The Baker Orange

Men’s track wins fifth straight Heart indoor title

Story by Levi Blaylock, Writer

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The men’s indoor track and field team won its fifth straight Heart of America Athletic Conference indoor track & field championship Feb. 12-13 in Crete, Nebraska. This is the first championship under Baker alum and head track & field coach Ryan Pitts, who was named the 2016 Heart Coach of the Year for indoor men’s track & field.

This was the first time the Heart meet consisted of 13 total teams because four teams had been added since last year.

“It feels incredible to get another conference title even with the addition of more teams in the conference,” junior Andrew Dare said. “That just shows how dominant the program is.“

Baker scored 147 points and beat second place MidAmerica Nazarene by 44 points.

“Jamie Steury passed the MNU runner in the last lap of the mile leg in the DMR (Distance Medley Relay) after we had just clinched conference over MNU in the previous event,” Dare said. “He waved his arm to pump up the crowd as he blew past the poor kid.”

Several Wildcats saw themselves scoring points for the team. Senior Dayshawn Berndt ran a time of 22.72 in the 200-meter dash to earn himself a first-place finish.

Berndt also took home another first-place finish on the men’s 4x400m relay team. The team consisted of Berndt, junior Tyler Randall, senior David Gregory and junior Birdsong Warren. They finished with a time of 3:23.17

“My favorite part of this weekend was the atmosphere our team takes to the conference meet, especially during the four-by-four and distance medley,” junior Ben Carpenter said.

In the field events, Josh Peck was a key athlete with his first-place finish in the men’s shot put with his mark of 14.83-meters.

This marks the second senior class to go 4-0 in indoor conference championships.

“Winning the conference championship was another great memory added to my sports career here at Baker and contributed to the tradition we have here of winning in multiple sports,” senior Alex Baird said.

The women’s team finished in seventh place. One notable performances was by sophomore Brenda McCollum, who took home first place in the 3,000-meter race walk in a time of 15:42.79. Also, pole vaulter Kendall Holoman won the pole vault at 3.27 meters.