Wildcats cap season with four track and field All-Americans

Jeremy Gaithright

Baker University’s track and field teams capped an outstanding season with four All-American performances May 24-26 at the NAIA Outdoor Championships in Marion, Ind.

Sophomore Stephanie Nelson, of Kansas City, Kan., highlighted Baker’s efforts, winning the javelin with a toss of 149 feet, 6 inches to become the school’s first national champion since 1953. Sophomore Katie Thurbon, of Topeka, Kan., placed second in the pole vault (12 feet, ½ inch). Freshman Tyler Sloan, of Topeka, Kan., finished seventh in the 100 hurdles (14.5 seconds).

Sloan also placed ninth in the 400 hurdles and teammate Katelyn Wolken was a qualifier in the javelin. The Wildcat women finished 12th in the team standings.

“It is amazing to see what hard work and determination does within the sport of track and field,” Baker coach Zach Kindler said. “When Katie and Stephanie came in two years ago, we knew that both of them had the potential to be a national champion and within two years to have Stephanie win the nationals and Katie come so close as a runner-up, it is just outstanding. To think that we placed 12th in the nation with all sophomores and one freshman really makes us optimistic for the future.”

In the men’s meet, Baker junior Jeremy Gathright, of Oceanside, Calif., placed eighth in the 400 (47.30 seconds) to earn All-American honors. He also competed in the long jump and triple jump. Teammate J.L. Anderson competed in the 110 hurdles.

“It was very exciting to see Jeremy Gathright make his way into the finals in the 400 and snag an All-American spot out of that event,” Kindler said. “He has really been one of those athletes that is very focused and determined to be successful and had a standout year.”

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