Cross country teams compete at Mid-States Classic

Story by Sara

Prior to the NAIA Mid-States Classic Saturday in Winfield, the Baker University cross country teams were excited about the opportunity to see tough competition during the meet, including conference rival Central Methodist University.

The Wildcats were able to see those teams first hand as the men’s team placed seventh in the 8,000-meter run behind teams ranked in the NAIA coaches’ poll as well as the defending national champion, Oklahoma Christian University.

Senior Aaron Caldwell led the Wildcats with an 12th-place finish and a time of 25:24. Freshman Jeremy Bryan posted a time of 25:33 and finished four places behind Caldwell. Seniors Eric Larson and Taylor Nall rounded out the top 40 for the Baker with 34th and 38th-place finishes respectively.

Central Methodist, the Heart of America Athletic Conference runner-up in 2011, finished two places and 118 points behind the Wildcats.

The women’s team was also able to catch a glimpse of the defending conference champion, Central Methodist. However, the Eagles finished two places ahead of Baker.

The Wildcats had four runners finish in the top 40 to help secure a fifth-place team finish.

Junior Lauren Jaqua led the way for Baker with a fifth-place finish and a time of 18:36 in the 5,000-meter race.

Junior Megan Rosa, sophomore Kerry Kurta and junior Ashley McBride ran side-by-side finishing 36th, 37th and 38th, respectively.

The Wildcats will be off Saturday before competing in the HAAC Championships Nov. 3 in Lamoni, Iowa. The conference winner will advance on to the NAIA National Championhips Nov. 17 in Vancouver, Wash.