Baylor University Press Release
By: Kellen Coleman
EUGENE, Ore. – Ackera Nugent placed third in the 100-meter hurdles, and the 4×100-meter relay team took eighth to give Baylor track & field five All-Americans on the final day of the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Championships Saturday at Hayward Field.
“I was extremely proud of the ladies and how hard they competed today,” head coach Todd Harbour said. “Obviously, we wanted to finish a little higher, but I’m still extremely proud of the season they’ve had. I know they will be back next year, and I expect them to do great things.”
Nugent earned her second-career All-America award with a strong performance in the 100-meter hurdles, clocking a time of 12.84 to place third and earn a spot on the podium. The freshman from Kingston, Jamaica, ran the 100 meters immediately afterwards and placed ninth with a time of 11.37.
“Ackera battled her heart out in the hurdles,” Harbour said. “Coming back in the 100, you don’t see too many people do that. For a young freshman to be able to do that was pretty outstanding. I’m proud of her. I know she wanted to win it, but she has a lot more in front of her.”
The 4×100-meter relay squad of Kavia Francis, Arria Minor, Sydney Washington and Mariah Ayers got things started with an eighth-place finish to give the Bears another point and give the group All-America honors.
“Three out of the four on the 4×1 were freshmen,” Harbour said. “That entire group comes back on the ladies’ side.”
In the triple jump, Alex Madlock finished her season with a 14th-place finish, recording a mark of 43-5 (13.23m).
“It was a great season for Alex,” Harbour said. “She fought all the way to the end. To get here after where she was earlier in the season, she’s a warrior and she’ll be back next year.”
The Baylor women’s team scored 12.5 points to finish in 24th place, the Bears’ first top-25 finish outdoors since 2014 after finishing ninth this indoor season.
“We’re pleased, but we wanted to be higher,” Harbour said. “After having a little more success indoor, we’re never going to be satisfied. This is a big-time, challenging meet. You have to be on. I’m proud of them. It was a challenging season for them, and they fought all the way to the end.
“I think a lot of these guys, watch what they are going to do next year,” Harbour said. “Now that they’ve experienced it after not being here for two years, experiencing that big-time stage and getting that out of the way, it’s going to be huge for this group of young ladies coming back up here next year.”
With the collegiate season concluding, the Bears now shift their focus to the U.S. Olympic Trials June 18-27 at Hayward Field.
For continued updates on the Baylor track & field team, follow the team’s social media accounts all season long: @BaylorTrack.