The Baker Orange

Track hosts first Zach Kindler Wildcat Open

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The track and field team hosted the Zach Kindler Wildcat Open Saturday at Liston Stadium. This event will become an annual meet, named in honor of late track head coach Zach Kindler, who died last summer.

“It means so much to be able to perform well at a meet that is now in memory of Coach Kindler,” senior jumper Paige Rockers said. “I know he’s on everyone’s mind every time we all compete, but having his family there made it really special.”

Both of Baker’s 4×400 teams won first place in their events. On the men’s side, the team of sophomores Tyler Randall and Birdsong Warren and juniors Dayshawn Berndt and Avery Parker finished at 3:16, a nationals-qualifying time. On the women’s side, the team of seniors Ty Sloan and Diamond Griffith, sophomore Alex Garbarino-Herman and freshman Morgan Lober finished at 4:03, defeating Johnson County Community College by six seconds.

Warren finished in second place in the men’s high jump at 1.82 meters and second place in the triple jump with a mark of 13.87 meters. Parker and freshman Anthony Kubas finished fourth and fifth. Sophomore Tyson Robke grabbed second place in the men’s long jump at 6.73 meters, just .07 meters behind first place.

Sophomore Jamie Steury was the runner-up in the men’s 3,000-meter run with his time of 9:09. Baker also grabbed sixth, seventh, and eighth in the event with junior Gunnar Hays and sophomores Corey Matteson and Andrew Dare, respectively. Freshman Brenda McCollum took first place in the women’s 5,000-meter race walk with a time of 26:32.

Junior sprinter Billi Pipes won the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.44 seconds, .01 faster than William Jewell’s Gretchen Mayes. Griffith and sophomore Shanetra Minor ran in the 100-meter dash and finished fifth and sixth, both under 13 seconds.

Pipes also took first place in the women’s 200-meter dash at 25.94 seconds, giving her two first-place victories on the day. Minor finished sixth and junior Ladachia Cain finished eighth.

Sophomore sprinter Alex Garbarino-Herman won first place in the women’s 400-meter hurdles at 1:05.32 and was Baker’s lone representative in the event.

Rockers took first place in the women’s triple jump with a length of 11.35-meters. Rockers felt especially good about her performance in the triple jump because of the work she put in.

“It’s always a rewarding feeling when your hard work pays off at a meet and you get the results that you’re hoping for, especially at home,” Rockers said.

Junior Kayla Hannam qualified for the 2015 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships in the women’s high jump with a height of 1.67-meters as she also won first place in that event.

The Baker team competes at the conference meet this weekend in Fayette, Missouri. After that the team will travel to Emporia for the Emporia State University Last Chance Meet on May 9 as a last chance for athletes to qualify for nationals. The 2015 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships will begin on May 210 in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

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