Track Breaks Individual Records


Saint Louis University Athletics

Sophomore Amanda Baker powers over a hurdle. Baker broke the pentathlon record at the Thundering Herd Invitational.

Over the past two weeks, the Billikens have racked up podium finishes in each of their last four meets. The team has seen an upswing in performances by many members of both track and field teams with both personal and school records being bested.

Jan. 26-27, the SLU track team competed at the Marshall University Thundering Herd Invitational and performed as to be expected. The biggest highlight came from sophomore Amanda Baker who smashed the school record in the pentathlon with a score of 3,238 points, beating the old record set by Mallory Dugger in 2012 by over 150 points. Baker accomplished this feat by placing second in both the 800-meter dash and the 60-meter hurdles along with three other solid finishes in the other three events.

The Billikens also fared well in long distance running with the second place finishes by Manuel De Backer (8:20.38) and Courtney Link (9:59.92) in their respective 3000-meter races. As well, Ethan Erusha leaped on to the podium twice with a tied third-place finish in the high jump (6’-3.25”) and a sixth-place finish in the triple jump (44’-1.25”).

Additionally, the team competed at two separate meets this past weekend with half of the athletes competing at the Don DeNoon Invitational in Illinois and the other at the Meyo Invitational at Notre Dame.

At the DeNoon Invitational, Ryan Noonan placed second in the 800 meters (1:55.80), Kevin Ganahl also placed fourth in both the 800 meters (1:56.93) and the one-mile run (4:19.30), and Megan Kress placed fourth in the 800 meters (2:20.71).

Up in South Bend, Manuel De Backer continued his sensational performance from the weekend before with a broken school record in the 5000 meters. De Backer clocked in at a blistering 14:32.52, shaving half a second off of the previous school record.

“After the last couple meets, definitely, the team has been on an uphill stride,” said sophomore middle distance runner John Schaefer. He continued by stating that despite injuries, each member of the team was motivated and pulling their own weight and ready for what lay ahead, namely the pinnacle of the indoor season: the Atlantic 10 Conference Indoor Championships.