Bears head to indoor conference championship determined for victory

Junior sprinter Matthew Moorer runs the 4x400-meter relay at the Texas Tech Invitational at the end of January. The Bears will head back to Lubbock this weekend to compete for a conference title. Photo courtesy of Baylor Athletics

By Marquis Cooley | Reporter

Baylor’s indoor track and field team will be returning to Lubbock for the fourth time this season to compete at Texas Tech’s Sports Performance Center for the 2021 Big 12 Indoor Championship Friday and Saturday.

The road leading up to this weekend has not been easy for the Bears. Head coach Todd Harbour said the winter storm that hit Texas last week just added on to what has already been a “surreal” season.

“Getting ready for the Big 12 Championships and you get a winter storm in Texas,” Harbour said. “I had four wheel drive, so I’m shuttling athletes. I’m getting them up here to the indoor when, you know, it’s not even safe to drive, but I know we’ve got to get some work in.”

Despite the setback, the team is excited for the meet. Sophomore sprinter Arria Minor, who transferred from the University of Georgia, is looking forward to her first Big 12 Championship meet.

“I’ve been excited all season to compete for a new school, and it’s my first Big 12 as well,” Minor said. “So I’m excited to see how it’s gonna go and just being with this new team in a new atmosphere. I’m pretty pumped up.”

With the excitement comes high expectations. Junior 400-meter runner Matthew Moorer said he has high hopes not only for himself but also the members of the 4×400 meter.

“My hopes and my expectations is that we win Big 12, and we lay down a fast enough time to get in the top heat for nationals,” Moorer said. “That’s what I expect, and I know we’re capable of it. We just all got to go out there and do what we need to do.”

Coming into the Big 12 Championship, the Baylor women’s team is ranked No. 15 in the USTFCCCA National Track & Field Rating Index (third among Big 12 schools), while the men’s team is rated seventh among schools in the conference.

Baylor has 19 women and 11 men ranked in the Big 12 top eight, which would be scoring marks at the conference meet. Pole vaulters junior KC Lightfoot and senior Tuesdi Tidwell as well as senior sprinter Aaliyah Miller all rank No.1 in the Big 12 this season. But even with those rankings, Harbour said the team has no margin for error. However, he knows his team is hungry.

“They don’t want me to tell them they can’t win the championship,” Harbour said. “I like the fact that I can’t tell them that right now. We’re not the favorite, but they want to believe.”