Baker qualifies for NCAA track meet
Middle distance runner Kali Baker earned a second trip to the NCAA Track and Field National Championships on Saturday at the West Regional, being hosted by the University of Oregon in Eugene. And come Monday, the University of Nevada track and field team could have yet another runner advance to the national show.
Baker, a senior from Las Vegas, earned an automatic bid to nationals in the 800-meters when she placed third in the Saturday’s final, running a time of 2 minutes, 5.88 seconds. The top five finishes from each event earn automatic bids to nationals.
It is the second time Baker has qualified for the outdoor championships, but her third overall after winning indoor All-American honors in 2006. Baker, who is the niece of former Major League star player and manager Dusty Baker, won the regional 800 and advanced to the NCAA national meet as a freshman in 2004.
Charlotte Schonbeck, a sophomore from Lidingo, Sweden, also placed seventh in the 1,500 Saturday with a time of 4:23.79. She set a new school record Friday night in the preliminary round of the event with a time of 4:23.24.
Her effort wasn’t good enough to earn an automatic berth to nationals, but the remaining spots for each event will be filled out on Monday with the next top qualifying times from regional meets held around the nation.
The NCAA national meet will be held June 6-9 in Sacramento.
Three other Pack athletes competed in Eugene. Senior Bree-Ann Piva placed 23rd in the pole vault with a clearance of 12-feet. In the women’s javelin late Friday night, Inger Appanaitis placed 20th (137’10”) and Megan Lytle 21st (135’08”).