Track & field confident going into Big 12 Indoor Championships

Senior sprinter Matthew Moorer gears up for his 400-meter race at the Larry Wieczorek Invitational on Jan. 22 in Iowa City, Iowa. Moorer said he's healthy going into the Big 12 Indoor Championships for the first time in his career. Photo courtesy of Baylor Athletics

By Gio Gennero | Sports Writer

Baylor track and field has a big weekend ahead, as the Big 12 Indoor Championships kick off Friday at the Lied Recreation Center in Ames, Iowa. Head coach Michael Ford expects to have a good showing at the meet.

“I’ve been really happy with this team this year,” Ford said. “They’ve been really focused on executing the races. Going into it, for the most part we’re pretty healthy and that’s always a good time to be healthy. Building off of the success we’ve had meet in and meet out, we’ll do well. If we hit right, on the ladies side we should finish top four. For the men, we’ll probably finish fifth or sixth.”

Sophomore sprinter Ackera Nugent has been on a tear this year, breaking her own record in the 60-meter hurdle multiple times this season, including her last outing where she posted a Baylor record time of 7.89 seconds. Nugent said she isn’t the type of person who cares for others’ expectations of her.

“I don’t live up to the expectations of others,” Nugent said. “That does not bring pressure on me because at the end of the day, I’m very young. I can’t have the expectations of others on me and be like, ‘I need to do this, I need to do that.’ I just need to stay patient with myself and make sure that I’m doing what I need to do to perform to the best of my ability.”

Senior sprinter Matthew Moorer said he’s healthy going into this meet for what he feels like is the first time in his career. Moorer finished second in the 400-meter in his last race behind a new personal best of 46.48 seconds and has taken home multiple gold medals this season.

“I’m really confident, I’ve been feeling great,” Moorer said. “Every time I’ve ran, times have just been dropping, and we finally had a week off so I feel real confident. I also feel really confident in the team; it’s full of people I know who are all ready to run.”

The Big 12 Indoor Track & Field Championships will kick off at 3 p.m. CT on Friday, starting with the women’s weight throw and the women’s penthalon 800-meter race, and will run through Saturday night. Ford said the key to success in the meet is for every athlete to play their part and try to outdo themselves.

“One of the things we talked about going into the season was just knowing your role,” Ford said. “If you’re one of those kids like Ackera, if you’ve won nationals and you’ve won Big 12s, you got to be top three. The key is that, for our national caliber [athletes], we have to get a lot of points out of them. The ones who are on that borderline, if they’re coming into conference, say from 7-12, let’s try to sneak in.”