May 2, 2013
Schedule | Heat Sheets | Live Results
Championship Centrals: Big 12 | Baylor
FORT WORTH - The TCU track and field teams begin is postseason with the Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships Friday through Sunday at the Hart-Patterson Track and Field Complex in Waco.
Competition on Friday begins with the hammer throw at 2 p.m. with the 10,000-meter run at 8:15 p.m. Saturday action begins at 3 p.m. with the women's long jump finals in the field, and the prelims for the 1,500-meter run on the track. Sunday field events begin at 11 a.m. with the women's triple jump and action on the track at 4 p.m. with the 4x100-meter relays.
"We need to be better than we were at the Big 12 Indoor Championships," TCU head coach Darryl Anderson said. "That bad taste is still in my mouth. We have to go into the meet and compete to our ability level. I think we will."
What has changed for the Horned Frogs in the 10 weeks since the Big 12 Indoor Championships? The first has been the progress of its freshmen. The freshman men's sprinting trio of Ronnie Baker, Raymond Bozmans and Harvey McSwain have all contributed in individual events and will have a chance to score in the 100 (Bozmans), 200 (Baker and McSwain) and 400 (Baker). The trio is slated to join Charles Silmon in the 4x100-meter relay, which the Horned Frogs are the favorites in, and all three will be in contention to compete in the 4x400-meter relay.
"I think we have seen signs of growth in our freshmen during the outdoor season," Anderson noted. "Ronnie Baker has had a really good freshman year, Havey McSwain has been functional and Raymond Bozmans is starting to come along nicely. The future is bright for those guys."
On the women's side, Ashley Eckhoff has become a strong component to the TCU distance program with her progress in the 5,000-meter run.
The second factor that will benefit the Horned Frogs are the addition of outdoor-only events that TCU could not call upon to earn points indoors. On The men's side, Lavon Collins will be looking for a high finish in the mens' 400-meter hurdles along with possibly playing a role on the 4x400-meter relay team. Adam Damadzic will be looking to place among the top five in the discus.
On the women's side, Megan Smith will look to contribute in the discus to build on her success she has seen in the shot put both indoors and outdoors. Makena Schroder has had a strong outdoor season in the javelin throw and will look to be among the top-five this week.
"Our young competitors have to rise to the occasion," Anderson stated. "It is an exciting challenge we have in front of us. I am optimistic about our possibilities at this meet."
While there is the addition of events to benefit some teams, the TCU men's team will also benefit from having Cameron Parker on board as one of the top contenders in the men's triple jump. Parker, a senior who had exhauster his indoor eligibility, will go into the Big 12 Outdoor Championships with the league's top mark in the event this season with his 52-10 at the Texas Relays. However, the men's triple jump will also be one of the toughest competition with Baylor's Felix Obi having a best mark of 52-9 3/4 in the outdoor season and NCAA Indoor triple jump champion Bryce Lamb of Texas Tech lurking as the third seed.
As always, the Horned Frogs will be able to rely on their usual top performers to make an impact. For the TCU men the top performer starts with six-time All-American Charles Silmon. The Big 12 Champion in the 60-meter dash comes into the conference championships with the top seed in the 100-meter dash, the second best time in the 200-meter dash at 20.76 and only 0.04 seconds off top seed Carlos Rodriguez of Kansas State and as part of the top-seeded 4x100-meter relay.
"We have some opportunities to earn conference titles with Charles in his first and last Big 12 Outdoor Championships," Anderson said. "It is unfortunate this is the only year he will compete at this meet. We are hoping he can take care of business."
On the women's side, the Horned Frogs will have veterans of many past conference championships to guide the TCU women. Those include NCAA Indoor All-American Lorraine Ugen, Big 12 Indoor champion Chaniqua Corinealdi, Agnes Kemboi, Larissa Matthews and Tricia Terry. While a scan of the conference rankings will give a picture of what could happen in Waco, the races are not run on paper. Corinealdi won the Big 12 indoor championship in the 60-meter dash in spite of not being seeded in the top-8 going into the meet. Terry was not seeded in the top-10 of either of her events at the indoor championships before going on to finish third in the mile and fifth in the 3,000-meter run.
"We just have to keep the faith and continue to get better," Anderson noted. "We are down on numbers on the women's side, but we have recruited really well. However, that is not going to do us any good until next year. The people we have up top have to perform at this meet, there is no way around it."
This weekend is also the next step in a long journey that many Horned Frogs hope will lead to Eugene, Ore. and the NCAA Outdoor Championships in June.
"The people who have the aspirations to compete in the national meet, their season begins now," Anderson concluded. "They need to use this meet to prepare for the West Preliminaries and then we need to use the West Preliminaries to prepare ourselves for the opportunity to compete at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore."