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The Baker Orange

Cross country competes at pre-nationals

Story by Jim Joyner, Sports Editor

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The men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in an NAIA Preview meet Saturday at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence, the site of the NAIA men’s and women’s cross country national championship.

The men’s team finished 18th out of 31 teams with 503 points in the 8K race. The team’s average time was 28:03.

Junior Gunnar Hays had the best finish of the Wildcats with a time of 27:09. Hays’ time was 11 seconds slower than the last race, but his 62nd place finish was a team best for the second consecutive week.

Sophomore Corey Matteson and freshman Joe Linder were neck-and-neck until Matteson edged Linder by three seconds with his time of 27:35. Matteson ended up in 80th place and Linder at 95th.

Senior Vincent Tadokoro finished near the middle of the 300 runners with his 134th place finish and sophomore Carter Breithaupt finished with a time of 29:18 as the last Wildcat to finish inside the Top 200.

The men’s team finished 111 points behind fellow conference members, No. 13 Central Methodist University, and 10 points ahead of Benedictine College.

The Baker women finished 24th out of 32 in their 5K race. The team finished with an average time of 21:16.

Freshman Sarah Hollis and sophomore Rachel Ash led the way in the women’s race. This is the third consecutive race that Hollis and Ash have been the top two runners for the Baker women.

Hollis finished in 99th place with a time of 20:23 with Ash less than one second behind her in 103rd.

Freshman Brenda McCollum was the third Baker runner to finish and ended in 194th place. Freshman Autumn Sifuentes, who just missed out on the Top 200, was just one second behind McCollum with her time of 6:59, placing 203rd.

Sophomores Shelby Stephens and Amanda Moody along with freshman Caitlin Apollo rounded out the top seven runners for Baker. Stephens finished in 223rd, Moody in 246th and Apollo in 258th; all three finished with times under 23 minutes.

The women’s team finished 71 points behind 20th-place Central Methodist.

The next race for both teams will be on Oct. 25 in Winfield at the Mid-States Classic hosted by Southwestern College.

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