University of Nevada sophomore Kali Baker set a school record and earned a ticket to the NCAA Championships in the process Saturday when she ran to first-place in the women's 800 meters at the West Regionals in Northridge, Calif.
Baker finished in a time of 2 minutes, 4.99 seconds to edge UCLA's Ashley Caldwell (2:05.01) in a fast race at Cal-State Northridge that saw the top six finishers dip under 2:07. The top five finishers at the regional are assured of berths in the NCAA Championships on June 9-12 in Austin, Texas.
Baker, a sophomore from Las Vegas, broke Nevada's school record of 2:05.69 set earlier this year by Nicole Petty (formerly McRae) and posted a time that ranks as the 19th fastest by an American so far in 2004. Baker qualified No. 1 for the finals by running 2:06.41 in the prelims on Friday.
Meanwhile, Douglas High graduate Chris Chappell narrowly missed qualifying for the NCAA finals when he placed seventh for Arizona in the men's pole vault with a clearance of 17-3. Chappell's jump actually tied for fourth-place, but he slipped to seventh by virtue of his two misses at 17-3.
Also for Nevada on Saturday, Caira Hane finished 11th in the women's javelin with a throw of 146-feet, 1-inch. Teammate Samantha Young finished 12th with a throw of 145-6.