Five Wildcats earn All-America honors

Story by Sara

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After sending his largest class of athletes to the NAIA Indoor National Championships, head coach Zach Kindler and the Wildcats returned from Geneva, Ohio, with five All-Americans and eight new school records.

Fifteen athletes and two relay teams competed in the national championships Thursday-Saturday, and with their performances the women’s team grabbed a 24th-place finish while the men’s team took 39th.

Sophomore Tyler Sloan, freshman Khadijah Lane, senior Jeremy Gathright and juniors Katie Thurbon and Lauren Jaqua earned All-America honors for the Wildcats by placing within the top eight of their respective events.

Sloan became a two-time All-American after finishing fourth in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.80 seconds.

Lane placed fifth in the 400-meter dash after crossing the line with a time of 56.30 seconds, which was an improvement on her previous school record.

After capturing his fourth consecutive triple jump title in the Heart of America Athletic Conference Indoor Championships Feb. 16, Gathright took fifth in the national event with a mark of 14.54 meters.

Thurbon grabbed her third All-America honor in the pole vault with a mark of 3.50 meters. The mark was good for a seventh-place finish.

Jaqua’s time of 10:23.73 in the 3,000-meter run earned her an eighth-place finish and to become the fifth All-American for the Wildcats.

In addition to these top eight performances, Baker athletes also continued to challenge school records.

In her third time competing in the women’s 3,000-meter race walk, senior Lauren Breithaupt fell just one spot short of All-America status. However, her time of 16:15.47 set a new school record.

The women’s 4×400-meter relay team of Sloan, Lane and juniors Jaime Patnode and Jenna Stanbrough also broke the Baker record with a time of 3:56.57.

The Wildcats’ men’s distance medley relay team of freshman Jeremy Bryan and seniors Taylor Nall, Kellen Kristoffersen and Eric Larson also broke their own record.

Bryan and Nall set additional records with their times in the 1,600-meter run and the 1,000-meter run, respectively.

Senior Aaron Caldwell also added his name to the list with a record-setting time in the 3,000-meter run.

The national championships served as the final indoor meet of the year for the Wildcats, but Baker will now switch gears and focus on the outdoor season. The team’s first meet is the Emporia Open on March 14.