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Baylor Track & Field Qualifies Nine At Big 12 Championships

WACO, Texas – Baylor's throwers highlighted day two of the Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday at the Hart-Patterson Track and Field Complex.

Senior Skylar White took second in the shot put, while sophomore Desmine Hilliard posted a school-record throw in the discus to finish as the runner-up.

In the preliminaries of the running events, Baylor qualified nine individuals, who will compete in 13 different event finals on Sunday.

"It was a good day overall," head coach Todd Harbour said. "We did what we needed to do. You always have a couple near-misses; I think we had a couple ninth-place finishes. We have got a lot qualified. We've got some kids with some opportunities tomorrow."

White tallied a season-best throw of 55-5.5 [16.9-0m] on her third attempt to earn the second-place finish in the shot put. The placing gave White a fourth-consecutive All-Big 12 honor in the event. The throw was also good for fourth-best in school history.

Hilliard uncorked a school-record toss of 187-5 [57.12m] on his fourth throw of the day to take second in the discus. The sophomore broke his own personal-best mark by 5-feet-4-inches and eclipsed the previous Baylor record of 182-1 set by Dan Mosely in 1971. It is the first outdoor All-Big 12 honor for Hilliard.

"Desmine finally got a hold of one," Harbour said. "He's known what he was capable of doing, and he finally got a nice throw. And that's all it takes sometimes is one good one. And he popped one. It was nice, it was a beautiful throw. "

Christina Holland earned a spot in the finals of both the 100 and 400-meter hurdles. She qualified fifth at the shorter distance with at time of 13.67, before coming in third in 58.23 in the intermediate hurdles.

Mariah Kelly was also a two-event qualifier as she turned in the top-time (4:26.00) in the 1,500 meters and then followed that up with a sixth-place finish in the 800-meter qualifying (2:09.54).

Freshman Olicia Williams will join Kelly in the 800-meter finals as her personal-best time of 2:07.99 qualified fourth. On the men's side, Gavyn Nero will run in the 800-meter finals, after a sixth-place showing in 1:53.69.

Baylor had a strong day in the sprints led by junior Blake Heriot, who qualified for finals in both the 200 and 400-meters. He was the second overall qualifier in both events with a time of 20.74 in the 200 and a mark of 46.56 in the quarter mile.

In the 100 meters, Ashley Fields recorded a personal-best mark of 11.66 to finish fifth, while Alex Reece was sixth on the men's side in 10.66. Fields also was a qualifier in the 200-meters with a time of 23.45.

Raena Rhone was BU's lone qualifier in the 400-meters on the women's side as she tied for the fourth-best qualifying time in 54.03.

With the conclusion of the heptathlon and decathlon on Saturday, Baylor also scored two All-Big 12 honorees.

Henry Vildosola took eighth on the men's side for a second-straight year. The junior totaled 6,836 points, which was a personal best and the second-best individual performance in school history. He closed out the 10-event competition with a personal best time (4:35.06) in the 1500-meter run.

On the women's side, Jessica Shadley hung on to take eighth with 4,913 points. That mark is a personal best for the sophomore.

Baylor had three athletes finish just outside of qualifier range with ninth-place finishes: Justine Charbonnet in the long jump with a tally of 19-3.5 [5.88m], Isaiah Duke with a personal-best of 46.96 in the 400-meters and Reece in the 200-meter dash at 21.47.

After two days of competition the Baylor women are in sixth place in the team standings with 17 points, while the men are seventh with nine total points.

The preliminary rounds of the men's 1,500 meters, the 110-hurdles and the 400-hurdles were all cancelled, because of lack of entrants. Those events will all be contested as finals on Sunday.

The conclusion of the Big 12 Track and Field Championships will get underway with field events at 11 a.m. on Sunday, while running finals will begin at 3:45 p.m.

"I think tomorrow we'll have a big crowd out here," Harbour said. "You get a chance to watch some of the best in the world. There are a lot of tremendous athletes in this conference."

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