AUSTIN – Annie Rhodes has a big summer coming up. She recently graduated from Baylor, and she’ll be getting married in a matter of weeks.
First, though, she wouldn’t mind adding to her track and field jewelry collection.
Rhodes punched her ticket to the NCAA Outdoor Championships by being one of 10 athletes to clear 14-1¼ in the pole vault at the NCAA West Prelims on Thursday at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
The NCAA West meet varies extremely from a typical track meet, where athletes would compete until someone wins. It serves as the qualifier for the NCAA meet, so once the field is set and the right number of qualifiers are amassed, the competition concludes.
But Rhodes took care of business, and she’s headed back to Eugene, Ore., for the NCAA meet on June 7-10. Last year the Midway alum finished 10th at nationals.
“I just set out to get first attempt on every bar, and that’s what we were able to do,” Rhodes said Thursday. “Thank the Lord for this nice tailwind and the good weather. … It’s going to be so much fun. I love competing at Oregon, and I know my family is coming. I’m going to make it count, go for it and try to win that gold medal.”
In other action, several Baylor runners on both the women’s and men’s sides advanced through the preliminary heats of their races. They included Kiana Hawn in the women’s 400 hurdles (58.77), Taylor Bennett in the women’s 100 (11.19), Leticia Souza in the women’s 400 (53.24), Maxwell Willis in the men’s 100 (10.07), Wil London (45.78) and George Caddick (45.76) in the men’s 400 and Zach Curran in the men’s 800 (1:51.06).
In a rigorous women’s 10,000-meter race made more difficult by a warm night, Baylor freshman Lindsey Bradley didn’t miss a spot in Eugene by much. Bradley finished in 15th with a time of 35:18.07, and the top 12 runners advanced to nationals. Baylor’s other runner in the race, Peyton Thomas, was rolling along in 12th place, in good shape to qualify, when she collapsed on the track and didn’t finish.