Track & field makes puts up strong start to outdoor season

Baylor sophomore Sydney Washington competes at the Power Five Invitational on Feb. 2, 2018, in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Bears will compete in the Big 12 Indoor Championships on Friday and Saturday in Lubbock. Courtesy of Baylor Athletics

By Marquis Cooley | Reporter

Baylor track & field had several successful performances Saturday at the UTSA Invitational in San Antonio and the TCU Invitational in Fort Worth.

The throws group competed in the TCU meet and junior Cole Hardan led the way by breaking his own school record for hammer throw with a mark of 185-1 (56.43m) to place third at the meet.

In the women’s discus, sophomore Mikayla Deshazer solidified her spot as the No. 4 performer in school history with a personal-best throw of 176-7 (53.82m) to earn runner-up in the event.

At the UTSA Invitational, eight Bears recorded victories to lead a multitude of top-three performances.

Junior Alyssa Miller got the wins started for Baylor in the morning as she won a four-round jump-off in the women’s high jump, recording a mark of 5-9.25 (1.76m).

Freshman Ben Conacher took home his first collegiate win in the men’s pole vault, clearing a bar of 16-8.75 (5.10m) to get the victory, while senior Tuesdi Tidwell made it a clean sweep for the Bears as she recorded a mark of 13-5.25 (4.10m) to get the win on the women’s side of the event. Freshman Alex Kubicek was the runner-up behind Tidwell with a vault of 11-11.75 (3.65m).

Senior Sydney Washington made her season debut in the 100 meters and took first with a time of 11.62. Senior Caira Pettway placed second with a time of 11.80 to go along with her second place finish in the long jump where she tied her personal best with a jump of 19-8.75 (6.01m).

In the men’s 100 meters, sophomore Kamden Jackson got the win with a time of 10.41, while senior Isaiah Cunningham took second at 10.43.

Sophomore Mariah Ayers won the women’s 200 meters with a time of 23.86, and senior Destiny Collins got her first win as a Baylor Bear with a time of 4:35.30 in the women’s 1,500 meters.

Senior Alex Madlock rounded out the first place finishes for the Bears, taking home the triple jump title with a mark of 41-06.50 (12.66m).

The Bears had several other top-three finishes in the meet. Sophomore Eli Morris finished second in the men’s 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.24 and senior Morgan Stewart finished as the runner-up in the women’s 400 meters at 55.90. Junior Elijah Gifford took second in the men’s 400-meter hurdles with 52.67, while senior Ryan Croson placed second in the men’s 200 meters at 21.17, and junior Briana Garcia finished third in the women’s 400-meter hurdles with 1:02.19.

The men and women’s 4×400-meter relays ended the meet with two second place finishes. The women’s 4×400-meter relay posted 3:38.77 to open their outdoor season while the men’s 4×400-meter relay finished with a time of 3:07.37.

Next up for Baylor is a trip to Austin for the Texas Relays from March 24-27.