Baylor track and field sets sights on Big 12 Indoor Championship

The Bears begin competition at 3 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday in Texas Tech's Sports Performance Center in Lubbock. Photo courtesy of Baylor Athletics

By Tyler White | Sports Writer

Baylor’s track and field teams are heading to Lubbock, where Texas Tech is hosting the Big 12 Indoor Championships on Friday and Saturday. The team is looking for a quick start in front of conference foes.

Head coach Michael Ford said he was pleased with the last meet, the Tiger Paw Invitational. Ford said the most important thing was getting athletes healthy, and he added that the mindset coming out of Clemson after performing has helped the team.

“I think for us right now, it’s being consistent,” Ford said. “And it’ll be a different Big 12, of course, because we’ve been adding more teams. And even next year, it’ll be different too. … But I think if we give our good effort, we’ll perform well.”

Ford said that he anticipates the men’s team to finish in the lower half of the conference and that his primary focus is to get as many of them into nationals as possible. He said he expects the women’s track and field team (No. 24) to finish in the top half of the conference with strong contenders.

“They have better numbers,” Ford said. “Looks like they’re solid going into nationals in a couple of weeks. So we’re just trying to add to that list, and I think if we can finish in the top seven [in conference], I’ll be pleased with the season.”

Following yet another program record-breaking mark in the long jump in the last meet, senior sprinter Alexis Brown said she has been able to perform well by having faith in her skill following surgery to her lower right leg, which took place last year. She said it’s important for the team to rely on its talent and be confident in what it has done.

“Just go out there and have fun,” Brown said. “Our practice shows it, so just being confident in that and just going out there and actually doing it.”

Sophomore sprinter Tiriah Kelley said the most important thing going into the Big 12 Championship is to stay focused on what they have accomplished. She said that it’s just another meet and that she needs to stick to what she knows in her events.

“Not worry too much about what other people are doing. Just stay focused,” Kelley said. “Not try to change anything. Know that it’s just another meet, just [the] same thing we’ve been doing.”

The Bears will conclude their indoor season at the Big 12 Championship, with the NCAA Indoor Nationals taking place on March 8. Baylor’s outdoor season begins March 2 with the Baylor Invitational in Waco.