AUSTIN, Texas- Baylor's track and field team had seven student-athletes, Trayvon Bromell, George Caddick, Rachel Johnson, Brandon Moore, Annie Rhodes, Raena Rhone and Olicia Williams, earn a spot into the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., Friday during the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
Athletes in all of the day's quarterfinal running events needed to finish in the top three of their heat or among the next three-best times overall to be among 12 qualifiers to advance to Eugene, Ore.
Baylor's lone outdoor champion a season ago earned a shot at repeating as Bromell posted the fastest qualifying time in the 100-meter dash with a 9.93 (2.4 m/s). The time was .01 seconds faster than his first-round time on Thursday and the fourth-fastest mark in school history.
Later in the evening, the BU sophomore added to his impressive day by breaking the stadium record and setting a personal-best mark in the 200-meter dash with a time of 20.13 (1.6m/s) to advance to Saturday's quarterfinal round at 7:50 p.m. The time was the fastest overall qualifying mark on the day by .16 seconds and bettered the 20.19 that Bromell had run in the venue at the Longhorn Invitational on May 2. It was also the fastest NCAA West Preliminary meet 200-meter time ever run, surpassing the 20.16 run by USC's Aaron Brown in 2014.
To close out the night, Rachel Johnson placed second in her heat of the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9:54.38 to advance to Eugene for a second-straight season in the event. She was the second-fastest overall qualifier.
For a second-straight year, Raena Rhone earned her way back to Eugene in the 400-meter dash as she nabbed an auto-qualify spot with a third-place showing in her heat with a personal-best time of 52.05. That mark is sixth-best in school history and was the fifth-fastest on the day.
For the first time, sophomore George Caddick will be an NCAA Outdoor Championship participant in an individual event, after placing second in his heat of the 400-meter dash in 46.51.
In the 800-meter run Baylor advance one men and one woman as well. First, Olicia Williams won her heat to automatically qualify for Eugene in 2:03.94. The BU junior went to the front of the pack 200 meters into the race and never surrendered the lead to punch an individual ticket to the NCAA Championships for the second time in her career and the first time since 2013.
On the men's side, Brandon Moore took the lead 250 meters into his race and held it until the final 100-meters when he was passed by three runners. The BU sophomore ended taking fourth in his heat with a tumble across the finish line in 1:48.88. He beat the fifth-place runner in his heat by .02 seconds, which ended up being the difference in a ticket to Eugene.
In the field events, Annie Rhodes made things interesting as she passed on the opening bar and then cleared the next two heights on her first attempt. With the bar moving to 13-11 [4.24m], Rhodes missed on all three attempts, which forced her to sit and wait to see if 12 athletes would clear the bar. When the dust settled 11 vaulters cleared the height leaving Rhodes tied for the 12th and final qualifying spot with Washington's Diamara Planell Cruz.
Rhodes then faced Cruz in a jump-off to determine the national qualifier. On her first attempt of the jump-off Rhodes nicked the bar, but it stayed up at 13-11 [4.24m] to give her a clearance. Cruz then missed on her first attempt to send the BU sophomore to Eugene for the first time.
Senior Tiffani McReynolds led of the day on the track by tallying the fastest qualifying time in the 100-meter hurdles at 12.79. She won her heat in the event to reach Saturday's quarterfinal round at 7:05 p.m. It was the senior's seventh-fastest time of her career, which makes it the seventh-best time in BU history.
In the 110-meter hurdles, Bryce Grace had to wait for the conclusion of the event to see if he would advance on time. He place fourth in his heat with a mark of 13.85, which ended up being the 17th-best overall time to advance the junior to Saturday's 7:20 p.m. quarterfinal round.
· After a quick start, Tiffani McReynolds pulled up in the final steps of the 100-meter dash to place 15th with a time of 11.41.
· Kehri Jones was 22nd in the quarterfinals of the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.54.
· Kiana Hawn was 24th in the quarterfinals of the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:01.65.
· Malik Wilson was 32nd in the 200-meter dash first round with a time of 21.28.
· Cion Hicks took 32nd in the discus with a throw of 163-7 [49.86m].
· Jenna Pfeiffer was 33rd in the high jump with a leap of 5-6 [1.88m].
· Rhys Phillips placed 34th in the 110-meter hurdles first round with a time of 14.27.
· Jones was 43rd in the first round of the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.18.
· A few steps out of the starting blocks, freshman Kevin Harris came up limping in the 200-meter dash.
TOP QUOTE #1
"This was a typical NCAA Preliminary Championship day. It was a battle out there. We got seven people qualified, but to see the causalities we had tempered some of the hype. You just don't know how they are going to be until you wake up in the morning. Kevin (Harris) was a big loss, but hopefully Tiffani (McReynolds) can go tomorrow. It is tough seeing her hurting, because she is a senior. Overall, we had a great day though." - head coach Todd Harbour on the first day of the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds
Baylor athletes will return to the NCAA West Preliminary Championships at 12 p.m. Saturday as Richard Hansen takes part in the javelin. Running events get started for the Bears at 6 p.m. with the running of the 4x100-meter relay event.
To stay current on all things Baylor Track, follow the team on Twitter: @BaylorTrack.
COMPLETE BAYLOR RESULTS
Q or q = Advanced to Second Round
** = Advanced to NCAA Finals site
15. Tiffani McReynolds (SR) – 11.41
22. Kehri Jones (SR) – 11.54
1. Trayvon Bromell (SO) – 9.93** (fourth-best in school history and all-conditions NCAA West Preliminary Championships record)
200 Meters First Round
43. Kehri Jones (SR) – 24.18
1. Trayvon Bromell (SO) – 20.13Q (personal best, Myers Stadium record, NCAA West Preliminary Championships record & sixth-best in school history)
32. Malik Wilson (FR) – 21.28
-- Kevin Harris (FR) - DNF
5. Raena Rhone (SR) – 52.05** (sixth-best in school history)
10. George Caddick (SO) – 46.51**
800 Meters Quarterfinal
7. Olicia Williams (JR) – 2:03.94**
12. Brandon Moore (SO) – 1:48.88**
100 Hurdles First Round
1. Tiffani McReynolds (SR) – 12.79Q (seventh-best in school history)
110 Hurdles First Round
17. Bryce Grace (JR) – 13.85q
34. Rhys Phillips (SO) – 14.27
400 Hurdles Quarterfinal
24. Kiana Hawn (FR) – 1:01.65
2. Rachel Johnson (SR) – 9:54.38**
33. Jenna Pfeiffer (JR) – 5-6 [1.68m]
12. Annie Rhodes (SO) – 13-7 [4.14m]** (advanced with jump-off win)
32. Cion Hicks (SO) – 163-7 [49.86m]