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Baylor Track & Field Pushes Five To NCAA Outdoor Championships

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Baylor's track and field team had five student-athletes, George Caddick, Kiana Hawn, Wil London, Annie Rhodes and Olicia Williams, qualify for the NCAA Championships on Friday during the NCAA West Preliminary Championships at Rock Chalk Park.

Athletes in all of the day's quarterfinal running events needed to win their heat or be one of the next six-best times overall to be among 12 qualifiers to advance to Eugene, Ore., for the national outdoor meet June 8-11. In the field events, the 12 best marks advanced.

Wil London recorded the top qualifying time at the meet in the 400 meters by running a 45.84 to win the fifth heat. The freshman Bear made his move to the lead with less than 200 meters to go and never relinquished that advantage. Teammate George Caddick followed up London’s win by placing second in the sixth and final heat with a time of 46.63. That mark ended up being the 12th and final qualifying time, bettering the 13th-place time by just .09 seconds.

In the women’s 800 meters, Olicia Williams finished second in her heat with a time of 2:05.76 and advanced to Eugene with the sixth-fastest time overall. Williams once again took control of the race from the start just as she had done to win the Big 12 title two weeks ago. The senior Bear seized the lead 150 meters in and held that edge through 700 meters before Oregon’s Annie Leblanc outraced her over the final stretch.

For the first time in her career, junior Kiana Hawn earned a spot in the national outdoor meet in the 400 hurdles with a time of 57.97. The junior posted the 11th fastest time on the day, but after finishing second in her heat was the final qualifier on time as one heat winner had a slower time.

To close out the night, Annie Rhodes earned her second-straight trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships with a top clearance of 13-10 [4.22m]. Due to weather, the pole vault competition was forced indoors to Anschutz Sports Pavilion. Rhodes was one of only six vaulters to clear the top height, which secured her a spot in Eugene with a lot less drama than last season when she was forced to earn her spot in a jump-off.

Weather delays pushed BU’s involvement in the men’s and women’s discus back until Saturday morning.

OTHER NOTABLES
• The Bears will be represented by two men’s 400-meter runners at the national outdoor meet for the first time since 2011 (Zwede Hewitt and Marcus Boyd).
George Caddick advanced in the 400 meters for the second straight year.
• Olicia Williams advanced in the 800 meters for the second straight year.
• Blaine Listach tied for 30th in the high jump with a best clearance of
6-9.5 [2.07m].
• Malik Wilson was 39th in the 100-meter dash quarterfinal with a time of 10.65. 
• Jessica Purtell was 41st in the quarterfinals of the 800 meters with a time of 2:13.74.
• Richard Hansen placed 45th in the javelin with a best throw of 172-5 [52.57m].

TOP QUOTE
“I am proud of our athletes for being strong mentally and competing through the schedule changes and weather delays that we faced today. We advanced five athletes to the national meet and that is a great start for what we hope will be an even better finish tomorrow.” - head coach Todd Harbour on the day

WHAT'S NEXT
Baylor athletes will return to the NCAA West Preliminary Championships at 9 a.m. Saturday as Felix Obi takes part in the triple jump and Cion Hicks and Desmine Hilliard compete in the discus, which was rescheduled from Friday night. Running events get started for the Bears at 10:30 a.m. with Chelsea Orr in the 1,500 meters.

To stay current on all things Baylor Track, follow the team on Twitter: @BaylorTrack.

COMPLETE BAYLOR RESULTS
** = Advanced to NCAA Finals site
Note: Place based on way qualified not necessarily on time.

100 Meters Quarterfinal
Men
39. Malik Wilson (SO) - 10.65

400 Meters Quarterfinal
Men
1. Wil London (FR) - 45.84**
12. George Caddick (JR) - 46.63**

800 Meters Quarterfinal
Women
8. Olicia Williams (SR) - 2:05.76**
41. Jessica Purtell (JR) - 2:13.74

400 Hurdles Quarterfinal
Women
12. Kiana Hawn (JR) - 57.97**

High Jump
Men
t30 Blaine Listach (FR) - 14-9.5 [2.07m]

Pole Vault
Women

4. Annie Rhodes (JR) - 13-10 [4.22m]**

Javelin
Men

45. Richard Hansen (SR) - 172-5 [52.57m]

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