Baylor Track & Field Hosts 14 Teams For Michael Johnson Invitati - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Baylor Track & Field Hosts 14 Teams For Michael Johnson Invitational

WACO, Texas - Baylor's track and field program will host 14 other teams and some of the top professional athletes in the world for the 2016 Michael Johnson Invitational Saturday at Clyde Hart Track and Field Stadium.

Field events will kick off the day at 11 a.m. with the javelin on the infield of the track and the hammer throw event behind the west grandstands. The afternoon section of running events will begin at 1 p.m. and the evening section will start at 5 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 9:30 a.m.

A ceremony to recognize the 27-member senior class will take place before the evening running section at 4:40 p.m., while 500 free t-shirts will be distributed to the crowd and the Baylor ‘B’ Association will recognize the 2016 Baylor Legend at 6 p.m. A fireworks show will conclude the meet.

Besides current athletes on Baylor's 17th-ranked women's squad and 42nd-ranked men’s team, a multitude of former Bears will also be in action. That contingent is highlighted by two-time NCAA champion and current New Balance athlete Trayvon Bromell (100 & 200m) and Olympic gold medalist Jeremy Wariner (400m).

Some of the world’s top professional track and field athletes will also be in Waco for the meet, including Jamaican Olympic gold medalist and Puma athlete Asafa Powell, who will go head-to-head with Bromell in the 200 meters, which is slated to start at 7:40 p.m. In that same race with Bromell and Powell, Nike professional Ryan Bailey of the United States will also run.

Other Olympic medalists in attendance at the meet include Puerto Rican and Adidas athlete Javier Culson (400H), Jamaican and Nike runner Kerron Stewart (100m), Nigerian Blessing Okagbare (200m) and the 2012 gold medalist in the pole vault Jenn Suhr of the United States and Adidas. 

The women’s 100 and 200-meter races promise to be explosive as well with Trinidad & Tobago sprinter Michelle-Lee Ahye (100 & 200m), American Charonda Williams (100 & 200m), 2014 NCAA hurdle champion Sharika Nelvis (200m) and former Oregon NCAA champion Phyllis Francis (200 & 400m). In the 800 meters, former Oregon NCAA champion Laura Roesler will run.

Other collegiate teams scheduled to be compete at this year’s meet are Air Force, Angelo State, Cal State Fullerton, Midwestern State (women),  Northern Illinois (women), Oklahoma Baptist, SFA, SMU (women), Stanford, Tarleton State, Texas A&M, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas State and Texas Tech.

Participating teams in the latest USTFCCCA top 25 rankings include the Stanford women at No. 12 and their men at No. 18, the Texas A&M men at No. 1 and their women at No. 5 and the Texas Tech men at No. 10.

In total BU has 63 student-athletes scheduled to take part in the meet. Baylor's men's team will have 28 participants competing, while the women will have 35 athletes in action.

Baylor's squads are coming off of an off-week, after winning 14 events at the Baylor Invitational.

The women have eight marks that currently rank in the NCAA top 20 for the 2016 outdoor season. Annie Rhodes and Taylor Bennett lead that group with marks that are fourth-best in the country. Rhodes’ school record pole vault of 14-7.25 [4.45m] was achieved at the Ricardo Romo Invitational, while Bennett produced her time of 22.71 in the 200 meters at the Baylor Invitational.

Bennett is also the lone Bear with two marks in the top 20 as her 100-meter time of 11.38 is 17th-best. Other athletes in the top 20 include Kiana Horton, who is ranked right in front of Bennett in the 100 meters, at No. 16 with a time of 11.31.

Cion Hicks is ranked No. 20 in the discus with a throw of 178-0 [54.25m], while in the 400-meter hurdles, Kiana Hawn has the 16th-fastest mark with a time of 57.48, which she set at the Texas Relays. Both of Baylor’s women’s relays, the 4x1 and 4x4, are top 20 with the sprint group at No. 13 in 43.91 and the quartemile crew at No. 13 in 3:32.31.

On the men’s side, four marks are top-20 in the NCAA, led by freshman Wil London’s 45.76 in the 400 meters, which is fourth-best in the country. The men’s 4x400-meter relay is fifth in the country with a time of 3:04.24, while Felix Obi is 14th in the triple jump at 51-9.75 [15.79m] and Rhys Phillips is 16th with a mark of 13.80 in the 110-meter hurdles. 

Other former Baylor All-Americans slated to compete include Christina Holland (100H & 400H), LaKadron Ivery (long jump & 200m), Rachel Johnson (1,500m), Woodrow Randall (100m & 200m) and Raena Rhone (800m). Former Bears MarkQuis Frazier (100m & 200m) and Joe Farley (pole vault) will also be in action.

Following the Michael Johnson Invitational, the Bears will take part in their final regular season meet next week at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, Wednesday through Sunday.

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