EUGENE, Ore. — For Ackera Nugent, it wasn’t gold, but bronze still shines.
The Baylor freshman captured a third-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles on Saturday, wrapping up Baylor’s athletic year at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Nugent won the NCAA title in the 60-meter hurdles during the indoor season, showing that she’ll be a force to reckon with over the next few seasons. She was looking to add at least one more gold during the outdoor campaign. However, her time of 12.84 seconds wasn’t quite quick enough to win, as she took third behind USC senior Anna Cockrell (12.58) and UCF freshman Rayniah Jones (12.82).
Still, it’s another All-America finish for the BU freshman from Kingston, Jamaica. She was a national qualifier in three events, including the sprint relay, and actually turned right around immediately after the hurdles race to compete in the 100-meter dash as well. She finished ninth in that race in a time of 11.37, but was the only athlete to compete in both races. North Carolina A&T’s Cambrea Sturgis won the 100-meter title in a time of 10.74.
USC won the women’s team title with a score of 74 points, while Texas A&M was second at 63. LSU was the men’s NCAA team champ with a dominant performance of 84 points, well ahead of second-place and host Oregon (53). The Baylor women finished 24th with 12.5 points, while the Baylor men did not score in the meet.
Speaking of the Aggies, Texas A&M freshman Athing Mu put on another show in winning the 400-meter national title. Mu effortlessly breezed around the oval in a time of 49.57, lowering her own collegiate record. Earlier this year she also set an NCAA record in the 800 at the Michael Johnson Invitational in Waco, running 1:57.73. (She did not run the 800 at this NCAA meet.)
Baylor’s Alex Madlock closed her season by finishing 14th in the triple jump. Also, the Baylor women’s sprint relay team took eighth in their race in a time of 45.15 seconds. Impressive USC again showed out, winning in a 42.82 clocking.
In the final of the 4x400 relay late Friday night, the Baylor men’s 4x400 team finished ninth in the nine-team final with a time of 3:05.14, which head coach Todd Harbour called “a disappointing finish in a very challenging season.”
Now, several current and former Baylor athletes — including the likes of Aaliyah Miller, Howard Fields III, Trayvon Bromell and KC Lightfoot — will turn their attention to the U.S. Olympic Trials, which will be June 18-27, also in Eugene.