No Place Like Home for Track and Field Teams

Friday, January 27, 2012

Senior Michael Baer of the Muhlenberg track and field team has become an expert at changing his shoes in a matter of seconds.

Instead of just focusing on a few events, Baer, a multi-event athlete, competes in a wide range of disciplines. From the pole vault and high jump to hurdles and sprints, Baer does a little bit of everything.

Kyle Sullivan
Senior Kyle Sullivan finished second in the 55-meter dash in a time of 6.73, good for sixth on the performance list.
And he usually performs well in them all, which was once again the case at the Muhlenberg Invitational. Competing at home for the only time during the indoor season, Baer was one of 12 winners for the Mules.

It was another long day for Baer; he competed in four events. But he said they were spaced out enough that he didn’t have to rush as much as he normally does.

“It actually wasn’t too bad today, but sometimes it can get pretty hectic,” Baer said. “Sometimes I’ll have to be high jumping and doing the hurdles at the same time, so I’m changing back and forth from my spikes to my high jump sneakers.

“But being in so many events can help, because if you do really well in your first one, it can carry over to the rest.”

Kirsten Kuchera
Kuchera made a pass on the final turn to win the 400.

He jumped a personal best 5-10¾ to finish second in the high jump and move into 10th place on the school’s performance list. He also won the 55-meter hurdles, finished fifth in the 400 and came in eighth in the pole vault.

But he wasn’t the only multi-event athlete to perform well in familiar settings.

Junior Tara Keegan won both the long jump and triple jump, in addition to finishing sixth in the 55-meter dash. Her winning triple jump distance of 34-1½ is third on the performance list, while her 15-10½ long jump is tied for eighth.

On the women’s side, the Mules also got wins from sophomore Stephanie Carnevale (55-meter hurdles), and freshman Kirsten Kuchera (400) and Mariah Bower (high jump).

For the men, sophomore Isaiah Vaughn captured both the 55 and the 200. Senior Marc Brookland also doubled up, winning the long jump and triple jump.

Senior Peter Rice, competing in the 800 for the first time in his college career, rounded out the individual winners, finishing more than five seconds ahead of second.

Aside from rushing from event to event, Baer said the main downside to competing in so many events is that he doesn’t too many opportunities to watch his teammates compete.

But he was able to take in the men’s 4x400-meter relay, and the team of Darnell Davis, Andrew Onimus, Michael Wiener and Max Suitovsky gave him plenty to cheer about.

Davis tripped at the break line, falling from first to last. But he was able to make up enough ground by the time he handed off the baton that Onimus quickly made his way to the front. Wiener added to the lead during the third leg, and Suitovsky closed it out as the anchor to give the Mules the win.

Baer put his hands up in celebration when Suitovsky cross the line. It was a great way to finish the meet, he said. And while he admitted he was tired, he said he was thrilled to not have to try to curl up and sleep on a bus.

“You definitely feel it at the end of the day,” Baer said of competing in so many events. “So it’s really nice to be able to just walk across campus and go to bed. It’s also nice to have some of our friends here to support us, which doesn’t normally happen. It’s always great when we get to compete at home.”
Click here for Muhlenberg placewinners.
Click here for complete results.
Click here for a photo gallery from the meet.