Baylor Track & Field Welcomes 13 Teams For Baylor Invitational - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Baylor Track & Field Welcomes 13 Teams For Baylor Invitational

WACO, Texas - Baylor's track and field program will host its first meet of the 2016 outdoor season with 13 teams traveling to Waco to take part in the Baylor Invitational Saturday at Clyde Hart Track and Field Stadium.

"We are very excited to once again get to host a meet at this amazing facility," head coach Todd Harbour said. "I just met with the team and reflecting back on last season we had great crowds for our home meets. They were really into it and that makes it fun for our athletes. We are looking forward to that again as I know our athletes are ready to compete at a high level."

Field events for the Baylor Invitational begin at 10 a.m. with running events starting at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth, ages 2-17. All tickets are general admission. Baylor students get in free with a valid student ID. Gates will open at 9 a.m.

The other 13 teams that are slated to come to Waco to battle the Bears, include Arkansas State, Cal State Northridge, Fresno State, Houston, Oral Roberts, Prairie View A&M, North Texas, South Florida, Texas Southern, Texas State, Tulane, Tulsa and UT-Arlington

Baylor's squads are coming off a successful Texas Relays in which the Bears claimed 11 top-five finishes. The women's team is currently ranked No. 16 in the nation, while the men are listed as the 42nd-best squad by the USTFCCCA.

In total, BU has 70 competitors scheduled to take part in the home meet. Baylor's men's team will have 29 participants competing, while the women will have 41 athletes in action.

The women have 10 marks that currently rank in the NCAA top 20 for the 2016 outdoor season. Annie Rhodes leads that group as her school record pole vault of 14-7.25 [4.45m] is the fourth-best clearance in the country.

Triple jumper Rachel Toliver has the NCAA’s 15th-best mark, after jumping 42-2.75 [12.87m] at the season-opening TCU Invitational. Other athletes in the top 20 include Kiana Horton, who is ranked in both the 100 (11th) and 200-meter (19th) dashes with times of 11.31 and 23.31, respectively.

Meanwhile, Taylor Bennett joins Horton on the 200-meter list at No. 11 with a time of 23.23. Cion Hicks is also ranked in a pair of events at No. 16 in the discus with a throw of 178-0 [54.25m] and No. 17 in the shot put at 53-7.75 [16.25m]. In the 400-meter hurdles, Kiana Hawn has the eight-fastest mark with a time of 57.48, which she set last week at the Texas Relays. Both of Baylor’s women’s relays, the 4x1 and 4x4, are top 20 with the sprint group at No. 11 in 43.91 and the quartemile crew at No. 10 in 3:32.31.

On the men’s side, three marks are top-20 in the NCAA, after three weeks of competition. The men’s 4x400-meter relay is fifth in the country with a time of 3:04.24, while Desmine Hilliard is 19th in the discus at 185-7 [56.57m] and Rhys Phillips is 10th with a mark of 13.80 in the 110-meter hurdles. 

Some of Baylor’s top athletes will be competing for the first time this outdoor season in their signature events Saturday, including All-Americans Felix Obi (triple jump), Wil London (400m), Olicia Williams (800m) and Maggie Montoya (1,500m).

Outside of Baylor's current athletes, many former Bears will be in action as well, highlighted by two-time NCAA champion and current New Balance athlete Trayvon Bromell (200m & 4x100). Olympic gold medalist Jeremy Wariner will run in the 400 meters, while former All-Americans Marcus Boyd (200m) and Woodrow Randal (100m) will run both their individual events and on the 4x100-meter relay with Bromell.

Following the Baylor Invitational, the Bears will take next week off before hosting the Michael Johnson Invitational on April 23 at Clyde Hart Track and Field Stadium.

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