, Miami, USC is coming from the west coast, A&M, North Carolina State. It’s a really good meet. I think probably before it’s all said and done it will be the top invitational this indoor season and maybe outdoor.”
After returning from Lubbock, the Baylor track and field team will next compete in the Tyson Invitational on Feb 8 and 9 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.