Lindsey Bradley’s transfer from the University of Washington to Baylor has worked out quite well for the former Richland High School running standout.
Bradley, a sophomore, will lead the Bears into the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships on Saturday in Terre Haute, Ind.
Last year at UW, Bradley ran in the top seven three times. But struggling through stress fractures in both legs, she placed 57th overall and ninth among the Huskies at the Pac-12 Championships.
Bradley also started to realize that UW wasn’t the right fit for her personally and “I needed to come to Baylor,” she told Jerry Hill of the Baylor Bear Foundation.
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Baylor coach Todd Harbour jumped at the chance to get Bradley, who as a senior at Richland won Class 4A state titles in cross country and in the 3,200 meters during track season. She also was 12th at the 2014 Nike Cross Nationals.
“I knew she was a special talent. She had a great high school career,” Harbour told Hill. “I had an idea, but you never know for sure until you get them here. ... I was really more excited about her, because getting to know her and her family during the recruiting process, I knew what kind of young lady she was. After what she went through up there, I wanted to make this right for her down here.”
Bradley immediately contributed upon entering Baylor’s lineup, placing 11th in the Notre Dame Joe Piane Invitational and 15th in the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational. She was Baylor’s top runner and fifth overall in the Big 12 Championships on Oct. 29 in Lubbock, Texas.
Bradley finished third in the NCAA South Central Regional on Nov. 11 in Fayetteville, Ark., where she covered the 6,000-meter course in 20 minutes, 24.6 seconds. Bradley’s teammate Maggie Montoya was second in 20:21.7, with Arkansas’ Devin Clark winning in 20:17.4. Meanwhile, the Bears took second to Arkansas in the team standings for an automatic NCAA berth.
Several other teams with Mid-Columbia runners will appear in the NCAA D-I championships, including the Washington State men (junior Michael Williams, Richland) and Oklahoma State men (senior Anthoney Armstrong, Kamiakin).
Saturday also will feature the NCAA D-II championships in Saint Leo, Fla.; the NCAA D-III meet in Louisville, Ky.; and the NAIA championships in Elsah, Ill.