Track and field teams win top spots in Dan Gourley Open

Story by Sara

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The Baker University men’s and women’s track and field teams swept the top spots of the Dan Gourley Open Saturday in Liberty, Mo.

The men’s team edged out runner-up Grand View University by nine points, while the women’s team bested No. 2 Grand View by 20.5 points.

The Wildcats won eight event championships during the meet and claimed all four Heart of America Athletic Conference Athlete of the Week honors for their performances.

Freshman DayShawn Berndt won the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.18 and finished second in the 400-meter dash behind senior Jeremy Gathright. The pair were also members of the winning 4×100-meter relay team, which hit the NAIA B standard with a time of 41.97. Berndt earned his first Track Athlete of the Week honor for his performances.

Fellow freshman Avery Parker joined Berndt as the featured Field Athlete of the Week. Parker finished first in the triple jump with a mark of 14.30 meters, which surpassed the national B standard.

The Wildcats also claimed four of the top six spots in the men’s 1,500-meter run. Freshman Jeremy Bryan won the event with a time of 4:00.47, senior Taylor Nall finished second and seniors Aaron Caldwell and Eric Larson earned fourth and sixth-place finishes, respectively.

Freshman Khadijah Lane finished second in both the 200 and 400-meter dashes. Both events featured 21 athletes, but Lane’s times of 26.15 in the 200-meter dash and 57.65 in the 400-meter dash earned the Wildcats’ their third Athlete of the Week title.

After already surpassing the NAIA A standard in the 100-meter hurdles during previous meets, sophomore Tyler Sloan also qualified for the NAIA Outdoor National Championships in the 400-meter hurdles Saturday. Her time of 1:02.51 beat the second best time of the meet by four seconds.

Junior Stephanie Nelson rounded out the Wildcats’ event champions by having the best marks in the discus and javelin throws.

Sophomore Kayla Hannam grabbed the final HAAC Athlete of the Week honor with a sixth-place finish in the heptathlon during the ESU Open Multis Thursday-Friday in Emporia. With 3,957 points, Hannam was one of two NAIA athletes who qualified for the national championships, and she has the seventh best score in the NAIA.

The Wildcats will send athletes to two different meets this weekend with the Kansas Relays in Lawrence and the Tabor College Invitational Friday in Hillsboro.