EUGENE, Ore. — Ackera Nugent is moving.
Specifically, on to the finals. Three times over.
The Baylor freshman advanced through to the finals in both of her individual events on Thursday at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Oregon’s historic Hayward field. Nugent will compete for individual gold medals on Saturday in the 100-meter dash and 100 hurdles, and could also hold down a leg of the 4x100 relay team.
Nugent, a freshman from Jamaica, won her heat of the 100 hurdles in a time of 12.84 seconds, the fourth-best of Thursday’s semis. She is looking to add her second NCAA hurdles title of 2021 after winning the 60-meter crown during the indoor season.
In the 100, which started only 14 minutes after the hurdles event ended, Nugent pocketed the final qualifying spot in a time of 11.39 seconds. That clocking actually tied LSU’s Symone Mason, but when officials broke down the race further Nugent advanced, 11.384 to Mason’s 11.387.
In the sprint relay, Baylor picked up the last qualifying spot for the finals at 43.81 seconds, a season-best time. Nugent comprised one of the legs, along with Mariah Ayers, Arria Minor and Sydney Washington.
While one Baylor national champion’s season will continue, Aaliyah Miller’s quest for another 800-meter title ended. Miller, the Baylor school record-holder and the NCAA champion during the indoor season, finished 11th in the semifinals with a time of 2:04.26, well behind her season best of 2:00.87 run at the Michael Johnson Invitational in April. She uncharacteristically hung back at the start of the race, and was never able to make up the ground she needed, but still figures to be a candidate for Team USA at the Olympic Trials.
Baylor’s Tuesdi Tidwell finished in a tie for third in the pole vault, giving the Bears their first points of the meet. She cleared 14-3.25, tying Arkansas’s Lauren Martinez and East Carolina’s Sommer Knight. LSU’s Lisa Gunnarsson topped 14-5.25 for the national title.
BU’s Alex Madlock finished 20th in the final of the long jump, going 19-9. She’ll compete in the triple jump final on Saturday.
On Friday, the Baylor men’s 4x400 relay team will compete in the final of that race.