AUSTIN — Baylor’s track and field team had five student-athletes, Taylor Bennett, George Caddick, Kiana Hawn, Wil London and Maxwell Willis, 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.
In the 400 meters, a pair of Bears advanced to Eugene. In the opening quarterfinal heat, senior George Caddick secured his third-straight trip to the national meet in the quartermile event with a personal-best time of 45.45. Caddick was in fifth as the race moved into the final 100 meters, but he found another gear and closed strong to lock up the third and final automatic qualifying spot for his heat. Caddick’s time was eighth overall for the day.
Meanwhile, sophomore Wil London charged from the back of his heat with 150 meters to go to take over the lead and he held that advantage to win it in a personal-best of 45.02. London had the second-fastest time of anyone at the meet, behind only the collegiate record time of 43.70 run by Texas A&M’s Fred Kerley.
In the 100 meters, the Bears got a male and female athlete through to Eugene. Sophomore Taylor
Bennett was one of the final athletes out of the blocks in her race, but used superior throughout the race to close the gap and ended up taking fifth in her quarterfinal heat in a time of 11.28. However, Bennett was the final time qualifier to Eugene in the event.
On the men’s side, freshman Maxwell Willis cruised to a third-place finish in his quarterfinal heat in a time of 10.10. His time was eighth-fastest on the day.
To close out the night, Bennett and Willis both advanced to the 200-meter quarterfinals, which will be held Saturday. Bennett (22.83) closed extremely well to finish second in her heat and seventh overall. Meanwhile, Willis blew away his heat with a time of 20.39 to register the fifth-fastest time overall.
Junior Kiana Hawn was Baylor’s final qualifier to Eugene on the day as she controlled the latter half of her quarterfinal heat of the 400-meter hurdles to win it in a personal-best time of 57.12. It is the second-straight year that Hawn has made the national meet. Her time on Friday was also the fourth-fastest in school history.