Wildcats hit standards in KU Relays, Tabor Invite

Story by Sara

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With the end of their outdoor season quickly approaching, members of the Baker University track and field teams saw some of their toughest competition yet during the Kansas Relays Thursday-Saturday in Lawrence.

Senior Jeremy Gathright is no stranger to placing well in several events, and the jumper and sprinter did it again by winning his preliminary race in the 400-meter dash on Friday and then finishing third in the finals Saturday. Gathright’s time of 47.91 seconds in the final heat surpassed the national A standard, and his previous mark of 47.80 is the sixth best time in the NAIA this season.

Freshman Jeremy Bryan won the unseeded 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:01. Bryan sits atop the Heart of America Conference leaderboard in this event with seniors Taylor Nall and Aaron Caldwell filling the remaining spots in the top three. Nall claimed his own top spot in the HAAC on Thursday as well with a time of 9:45 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Bryan, Nall, Caldwell and senior Eric Larson were also members of the 4×800-yard relay team, which set a school record with a time of 7:53 and finished fifth.

After making her first appearance on the national stage during the indoor season, freshman Khadijah Lane has the opportunity to make her inaugural trip to the NAIA Outdoor National Championships after hitting B standard in two events this weekend. She ranks 12th in the NAIA in the 400-meter dash after posting a time of 57.01 seconds during the preliminary race Friday. Lane was also a member of the 4×100-meter relay team, which finished ninth and hit B-standard with a time of 48.17 seconds.

Junior Megan Rosa set a school record in the 10,000-meter run and qualified for nationals with a time of 37:24. She also has the seasonal best time in the HAAC by more than two minutes in this event.

Defending national champion, Stephanie Nelson also broke the Baker record in the javelin. Nelson’s winning throw last season was 45.57 meters but she surpassed that with a 47.31-meter throw Friday. She was awarded the HAAC Field Athlete of the Week honor for her performance.

Junior Cody Viergever also claimed the conference Field Athlete of the Week honor after finishing third in the javelin during the Tabor College Invitational Friday. Viergever had a throw of 55.24 meters, which is just shy of the national B standard.

The Wildcats also had three athletes win individual championships during the Tabor Invite.

Sophomore Kerry Kurta finished first in the steeplechase with a time of 12:14. Freshman Jordan Miller had the winning throw in the javelin with a mark of 38.56 meters. Senior Travis Miler rounded out the event champions with a first-place finish in the long jump.

The KU Relays and Tabor Invite served as the final traveling opportunity for the Wildcats as they host the remaining two meets on their schedule.

Baker will participate in the Wildcat Relays at 11 a.m. Saturday at Liston Stadium. The Wildcats will turn around the following weekend and host the HAAC Outdoor Championships May 3-4.