After breaking a 28-year-old Baylor school record, KC Lightfoot hasbeen named the Big 12 Indoor Track & Field Athlete of the Week, the conference office announced Wednesday.
“It is a very well-deserved honor,” head coach Todd Harbour said. “He is an outstanding young man. We knew that this was probably going to come his way, and we’re glad that he received it. He has a lot of great jumping ahead of him. It’s just the beginning. It’s a great honor, and I’m very proud of him.”
In just one attempt at 18-5.25 at last Friday’s Texas Tech Matador Qualifier, Lightfoot surpassed Bill Payne's Baylor school record of 18-4.75 set in 1991 in Norman, Okla. The freshman from Lee’s Summit, Mo., proceeded to clear 18-7.5 (5.68m) and solidify himself as Baylor's indoor school record holder. He is currently ranked in the No. 6 spot in the NCAA this season, two weeks away from the indoor national championships.
“It is an honor,” Lightfoot said. “I’m glad that all of our hard work is starting to pay off. The results are starting to show. We’re still hoping that more comes.”
It is Lightfoot’s first career Big 12 weekly award, and the 10th men's indoor track & field athlete of the week in program history. It is the 41st overall conference athlete of the week award (men's and women's indoor/outdoor) for Baylor track & field since 2002.
“It’s been a while since we’ve had an elite pole vaulter on the men’s side,” Harbour said. “We had Annie (Rhodes), but on the men’s side it’s been a while. To see him do that, to break the school record as a freshman, by Bill Payne who is in our Hall of Fame, it’s a pretty special honor for him. It’s a big deal.”
“It means a lot,” Lightfoot added. “We’re trying to get to the top, but it’s not as easy done as it is to be said. For it to finally start to actually happen is good.”
Lightfoot and the Bears are set for the 2019 Big 12 Indoor Track & Field Championships Friday and Saturday (Feb. 22-23) in Lubbock, Texas.