Men’s golf, women’s track snag successful seasons

Story by Kyle Davis

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The Baker men’s golf team has exemplified the term student athletes while also finding success on the course.

The women’s track team battled heavyweights Lindenwood and MidAmerica Nazarene universities and the rest of the conference on its way to one of its most successful seasons in recent years.

The men’s golf team ended the year strong with a runner-up finish at conference and finishing in fourth place in its regional. Senior Michael Kahler finished his career on a high note by being the individual medalist at conference. Kahler and freshman Chris Wilson, who tied for seventh at conference, were also named to the Heart of America Athletic Conference All-Conference team.

“I feel a significant sense of accomplishment for this team,” coach Karen Exon said. “This is the best men’s team I’ve had so far.”

The two freshmen, Wilson and Adam Taylor, were in the top five throughout the spring season and really contributed to the team.

“Our freshmen kind of led us and played pretty dang well for freshmen,” Kahler said.

Exon said there was a direct correlation between the players who did what they needed to do over the summer and the players who were in the top six or seven on the team.

The women’s track team has had one of the most successful seasons since 2000 when the team won conference. “It is exciting to be around this team because of its passion and dedication of the sport,” head coach Zach Kindler said. “This is the funnest season I’ve been associated with in track and field.”

The Wildcats finished third in both the indoor and outdoor conference track meets, had many athletes qualify for nationals and set several school records.

Junior Chelsey Ornburn, pole vault; sophomore Ashlee Miller, long jump; and the 4×400 team of freshman Chelsea Twietmeyer, sophomores Kelsey Heckathorne and Katey Wegemer and Miller all won their events at the HAAC Outdoor Championships.

The 4×400 team also qualified for nationals and broke the school record by nearly three seconds.

Miller also finished second in the 200-meter with a time of 25.20 seconds, which is a new school record, and she finished second in the high jump.

Kindler said one of the proudest accomplishments was to see Miller’s ability to break those school records as a sophomore.

The 4×100 team of freshman Laneisha Douglas, Miller, junior Kayla Irwin and Ornburn and their time of 49.31 seconds qualified them for nationals and broke a school record.

The NAIA Outdoor Championships are May 22-24 in Edwardsville, Ill.