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Baylor's London places 8th in NCAA 400 final
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Baylor's London places 8th in NCAA 400 final

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EUGENE, Ore. – It wasn’t the last lap that Wil London wanted for his sophomore season at Baylor.

But he’s still an All-American.

Running out of lane 1 – never a favorite for most sprinters – London finished eighth in the 400-meter final at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Friday. The former Waco High standout broke out to a relatively strong start but couldn’t maintain that pace, coming in at 45.72 seconds.

Texas A&M’s stud senior Fred Kerley – who became the first college quarter-miler ever to go under 44 seconds two weeks ago – won the NCAA title at 44.10. Kerley breezed ahead of the pack on the curve, and widened his lead down the home stretch.

Still, it was a career-best NCAA finish for London, who missed out on the finals last year.

“Lane one, I tried to get out a little bit faster than I normally do, just to be in the race from the beginning,” London said. “So I wouldn’t have to kick it too bad. Unfortunately, it was a little windy over there on the 200. I (misinterpreted) the weather tonight, but I’m healthy and I live to run another day.”

The weather in Eugene was cool and occasionally rainy, and London ran through a standing puddle at one point. But he didn’t use it as an excuse.

“I couldn’t let that get to me. It was fine,” he said.

London’s eighth-place showing gave the Baylor men their only point of the meet.

Also on Friday, BU senior Felix Obi wrapped up his career by finishing 14th in the triple jump, leaping 51-4½. A former NCAA champion indoors, Obi was in All-America position after two jumps, but couldn’t pop the big mark he was seeking.

Baylor’s Jenna Pfeiffer stands in 18th place after three events of the heptathlon, with 2,292 points. Pfeiffer’s best effort was a ninth-place finish in the high jump, as she cleared 5-5¼.

She’ll finish up on Saturday with the final four events, including the javelin, which has become her best event.

Also on Saturday, Baylor will send two athletes to the pit in the women’s triple jump – seniors Rachel Toliver and Brianna Richardson.

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For Trestan Ebner and the Baylor seniors, beating Texas Tech meant everything as they finished the season 7-0 at McLane Stadium. “Wins are hard to come by, so I’m just thankful for this no matter what the score is,” Ebner said. “If we didn’t win this, it would have hurt. Hurt a lot.”

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