LUBBOCK — Trayvon Bromell has a tendency to breeze to sprint titles. Give him a breeze at his back, and he can absolutely blow people away.
Bromell, Baylor’s staggering freshman star, recorded a eye-popping time of 9.77 in winning the 100-meter dash at the Big 12 outdoor track and field championships Sunday. That time would have been shattered the collegiate record if the wind hadn’t picked up in Lubbock shortly before the race. Bromell and his competitors benefited from a tailwind of 4.2 meters per second; a legal wind is 2.6 or less.
Even with the wind, Bromell’s performance dazzled. He shot down the track like a bullet and separated from the field, three of whom also bettered 10 seconds. Bromell’s teammate Everett Walker finished fourth at 9.98.
Florida State’s Ngoni Makusha owns the college record in the 100 at 9.89, while Jamaica’s Usain Bolt holds the world record at 9.58.
Baylor coach Todd Harbour said that Bromell would’ve gone under 10 seconds, wind or no wind.
“He got off to a great start, and just ran incredible,” Harbour said.
Baylor’s women also turned in an all-around powerful performance, finishing second in the team race and winning three event titles with Tiffani McReynolds (100 hurdles), Rachel Johnson (3,000-meter steeplechase) and the 4x400-meter relay. The Bears finished with a program-best 113.5 points, while Texas captured the team championship with 149.
On the men’s side, Texas Tech reached the top of the medal stand overall with 160.5 points, becoming the first host school since Colorado in 2008 to take the team title. Baylor came in fourth with 93 points.
Harbour called it “one of the best conference meets we’ve ever had.”
“We just had so, so many special performances,” he said. “And to close it out in the 4x400 like we did just makes it that much nicer.”
Entering the final women’s race of the night, Baylor held a two-point lead in the team race over Texas Tech for second place. BU’s 4x400 team made sure that the Red Raiders wouldn’t chase the Bears down, taking gold in a stadium-record time of 3:30.75. Tech took second at 3:32.69, which also bettered the previous stadium record.
Baylor’s winning team was comprised of Alyssa Nichols, Ashley Fields, Olicia Williams and Raena Rhone.
Moments later, Baylor also won the men’s 4x400 race with a top time of 3:06.24. T.J. Holmes, Drew Seale, George Craddick and Blake Heriot made up the quartet for Baylor, which swept both 4x400 races for the first time since 2009.
Earlier in the day, Baylor’s foursome of Alex Reece, Heriot, Walker and Bromell dashed to the Big 12 title in the 4x100 relay, coming in at 39.49.
In her first Big 12 outdoor meet since 2011, Tiffani McReynolds made it count. She sprinted to gold in the 100-meter hurdles in a school- and meet-record time of 12.59. McReynolds, who burst in front and finished a full two strides ahead of the field, missed the last two Big 12 outdoor meets due to injury, but made up for lost time. She also won gold in 2011 as a freshman.
McReynolds also tallied a bronze medal in the 100-meter dash, running 11.21 with a non-legal tailwind. UT’s Morolake Akinosun won gold with a time of 10.96.
In the men’s 110 hurdles, BU sophomore Bryce Grace barely missed out on the win, clocking 13.66 to come in an eyelash behind TCU’s fab freshman Jordan Moore (13.64).
BU junior Rachel Johnson charged to the conference crown in the steeplechase, powering well ahead of the loaded field to win by 47 seconds, in a time of 10:11.79. Johnson lived up to her reputation as the runner to beat, as she entered the race with the top seed in the conference.
Meanwhile, Johnson’s distance-running teammate Mariah Kelly picked up a second straight silver medal in the 1,500. Kelly clocked 4:28.03, while Texas senior Marielle Hall scurried to the win in a conference-record 4:20.82.
Later in the evening, Johnson added a silver medal in the 5,000-meter run, a finish that pushed the Bears from fourth to second in the team standings. Iowa State’s Katy Moen won the race at 17:01.04, Johnson was second in a time of 17:04.88 and Baylor’s Kelly gave the Bears a point with an eighth-place finish in 17:36.22.
Baylor sophomore triple jumper Brianna Richardson missed out on her first Big 12 title by less than an inch. Richardson went 43-9 on her third jump, just three-quarters of an inch behind Oklahoma State freshman Viktoriia Sadokhina. Still, it’s an improvement from her freshman year for Richardson, who jumped 41-91/4 last year to take bronze.
In the men’s 400 hurdles, Holmes closed with a surge to finish in a personal-best 49.98 and grab a silver medal. Kansas star Michael Stigler held Holmes off at the wire for the title, coming in at 49.91.
Baylor sophomore Ashley Fields garnered a bronze in the 200. She crossed the line in 22.63 seconds, behind Texas’ Akinosun (22.17) and Texas Tech’s Cierra White (22.61). Walker took second in the men’s 200 for Baylor, running 20.32, while Heriot was third at 20.52. Bromell came in eighth, jogging in with a time of 26.84 after feeling a slight muscle twinge early in the race. Harbour said Bromell should be fine going forward, that Baylor’s coaches told him to not overdo it in the race.
Baylor’s next action will come at the NCAA West Preliminary Meet in Fayetteville, Ark. from May 29-31.