While looking at the individual results from the Baker University men's cross country team's races this season, it is clear that the efforts of the alumni from one Overland Park school have helped turn the team into the nationally-recognized program it is today. The No. 10 Wildcats are led by a group of Blue Valley West High School alumni.
On Saturday morning the Baker University men’s cross country team was ranked No. 27 in the NAIA Coaches’ Poll, but by the afternoon it earned a spot as one of the top 10 teams in the country.
While their regular seasons have ended, three Baker University fall sports teams have earned bids to the NAIA National Championships. The men’s cross country team, the football team and the women’s soccer team will all compete Saturday.
As the defending Heart of America Athletic Conference champions, the Baker University men’s cross country team had been working to reclaim its title all season. The Wildcats achieved just that Saturday by grabbing five spots in the top 10, and had the meet’s individual winner.
Prior to the NAIA Mid-States Classic Saturday in Winfield, the Baker University cross country teams were excited about the opportunity to see tough competition during the meet, including conference rival Central Methodist University.
For the second straight week, senior Aaron Caldwell broke the Baker University cross country team’s 8,000-meter run record.
Senior Aaron Caldwell and junior Lauren Jaqua have been two of the top competitors for the Baker University cross country team throughout their careers, and the pair struck again Friday and Saturday at the Rim Rock Farm Classic and the Planet Sub Invitational.
As they stepped up to the starting line Saturday, a heavy rain beat down in the faces of the Baker University cross country team members at the Missouri Southern Stampede in Joplin, Mo.
After sweeping the Maple Leaf Invitational in 2011, the Baker University cross country teams struck gold again Saturday as both the men’s and women’s teams began their season with first place finishes at the Baldwin City Country Club.
After ending its season placing in the top 25 at the NAIA National Championships in 2011, the Baker University men’s cross country team is craving more.
Maple Leaf Invitational
W - 1st, M - 3rd
UCM Mule Run
W - 2nd, M - 6th
W 2nd, M - 7th
Emporia State Invite
W - 1st, M - 7th
W - 10, M - 22
W - 3rd, M -14th
W - 1st, M - 4th
NAIA National Championships
W - 17th