EUGENE, Ore. – It’s not gold, but bronze isn’t the worst accent color for Baylor green.
Baylor senior Annie Rhodes grabbed a bronze medal in the pole vault at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships Thursday at Hayward Field, becoming the school’s first-ever women’s outdoor All-American in the event.
Rhodes cleared 14-5¼ on her first attempt at that height, better than all but two vaulters in the field. Kentucky sophomore Olivia Gruver topped 14-9 to win the title, while Arkansas sophomore Alexis Weeks was second at 14-7¼.
Rhodes made three tries at 14-7¼, but couldn’t keep the bar in place. Nevertheless, it was a career-best finish at the NCAA meet for both Baylor and for Rhodes, who won the Big 12 title earlier this season with a personal-best vault of 15-1½.
In other Thursday action, Baylor’s Taylor Bennett fell short of advancing through the semifinals of both of her races, the 200 and 100-meter dashes. In the 100, Bennett finished 16th in the semifinal running, clocking in at 11.47, well off the pace of her season-best time of 11.19.
Bennett fared slightly better in the 200, running 23.28 to finish 13th, but not enough to advance to the final.
Kiana Hawn finished eighth in her heat and 20th overall in the 400 hurdles, clocking 1:00.80, to miss out on Saturday’s final.
Senior Cion Hicks couldn’t match her best efforts of the year in the shot put, closing out a strong career with a 20th-place national showing. Hicks, who threw 56-10¼ at the Big 12 meet, topped out at 52-6.
The BU women’s sprint relay team placed fifth in its heat and 13th overall with a time of 44.58, ending its season.