Baker Inches Closer To NCAA Standard

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Oregon sophomore Keisha Baker improved her chances of competing in next weekend's NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships by becoming the first woman in school history to dip below 54 seconds in the 400 meters at Friday's Last Chance Qualifier in the University of Arkansas' Randal Tyson Track Center.

Baker finished first in the field and bettered her own school record, posting a time of 53.52. The mark eclipsed 23-hundredths of a second off her previous best of 54.15 and moved the NCAA provisional qualifier closer to the automatic qualifying standard of 52.40.

The Ducks are hopeful her time could move her close to the top-10 fastest women in the 400, which would be good enough to earn the Sacramento, Calif., standout a return trip to Arkansas next week for the national collegiate indoor track championships March 14 and 15 in Fayetteville. The final list of qualifiers for the men's and women's championships will be announced Monday.

Oregon's remaining two entries in Friday's meet weren't as fortunate. Freshman Jamesha Youngblood was unable to better her provisional qualifying best in the long jump despite winning the event. She recorded a winning mark of 20-feet, 4.25 inches, which was two inches off her previous best of 20-6.25 posted at last weekend's Mountain Pacific Sports Federation indoor championships.

In addition, the Ducks' 4x400-meter relay recorded a time of 3:45.68 as the event's lone entry, which stood more than seven seconds slower than their previous season best.

The Oregon men are expected to send as many as seven individuals to compete in the 800 and mile run in Saturday's UW Last Chance Qualifier in Seattle.


400 Meters -- 1. Keisha Baker, UO, 53.52; 2. Dominique Holmes, TENN. ST., 53.87; 3. Sandy Wooten, TEX A&M, 54.26; 4. Jennifer Mace, TULSA, 54.88; 5. Christi McRae, McNEESE ST., 55.02; 6. Katrina Roundtree, SF AUSTIN, 55.31; 7. Dominque Lauderdale, ARK, 59.66.

Long Jump -- 1. Jamesha Youngblood, UO, 20-4.25; 2. Jim Anne Hejny, TCU, 19-6.75; 3. Silent-Joy Egboba-Waye, SF AUSTIN, 18-10; 4. Leeann White AUS. PEAY ST., 18-7.75; 5. Keyvia Davis, AUS. PEAY St., 16-11.5.

4x400 Relay -- 1. Oregon, 3:45.68.

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