June 25, 2008
Butler junior Andy Baker has been named the 2008 Horizon League Male Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year, by a vote of league track and field coaches. Milwaukee distance ace Holly Nearman was tabbed as the League's Female Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
Baker, in his first season with the Bulldogs, was the lone Horizon League track and field athlete to advance to the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. He earned an at-large bid to the national meet in the men's 5,000 meter run, and he wound up placing 13th in the second heat of the race with a time of 15:05.76. He had placed 11th in the 5,000 meter run at the NCAA Mideast Regional with a time of 14:30.82, missing a top ten finish by six-tenths of a second.
The Minehead, U. K., athlete posted a pair of runner-up finishes at the 2008 Horizon League Championship this spring. He came in less than a tenth of a second behind teammate Darren Gauson in the men's 1,500 meter run with a time of 3:55.60 and then finished less than a second behind teammate Tommy Davies in the men's 5,000 meter run with a 14:45.08 clocking.
Baker recorded one of the top times in the nation in the men's 5,000 with a 13:49.87 finish at the Oregon Invitational. He also posted a 13:55.87 in the race at the Stanford Invitational.
Baker is the second Butler runner to earn Horizon League Male Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year recognition. Former distance standout Scott Overall captured the award in both 2005 and 2006. Baker's teammate, Genni Gardner, was the League's Female Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year in 2007.