April 28, 2008
Junior Andy Baker turned in a lifetime best effort and sparked a strong distance showing by the Butler track and field squad at the nationally-prominent Oregon Relays, held at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., on Friday and Saturday (April 25-26). The non-scoring relay meet attracted nearly 2,000 high school, collegiate and professional track and field athletes.
Baker grabbed the spotlight for Butler with an electrifying performance in the Bill McChesney Jr. Memorial 5,000 meter race. He used an all-out sprint in the final 200 meters of the race to pass Oregon All-American A. J. Acosta and finish third with a time of 13:49.87. He was the top collegiate finisher in the elite field, finishing 0.42 behind runner-up Andrew Carlson of Adidas and just over a second behind winner Joe Driscoll of Zap Fitness, and his time ranks him 11th in the NCAA Division I.
Baker was one of two Bulldogs to record a lifetime best effort at the Oregon Relays, and he was one of four Butler runners to hit the NCAA regional qualifying standard.
"We had some terrific performances at one of the most prestigious meets in the country," said Butler head coach Matt Roe. "It was a thrill for our athletes to perform at Hayward Field under fantastic conditions. They each did an outstanding job of representing Butler. I'm very pleased with their individual and collective progress."
Butler had three runners pass the regional qualifying standard in the women's 5,000 meter race. Senior Genni Gardner paced the trio with a sixth place finish (third collegian) in 16:37.93, while senior Claire Holme was close behind in seventh place with a Butler-best time of 16:38.79. Junior Rachel Gibbs finished 14th (10th collegian) with a lifetime best time of 16:47.81.
Junior Tommy Davies placed second in section two of the men's 5,000 meter run in 14:26.57, while senior Darren Gauson came in fifth in section three of the men's 1,500 meter run in 3:54.17. Gauson's time is the best in the Horizon League this spring.