A day after former Texas dual-sport star Marquise Goodwin won the silver medal in the long jump at the Pan American Games in Toronto, UT’s Kendall Baisden, who will be a junior in the fall, raised the bar, winning a gold medal in the 400 meters.
Baisden cruised across the finish line in 51.27 seconds to edge fellow American Shakima Wimbley, who finished as the runner-up after clocking a 51.36. Baisden also had run the fastest time in the semifinals by nearly half a second. (Continued below...)
(...continued from above) The victory was not Baisden’s in international competition. In 2014, she won a pair of gold medals for Team USA at the IAAF World Junior Championships, in the 400 meters and as a part of the 4x400-meter relay team.
Texas head coach Mario Sategna said that because of Baisden’s raw talent and the amount of effort she puts in to training, her future is extremely bright.
“After winning last year’s world junior championship and this year’s Pan Am gold, Kendall is getting tremendous experience heading into the Olympic year,” Sategna said. “Great things are on the horizon, and all of this is well-deserved, based on her tremendous work ethic.”
During the 2015 season, Baisden helped the Longhorns win the Big 12 Conference indoor and outdoor titles, winning the 400 indoors and running on championship 4x400 relay teams. She was runner-up at the NCAA (outdoor) Championships and placed seventh at the USA Track and Field (USATF) Championships, where raced against professional runners who will represent the United States at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships this summer in Beijing.
The final athletes with UT ties to compete in the Pan Am Games will be former Texas distance specialist Kyle Merber, who will run Friday in the final of the men’s 1,500 meters, and senior-to-be Morolake Akinosun, who is in the Team USA pool of runners eligible to run Friday in the 4x100 relay.