LOS ANGELES, CA — It was a successful opener to the outdoor season for Baylor track & field as eight Bears came away with event victories Saturday afternoon at the USC Trojan Invitational at Cromwell Field & Loker Track Stadium.
“Overall, it was a good weekend,” head coach Todd Harbour said. “It was a good week for us. It was a huge blessing for our athletes to be able to come out here. We got some good workouts in. We’re really appreciative of USC for letting us come out and use the track since we’ve been here since Tuesday. We’ve had some fun. It’s been a really enjoyable week. Considering all that, we had some really good performances today.”
Megan SaxvanderWeyden didn’t miss a beat as she opened up the 2019 season with an emphatic victory in the javelin. The senior from Pennsville, N.J., recorded a throw of 164-09 (50.21m) to win by more than 19 feet and finish with the No. 2 all-time performance in school history, just shy of her school record (166-4).
“I think you start with Megan (SaxvanderWeyden) in the javelin,” Harbour said. “Big throw for her, opening up not far off of her school record.”
Kalon Barnes, a defensive back for the Baylor football team, made an immediate impact for the Bears as he opened the season with a 10.43 100 meters and the event title. “Boogie” Barnes, along with football teammates JT Woods and Mark Milton, made their Baylor track & field debuts while Raleigh Texada made his return for year two in the track program.
“Kalon Barnes, I thought was outstanding,” Harbour said. “JT, first time in the hurdles, he did a super job. It was his first time to run in a flight of 42s. All four of the football guys had a solid opener.”
KC Lightfoot, fresh off an All-America performance at the NCAA indoor championships, picked up right where he left off with a victory in the men’s pole vault to open the outdoor season. The freshman from Lee’s Summit, Mo., set the Cromwell Field & Loker Track Stadium record, tied for second on the all-time Baylor outdoor performer list, and tied for the No. 6 all-time Baylor performance with a jump of 18-5.25.
“Another great day by KC,” Harbour said. “A very solid outdoor opener. All of the vaulters battled some tough winds.”
Jalen Seals took home the title in the men’s long jump, recording a mark of 23-10 into a headwind.
The Bears went 1-2-3 in the men’s 200 meters, with Isaiah Cunningham taking home the win with a time of 21.17 into a headwind. Ian Braxton was the runner up at 21.29, while Maxwell Willis placed third at 21.35.
In the women’s 100-meter hurdles, Sarah Yocum clocked in at 1:00.29 to take home the title.
Leti De Souza recorded a time of 2:08.13 to win the women’s 800 meters, and Trey Fields got the victory in the men’s 400 meters with a time of 46.49.
“We had a lot of great performances today,” Harbour said. “Jalen got a W in the long jump jumping into a headwind. Isaiah, that was a nice opener for him into a headwind and in front of his hometown crowd. Sarah, that was a good opener for her. It wasn’t a PB, but it was a fast opener. Leti in the 800 was a solid opener for her. Trey in the quarter - good opener for him as well.
“It was a good day, we got some work in,” Harbour said. “We’ve never gotten to take a trip like that because the NCAA meet is always during spring break, so it was nice to be able to come out here.”
The Bears are back home to host the Baylor Invitational Saturday (March 23) at Clyde Hart Track & Field Stadium.
National preseason rankings for the outdoor season are set to come out Monday, March 18. For continued updates on the Baylor Track & Field team, follow the team's social media accounts all season long: @BaylorTrack.