By Marquis Cooley | Reporter
Baylor Track & Field competed in two meets on Friday and Saturday, with some of the team participating at the Texas Tech Shootout in Lubbock and the rest competing in the Iowa State Classic in Ames, Iowa.
Day one in Lubbock was filled with personal records for the Bears. In the men’s 400 meters, senior Howard Fields III cruised to a season-best 46.88 to finish as the runner-up.
“Trey ran well,” associate head coach Michael Ford said. “I was glad to see [Fields] back. He missed the first two meets with a hamstring. He felt a lot better, and I thought he ran a lot smarter this time. Going into Big 12s, he’s in a good spot mentally and physically. I was really pleased with him.”
In the women’s pole vault, senior Tuesdi Tidwell placed third with a mark of 14-0 (4.27m), while freshman Alex Kubicek recorded a personal-best mark of 13-8.25 (4.17m) to finish fourth.
Senior Kennedy Bailey took fourth in the women’s 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.35, while junior Deshaun Jones placed fifth in the men’s 60-meter hurdles (8.12).
“We were pleased with the (hurdles) guys,” Ford said. “They dropped some times. I thought the prelim race was better than the final race, but we were happy to see them get two races in.”
In the women’s 400 meters, freshmen Lily Williams and Kavia Francis both placed in the top eight with Willams running an indoor-best 54.46 to finish fifth and Francis placing eighth with a personal-best 54.97.
In day two, KC Lightfoot cleared the coveted six-meter bar in the pole vault in Lubbock, while Aaliyah Miller broke her own school record in the 800 meters in Ames, Iowa on a historic final day Saturday at both the Texas Tech Shootout and Iowa State Classic.
Lightfoot said he looks forward to breaking more records.
“I’ve worked my whole life for that bar, and to finally get it takes a huge relief off my shoulders,” Lightfoot said. “I’m going to be on cloud nine for a while, definitely. There’s still some more in the tank, though. I’m just not sure for what height, anymore. I guess the American record is the next big goal.”
Miller gave credit to her training partner for helping her in her achievement and said she looked forward to preparing for for her next race.
“Bettering my school record and moving up to No. 2 in the NCAA is a pretty good day in my books,” Miller said. “There’s no better feeling than to see the hard work in my training come to light. This race was fun, and I couldn’t have done it without my training partner and former Baylor Bear, Olicia Williams. I’m looking forward to getting some more training in before the start of championship season. I’m excited to see what’s in store for Big 12s and Nationals.”
The men’s 4×400-meter relay clocked a season-best time of 3:07.50 to take home the victory at the Texas Tech Shootout. The women’s squad ran a near season-best time of 3:35.83 to take home runner-up honors. Baylor ranks third in the Big 12 and 15th in the NCAA in the men’s 4×4 and second in the Big 12 and 16th in the NCAA in the women’s 4×4.
Sophomore Arria Minor took home the victory in the women’s 200 meters with a season-best time of 23.36, followed by Francis in second with a personal-best 23.65. Sophomore Mariah Ayers placed fourth with a time of 23.91. Minor now ranks third in the Big 12, while Francis is seventh and Ayers is ninth.
In the 3,000 meters junior Ryan Day clocked a personal-best time of 8:21.39 to place sixth and in the women’s 600 yards, senior Morgan Stewart placed fourth with a season-best time of 1:22.48, the sixth-best time in the Big 12.
Sophomores Kade Hulett and Mikayla Deshazer had personal bests in the men’s mile and women’s shot put, respectively. Hulett clocked a time of 4:25.72 to place seventh, while Deshazer recorded a mark of 48-6.25 (14.79m) to finish eighth.
Next up for Baylor is the Big 12 Indoor Championship Feb. 26-27 in Lubbock.
“It was a great way to close out the meet with KC and the relays performances,” Ford said. “Now we can rest up, get back to training and prepare for the Big 12 Championship back in Lubbock at the end of February.”