Scoring a program-record 129.5 points, Baylor’s women’s team claimed the school’s first Big 12 Conference Indoor Track and Field title. The championship event was held in late February at Iowa State’s Lied Recreation Center in Ames, Iowa.
Baylor was 29.5 points better than second-place Texas, ending the Longhorns’ three-year run as league champions. The women’s team’s previous best finish was second in 2014. With 28 all-conference performances from 19 athletes, Baylor won five individual events and placed second in four others.
“We worked very hard for this for a few years now,” head coach Todd Harbor said. “To get it done is pretty special. Across the board, every event coach had athletes that contributed in a big way.”
The Bears held the lead after the two-day championship’s first day, but Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Texas each held the team lead at various points on the second day. Baylor recaptured the lead with three events remaining thanks to sophomore Taylor Bennett’s second-place finish in the 200 meters, coupled with sophomore Kiana Horton’s fourth-place finish in the event. The Bears never relinquished the lead.
Bennett, Horton and juniors Kiana Hawn and Leticia De Souza capped the day, winning the 4x400-meter relay in three minutes, 32.13 seconds—more than a full second ahead of second-place Texas and 0.77 seconds off the Big 12 Championship record.
The Bears won three individual titles on the second day of competition. Hawn captured the 600-yard run with a personal-best time of 1:19.22, the third-best time in program history. Maggie Montoya’s time of 9:14.68 claimed the 3,000 meters. Cion Hicks registered Baylor’s first-ever individual title in the shot put with a mark of 54 feet, 9.25 inches (16.69 meters).
Senior Annie Rhodes won Baylor’s first individual event of the weekend, clearing 14-4.5 (4.38 meters) in the pole vault on day one.
Meanwhile, the Baylor men claimed Big 12 titles in two individual events with 13 athletes earning 18 all-conference honors.
Senior George Caddick won the 400 meters with a personal-best time of 46.17 seconds. He also won the 400 meters at the 2015 outdoor championships. It was Baylor’s 10th 400-meter title in the 21-year history of the Big 12 Indoors.
Freshman Max Willis claimed the 200 meters with a personal-best time of 20.76 seconds, becoming Baylor’s eighth Big 12 champion in the event. He also was second in the 60-meter dash (6.67 seconds), finishing eight hundredths of a second behind three-time Big 12 champion Senoj-Jay Givans of Texas. Willis contributed 20 points to Baylor’s team total (68.0), making him the second-best scorer among men’s athletes.
Baylor’s men’s basketball team started the 2016-17 season with 15 consecutive wins and thus climbed to No. 1 in both major rankings (The Associated Press, USA Today Coaches Poll) for the first time in program history.
The 15-game winning streak was the second-best season start in program history behind only the 2011-12 squad that started 17-0. It also tied for the second-longest winning streak in program history at any point in a season.
Baylor’s strong start included wins against five nationally ranked opponents, including rallying from a 20-point deficit to defeat Louisville in the championship game of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas.
The Bears finished in a three-way tie for second place in the Big 12 this season along with Iowa State and West Virginia. Baylor was the third seed in the Big 12 Championship and in position for a favorable seeding in the NCAA Tournament. Guard Manu Lecomte was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, while forward Johnathan Motley was a unanimous first-team All-Big 12 selection.
In 17 seasons as Baylor softball head coach, Glenn Moore has led the Lady Bears to numerous firsts, including three Women’s College World Series (WCWS) berths, en route to becoming the program’s winningest coach.
Baylor’s Feb. 22 victory over McNeese State was Moore’s 800th career win. Moore, who previously coached at William Carey University and Louisiana State, notched more than 650 of those wins at Baylor.
“I never got a hit or threw a pitch in any of those 800, so I have to thank my players and my other coaches for that,” Moore said. “I’m very proud and blessed to have the opportunity to coach at the places I’ve coached. I’m certainly very happy to be at Baylor and to have gotten most of those wins here.”
Moore is a graduate of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. He was named Baylor’s head coach in June 2000. Since then, the program has earned 16 CoSIDA Academic All-America honors, 73 all-conference honors and 54 all-region honors. Baylor reached the WCWS in 2007, 2011 and 2014.
Former Baylor tennis star John Peers has built a name for himself as a standout doubles player with a growing reputation on the international stage. After turning pro in 2012, he won 11 doubles titles in five years and represented his native Australia in the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
The early weeks of 2017, however, saw him take his game to new heights. In January, Peers broke through to win his first Grand Slam title and earned a career-best ranking as the No. 6 doubles player in the world.
Peers’ Grand Slam title came at the Australian Open, where he partnered with Finland’s Henri Kontinen to claim the doubles title. The duo defeated American brothers Bob and Mike Bryan in straight sets for the victory. Previously, Peers was runner-up in doubles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, both in 2015.
Less than a week after his Australian Open victory, Peers partnered with fellow Australian Sam Groth in a Davis Cup victory over the Czech Republic. Considered the “World Cup of Tennis,” the Davis Cup attracts entries from dozens of countries and plays out over a span of nearly nine months. Peers’ victory earned Australia a berth in the event’s April quarterfinals.