Underclassmen lead track and field teams in Jayhawk Classic

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Even during her first year on the Baker University track and field team, Tyler Sloan was a force to be reckoned with.

Now into her second season, the sophomore sprinter and hurdler continues to be a staple for the Wildcats.

During the preliminary race of the 60-meter hurdles in the Jayhawk Classic Friday, Sloan not only won the race but beat her previous school record with a time of 8.76 seconds. During the finals, she was edged out by Emporia State University’s Nikki Wetstein by .01 second, but Sloan’s preliminary time boosted her into a tie for the second fastest time in the NAIA.

“It was really exciting because I was expecting to do well, but not that well,” Sloan said. “It was really good to see how my hard work everyday in practice is coming together.”

Sloan also finished fifth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.68 seconds, which surpasses the national B standard.

Fellow sophomore Vincent Tadokoro also had a second-place finish in the early session of the 1,000-meter run. He posted a time of 2:35.90, which bumped him into third place in the Heart of America Athletic Conference. Teammates Taylor Nall and Jeremy Bryan have control of the top two spots.

Tadokoro said that although he was pleased with the overall result, he knows there is still room for improvement.

“I was pretty excited that I ran a new (personal record,) but a little disappointed because I thought I could have gotten first if I had pushed a little harder in the middle stages of the race,” Tadokoro said. “But overall I was pretty happy.”

Bryan also competed in the 1,000-meter run in the later session and came away with a fourth-place finish and a qualifying time of 2:33.73. This is the third event Bryan has qualified in, and he is one of several freshmen who are stepping up early in their careers for Baker.

“(The freshmen) have made a big impact because they basically push everyone to get better,” Tadokoro said. “It’s good to know that we have some young people in the program who are going to be here to push everyone for the next couple of years.”

In addition to the underclassmen, junior Ariella Harrison and seniors Aaron Caldwell and Jeremy Gathright also had top-10 finishes for the Wildcats.

Harrison finished fourth in the 600-yard run with a time of 1:35.75, and Caldwell placed sixth in the mile run with a time of 4:25.14. Gathright earned sixth and eighth-place finishes in the 400-meter dash and triple jump, respectively.

The Wildcats will be back in action this weekend in the Mule Relays in Warrensburg, Mo. The women will compete Friday with the men following on Saturday.