By Will Chamblee | Sports Writer
After last year’s season was cut drastically short by COVID-19, Baylor track and field finally returned to action last Saturday at the Corky Classic in Lubbock. The Bears performed well in their first of the season, as a number of the Bears won their events, including the 400×4-meter men’s and women’s relay, men’s and women’s pole vault and the men’s 600-yard event among many others.
“That was a great first meet,” head coach Todd Harbour said. “Thanks to the Lord for allowing us this opportunity to compete, and a big thanks also to our training and medical staff for all of the work they have done on our behalf. We are so very grateful.”
The biggest news of the day came from the pole vault event, as junior pole vaulter KC Lightfoot set the indoor collegiate record as he cleared 19-5.75 (5.94m). Despite the incredible feat, Lightfoot said he is not satisfied, as he thinks he can go higher.
“I know there’s more in there,” Lightfoot said. “Obviously I was very satisfied with the collegiate record. You can’t not be, but I know there’s more.”
Lightfoot was awarded a fifth-career Big 12 Athlete of the Week award for his record-breaking performance Saturday, which is tied for the most any Big 12 athlete has received.
“I’m excited to start the season off right with Big 12 Athlete of the Week,” Lightfoot said. “Things are feeling good early in the season, and I’m expecting some bigger bars to come.”
Lightfoot isn’t the only member of the track and field team who is primed to have a successful season. Baylor returns eight All-Americans this season with four on the men’s side and four on the women’s side.
Lightfoot, alongside sprinters Jayson Baldridge, Howard Fields III and Matthew Moorer make up the All-Americans for the men, while triple jumper Alex Madlock, distance runner Aaliyah Miller, pole vaulter Tuesdi Tidwell and sprinter Sydney Washington make up the All-Americans for the women.
The talented Baylor team lived up to expectations their first meet. Harbour attributed the team’s fast start to the work the team had put in during the off-season in the fall.
“I was really proud of them,” Harbour said. “I could see all fall that our athletes were really putting in the time. Nothing surprised us. We were expecting to do well.”
Harbour said he was proud of the way his team has dealt with adversity last season and that he has high expectations for what is to come from his team this season.
“You go back to those days, and you remember how heartbroken you were, how sad you were for the athletes,” Harbour said. “I think we’ve had as good a fall as we’ve ever had. That’s amazing when you consider what we’ve been through. Champions always find a way. I think we’ve got a bunch of champions on this team.”
Baylor Track and Field will be back in action this Saturday in the Aggie Invitational in College Station.