Baker Takes Silver In Long Jump at C-USA Meet
The TCU sprinters and the rain were the big winners, as the 2004 Conference USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships continued Friday at Cardinal Park Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky. The weather conditions caused one stoppage of more than a half-hour and much of the rest of the meet was run in a steady and sometimes heavy downpour. However, the poor weather did little to slow down the Flyin' Frogs, as TCU sent a combined total of 19 runners to Saturday's finals in the 100, 200 and 400 meter dashes.
The TCU women, making a bid for its first-ever outdoor conference track & field title, got a dozen early points in the team scoring in a trio of events on Friday. JimAnne Baker took the silver medal in the long jump with a best leap of 5.92 meters (19-05.25). A freshman from Cisco, Texas, Baker is attending TCU on a basketball scholarship. She sat out the 2003-04 season as a redshirt for the Lady Frog cagers. Kandra Lakey tallied three points with a sixth place finish in the women's discus throw. The freshman from Roby, Texas, unleashed a best throw of 43.26 meters, or 141 feet, 11 inches. Lakey also placed ninth in the javelin finals. Heather Isbell added a point with an eighth place finish in the 3000 meter steeplechase, crossing the line in 11:22.05. In the only men's final involving a TCU athlete on Friday, Steven Lenney placed 13th in the 3000 meter steeplechase.
As expected, the Flyin' Frogs showed their dominance in the prelims of the sprint events, sending seven runners to the finals in the 100, seven competitors to the finals in the 200 and five runners to the finals in the 400.
In the men's 100 meter dash, Jabari Fields (10.31) and Michael Frater (10.47) both won their heats and logged the two fastest times in the prelims. Cleavon Dillon had the fifth fastest time with a mark of 10.54 seconds. Erick Wilson, competing for the first time since suffering a torn ACL last fall, finished 10th with a time of 10.75 seconds and failed to advance to Saturday's finals. On the women's side, the Frogs sent all four runners to the finals. Virgil Hodge had the prelims fastest time, turning in a mark of 11.52 seconds. Donita Harmon also won her heat and had the third fastest time, breaking the tape in 11.61. Jamee Jones (11.76) and Kandis Bell (11.91) placed fifth and seventh respectively in the prelims and will join Hodge and Harmon in the nine-person final on Saturday.
The TCU women were dominant in the 200 as well, sweeping four heats of prelims. Virgil Hodge (24.16), Donita Harmon (24.20), Larissa Bakasa (24.47) and Kandis Bell (24.74) all advanced to Saturday's finals with the second, third, fourth and seventh fastest times respectively in the prelims. Houston's LaDedra Guy posted the fastest time of 23.79 seconds. On the men's side, Jerry Harris had the meet's fastest prelim time, turning in a season-best mark of 20.84. Jabari Fields also won a heat and had the third fastest time overall, clocking a 21.16. Che Chavez will join them in the finals as he sprinted to a 21.24, the fourth fastest time in the prelims.
In the 400 meters, senior Larissa Bakasa ran a season and prelim best time, circling the oval in 53.79. She will be joined in Saturday's finals by freshman Deborah Jones. Jones turned in a time of 55.60 to place sixth overall in the one-lap race. On the men's side, Jerry Harris (45.51), Brett Wilson (46.60) and Che Chavez (47.21) all won their respective heats, with Harris and Wilson doing so in season-best times. The TCU trio finished 1-2-4 overall in the prelims.
In other events in which TCU runners advanced through the preliminary round, freshman Calandra Stewart finished second in her heat and third overall in the 1500 meters with a time of 4:41.34. Stewart (2:14.66) and senior Justina Malone (2:!5.71) advanced in the 800 meters with the third and seventh best times respectively. Freshman MaKeatha Cooper looked strong in winning her heat of the women's 100 meter hurdles. The Grandview, Missouri product turned in a prelim time of 13.52 to advance to Saturday's finals with the meet's second best mark. She was the Conference USA Indoor champion in the 60 meter hurdles. Nathaniel Garcia turned in a season-best time and also the fastest time in the 400 meter hurdle prelims, circling the track in 51.89 seconds.
The final day of the competition takes place Saturday on the Louisville campus with the field events beginning at 9 a.m. and the running events beginning at 1 p.m.
TCU RESULTS (Friday):
3000 meter Steeplechase Finals: 8. Heather Isbell 11:22.05
Long Jump Finals: 2. JimAnne Baker 5.92m (19-05.25)
Javelin Finals: 9. Kandra Lakey 35.10m (115-02)
800 meter prelims: 19. Raita Yamanouchi 2:04.82
1500 meter prelims: 10. David Harris 4:01.18
400 meter Hurdles: 1. Nathaniel Garcia 51.89
100 meter Hurdles prelims: 2. MaKeatha Cooper 13.52 (Advanced to Finals)
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