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Baylor Track & Field: Lightfoot wins Big 12 Pole Vault Championship

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Posted at 10:30 PM, Feb 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-22 23:30:48-05

LUBBOCK, tx — LUBBOCK, Texas - Freshman KC Lightfoot defeated defending indoor National Champion Hussain Al Hizam of Kansas to win the Big 12 Championship in the pole vault Friday night at the Texas Tech Sports Performance Center.

“It was a really, really outstanding day across the board,” head coach Todd Harbour said. “It’s hard to pick a place to start.”

On a day of personal bests and podium appearances, it was the pole vaulters who stole the show for the Bears.

In the final event of the night, Lightfoot cleared the 18-7.5 (5.68m) bar to tie his own school record and outlast Al Hizam for the title. Sophomore Riley Richards placed sixth with a mark of 17-5.75 (5.33m).

“It was a great ending by KC,” Harbour said. “Winning a Big 12 title as a freshman and having to beat a national champion to do it, that’s incredible. Wonderboy, as I call him, that’s an incredible performance from him. A great pole vault competition.”

Earlier in the day, sophomore Tuesdi Tidwell had a breakout performance as she bested her personal best by nine inches to finish as the runner-up at 14-2.5 (4.33m). She passed six of Annie Rhodes’ all-time top-10 Baylor indoor marks and now sits in fourth place behind three of Rhodes’ jumps.

“Tuesdi - to come in and PB by nine inches – if KC hadn’t done what he did I would have started with Tuesdi,” Harbour said. “To go 14-2, get second and qualify for NCAAs, got her a mark in today. That’s a big one.”

The Bears had five other scoring performances Friday, including Alyssa Miller (pentathlon), Cole Hardan (weight throw), Jalen Seals (long jump), and the men’s and women’s distance medley relays.

“You had all the PBs across the board, Harbour said. “The sprint crew had a great day, and a lot of people qualified for the finals. Cole, another freshman scored in the weight throw. Alyssa, a freshman in the multis, it was a great day for her.”

In the men’s 200 meters, Maxwell Willis qualified for the finals with the fourth-best time of the day, a season-best 20.95. The man of the hour for Baylor, though, was Ian Braxton. The junior from Highland Village, Texas, qualified for the finals with a career-best time of 21.11.

“One of the highlights for me was Ian Braxton,” Harbour said. “Watching him, he was 24th on the list coming in and he made the finals. That’s the kind of day it was.”

In the women’s 200 meters, Kiana Horton (23.03) and Sydney Washington (23.68) both set personal bests to advance to Saturday’s finals.

“It was a great day, and hopefully we have enough people to do some good things tomorrow, Harbour said. “Kiana, Maxwell, we had a lot of really good days. Sleep good tonight, and go back at it tomorrow.”

Live results for the Big 12 Championships can be found at http://pttiming.com/events/87931151 [na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com]. Fans can watch the action live with a FloTrack subscription at https://www.flotrack.org/events/6255146-2019-big-12-indoor-championship [flotrack.org].
 
For continued updates on the Baylor Track & Field team, follow the team's social media accounts all season long: @BaylorTrack.