Levi Convirs, Sports Information Director
NEW ORLEANS. – Just when you thought it was virtually impossible that Friends University Track & Field senior standout Chelsea Baker could do anything unprecedented in her historic career, she finds a way to do just that.
Baker has been named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association NAIA Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year for the first time, also giving the Falcons their first-ever USTFCCCA Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year in program history.
A two-time USTFCCCA Indoor Athlete of the Year, Baker put a bow on her career in grand fashion this past weekend, winning the NAIA National Championship in the Heptathlon with a school record 5120 points.
Baker’s Heptathlon victory sparked the Falcons to a sixth place overall finish in the NAIA and included coming out on top in the 100m Hurdles (14.40), High Jump (1.77 -5’9.75″) and Long Jump (5.64).
In the individual NAIA High Jump final, Baker came through with a National Runner-Up finish (1.74m) to earn yet another All-America nod.
Prior to her NAIA championship performance, Baker put forth a dominant effort in her farewell conference meet that saw her named the KCAC Women’s Outdoor Athlete of the Year.
Baker’s effort powered the Falcons’ charge of winning their eighth conference title in the last nine years, with this year’s win coming by a record margin of 251.5 points.
The Pittsburg, Kan. native was also victorious in a trio of jumping events, winning the High Jump (1.77m), Long Jump (5.83m) and Triple Jump (11.84m), with her High Jump and Long Jump mark each representing KCAC meet records.
The victories gave Baker an astounding 20 KCAC championships to her name over the course of her illustrious career.
“We are so proud of Chelsea and everything that she has accomplished for our team and Friends University as a whole,” Friends head coach Cole Davis said.
“It was an absolute pleasure to work with her during the last four years and she deserves all of the accolades that have come her way during a stellar four year career.”