Reynolds Continues Strong Tradition at ORU
TULSA, Okla. – Entering the weekend 23rd in the west region, sophomore Madison Reynolds ran a personal best at the NCAA West Preliminary Meet and emerged as one of the top 12 to advance to the NCAA National Championship in Eugene, Ore., which begin Wednesday, June 11. In doing so, Reynolds made it 17 years in a row in which Oral Roberts University has had at least one student-athlete qualify for the NCAA Championships, and continues the proud tradition of 400m runners at ORU.
Including a men’s NCAA National Champion and Olympic silver medalist in Andretti Bain, an Olympic bronze medalist in Garth Robinson, an NCAA All-American in Marsha Dawkins, who still holds the ORU women’s indoor and outdoor 400m dash records, and an elite 400m hurdler in All-American Jeffery Gibson, who currently holds the sixth fastest time in the world in the event, ORU is no stranger to success when it comes to the quarter mile.
“It is crazy to hear my name lumped in with names like that,” said Reynolds. “I remember watching them compete when I was growing up. I try to take it in stride, but it definitely leaves me a little shell shocked.”
En route to a sixth place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships with a school record time of 51.43, Dawkins set a conference championship record (53.87) at the 2003 Mid-Continent championships, a mark that Reynolds will have one eye on as ORU returns to the Summit League next season. Only a sophomore, Reynolds has already gotten below the 53.87 mark five times during the outdoor season.
“I’ve known about the record since I came to ORU and have always kind of kept an eye on it,” said Reynolds. “It is definitely a goal of mine.”
Most recently, Reynolds hit a personal best of 53.02 in Fayetteville to punch her ticket to Eugene. It was the fourth fastest time in Southland Conference history.
“What Madison has already done is remarkable,” said Coach Joe Dial. “She’s only a sophomore and I really believe that she has the talent and ability to threaten Marsha’s record very soon.”
Before she worries about conference championships again, Reynolds will face another tough field with the best in the nation from schools such as Texas, Florida, Baylor and Tennessee.
Reynolds will compete in the semifinals of the women’s 400m dash on Wednesday, June 11 at 7:15 p.m. (Central Time). The top eight will move on to the finals on Friday, June 13 at 8 p.m.