Track and field athletes hit standards, break records

Story by Sara

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As another indoor season begins for the Baker University track and field teams, some athletes have already broken records and punched their tickets to the NAIA Indoor National Championship.

During the Wildcats’ first meet of the season Dec. 8, five athletes earned bids to nationals, but two more athletes joined that list Saturday during the Bill Easton Classic in Lawrence.

Senior Jeremy Gathright claimed his spot in the national meet with a 14.67-meter mark in the triple jump. The jump earned him a third-place finish and solidified his third-consecutive trip to the indoor championship.

Freshman Khadijah Lane also qualified for nationals in the 600-yard run. With a time of 1:28.75, she earned a third-place finish and broke the Baker women’s record.

Senior Kellen Kristoffersen stole the school record in the same event with a time of 1:15.57. The mark earned him a sixth-place finish after only finishing behind runners from Kansas University.

Coming off a top 10 finish at the cross country national championships, the men’s distance runners carried their momentum over to the indoor running season. Freshman Jeremy Bryan took home first in the mile run with teammates Taylor Nall and Eric Larson following close behind in second and fourth, respectively.

Sophomore Tyler Sloan built on her previous national-qualifying time with a fourth-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles. She ran a time of 8.97 seconds, which earned her a spot in the top four in the NAIA.

Seven other Wildcats also finished in the top five during their events in the Bill Easton Classic, including a second-place finish from junior Jenna Stanbrough in the 1,000-meter run.

Members of the team who did not participate in the Bill Easton Classic Saturday will compete at Johnson County Community College Friday, while the rest of the Wildcats will be off until Jan. 18 when they head to the ISU Open in Ames, Iowa.