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Friday, 08 March 2013 15:28

BU Climbs into Top 15 in Directors' Cup

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – With a strong winter season, Baker University climbed from No. 21 to No. 15 in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup Winter standings and back to No. 1 in the state of Kansas and No. 1 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference.

The Wildcats took 15th at the NAIA Wrestling National Championships in Des Moines, Iowa last week and featured two NAIA All-Americans in 174-pound Parker Owen and 285-pound back-to-back NAIA National Finalist Brandon Gebhardt.

Baker also sent 19 athletes to the NAIA Indoor National Championships in Geneva, Ohio last week and came home with five All-Americans including Jeremy Gathright of the men's team who took fifth in the triple jump with a mark of 14.54.

The four other All-Americans on the women's side were Lauren Jaqua in the 3,000 meter race with her 8th-place time of 10:23, freshman Khadijah Lane ran the 400 meter dash in a time of 56.30 and finished in fifth-place to become an All-American and broke her own school record.
Pole Vault specialist Katie Thurbon also became an All-American with her vault of 3.50 meters and a tie for seventh. Ty Sloan earned All-American status in the 60-meter hurdles with her fourth-place time of 8.80.

Baker's women's indoor track and field team took 24th out of 53 teams, while the men's squad took 39th out of 51 teams at nationals.

With wrestling and indoor tracks season, the Wildcats accumulated 143 points in the winter season. In the Fall, Baker racked up 138 points, for a total of 281 points.

"I'm pleased that strong performances by our winter programs at nationals have catapulted us back within the top tier of the Learfield Cup standings," said Director of Athletics Theresa Yetmar. "It's a prestigious ranking to lead our conference and the state of Kansas at the NAIA level. The recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our coaches and student-athletes, and I'm very proud of their efforts."

Baker University finished No. 21 in the final set of the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup Fall standings after an impressive fall season.

The Wildcats received 138 points in the standings with its men's cross country team earning 60 points with a 10th-place finish in the 2012 NAIA Men's Cross Country National Championship meet in Vancouver, Wash.

The Baker football team earned 25 points after a ninth-place finish in the NAIA FCS Playoffs and the women's soccer team also earned a ninth-place finish in the 2012 NAIA Women's Soccer National Championship after advancing to the Sweet 16 and final site in Orange Beach, Ala.

The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 12 sports -- six women's and six men's. The final winter NAIA standings will be released Thursday, March 21.

About Learfield Sports: A preeminent leader in the collegiate sports marketplace for 40 years, the company has titled the acclaimed Learfield Sports Directors' Cup for five consecutive years. Learfield Sports manages the multimedia rights for more than 50 collegiate institutions, conferences and associations, and is deeply integrated in collegiate ticket sales. The company's multimedia rights encompass numerous content distribution platforms to deliver the passion of college athletics across radio, television and digital networks to fans globally. Today, Learfield Sports' exclusive sports programming reaches more than 50 million television households nationally and delivers nearly 17,000 hours of radio programming on more than 1,000 radio stations. To learn more its history and collegiate portfolio, visit

For a list of all the teams represented in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup Winter standings, please click here.



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