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Baylor Track & Field Prepares For NCAA Outdoor Championships

WACO, TX (KXXV) -

The Baylor track and field team will conclude its season with the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Championships, which run Wednesday through Saturday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

STORYLINES

• Baylor will have 17 entries made up of 23 student-athletes at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore. The 12th-ranked women have 10 entries (8 individuals, 2 relays), while the No. 16 men have 7 total (5 individuals, 2 relays).

• Baylor’s 17 total entries are the second-most in program history, since the NCAA went to the two-region qualifying format in 2010. BU’s best-ever total of 18 entries came in 2014. For comparison, the Bears only had nine entries a season ago.

• The women and men each have four marks that currently rank in the NCAA’s top eight, including senior pole vaulter Annie Rhodes, who boasts the nation’s top clearance at 15-1.5 [4.61m].
• Baylor is 1 of 6 schools nationally to have all four of its relays at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, highlighted by its men’s 4x4 quartet, which is at the national event for the 38th-straight season.
• Two BU athletes, sophomore Taylor Bennett and freshman Maxwell Willis, will run in two individual events. Each is qualified in the 100 and 200 meters and could be part of relays as well.
• Five members of Baylor’s contingent are school record holders, including Taylor Bennett in the 200 meters (22.47), Cion Hicks in the shot put (56-10.25 [17.33m]), Felix Obi in the triple jump (54-8.25 [16.67m]), Jenna Pfeiffer in the heptathlon (5,584 pts.) and Annie Rhodes in the pole vault (15-1.5 [4.61m]).
• Baylor’s group of 23 student-athletes, includes 12 athletes with prior experience at the NCAA?outdoor meet and two former outdoor All-Americans, including George Caddick (2014, 4x400) and Brianna Richardson (2014, triple jump).
• For a second-straight year, the Bears will be represented by two men’s 400-meter runners, George Caddick and Wil London. Both men competed last year, but will be looking to make their first final.
• BU is 1 of only 2 schools in the country to have at least 3 triple jumpers at the NCAA Championships. All three, Felix Obi, Brianna Richardson and Rachel Toliver, are all projected to score. Jumps coach Stacey Smith is 1 of only 3 coaches in the NCAA to have two women’s triple jumpers at the national outdoor championships.
• Baylor’s NCAA roster includes 8 seniors with George Caddick returning for his 4th NCAA Outdoor meet, while Cion Hicks, Brandon Moore, Felix Obi, Annie Rhodes and Brianna Richardson are all making a 3rd appearance. 
• At last year’s NCAA Outdoor Championships, for just the fifth time in 28 years, the Baylor women failed to score a point. Meanwhile, all four of BU’s men’s entries missed the finals, ending a streak of 38-straight years for the men’s team to score at the national outdoor meet (1978-2015), which was tied for the longest streak in the country.

QUOTING THE COACH
"It is a good mix of veterans that have been through the battles a few times and then a good group of young ones as well. We are excited. We have had a great year, but we just need to finish it off. That has been our theme all year. We probably had one of our most disappointing outdoor championships last year and so we kind of want to get a little redemption for that one. Top-10 would be a great finish for both of our programs. We are capable and to come out of there with two top-10 finishes would be outstanding." -- head coach Todd Harbour  entering the meet

RESULTS/COVERAGE
Live results of the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Championships will be provided by FlashResults.com. Broadcast coverage will be available on the ESPN family of networks, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3. 

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