Ronnie Baker: NCAA 60 Meters Champion
March 15, 2015
FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas - Personal Record. School Record. First Team All-American. No. 3 all-time performer at the NCAA meet. Champion of the 60 Meters.
Junior Ronnie Baker leaves the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championships with the gold in the 60 meters after posting a time of 6.52 seconds on Saturday night.
"I'm overjoyed," Baker said. "I can't even describe the feeling, but its one of the greatest ever. I have to give all thanks to God because I wouldn't be able to do any of this without God."
Baker's mark secured the second title in the 60 meters for the Horned Frogs and 20th overall in program history. In 2001, Kim Collins took the crown with a time of 6.58 seconds.
"I got off really well at the beginning, it's the best start I've had," Baker said. "From there, working through transitions and the phases, I got where I needed to. It was perfect execution.
"I knew I could hang with these guys and have a chance to win it. I proved that today."
It was the first time the event featured four competitors who qualified with a time under 6.60. For Baker, it was the fifth time this season to accomplish the feat.
"Here's a guy who, when he walked on campus, started at TCU in the 400 and worked his way down and now he's the NCAA Champion and the TCU school record holder. He broke Kim Collins' school record and we all know what Kim Collins is doing, he's the fastest guy in the world right now."
Baker's time broke Collins' 15-year-old school record of 6.53, which was also set in Fayetteville on March 10, 2000.
With Baker's win, TCU has won an individual national championship in each of the last four years. It's the seventh under Anderson at TCU.
Two hours after winning the title, Baker joined freshman Kevin McClanahan and sophomores Raymond Bozmans and Kolby Listenbee in posting a fifth-place time overall in the men's 4x400 relay at 3:07.03. Listenbee (third) and Baker (anchor) recorded the fastest splits for their respective legs at 46.66 and 45.49, respectively. The finish earned the quartet First Team All-America accolades.
After Baker's night, he is now a seven-time All-America award winner.
Junior Sam Watts also picked up First Team All-America honors behind an eighth-place mark in the 200 meters at 21.01.
The Horned Frogs qualified in four events, scored in all four and finished tied for seventh with 19 points. All four events produced First Team All-America winners.
"We had an outstanding meet," Anderson said. "Every person that we brought to this meet ended up scoring and being an All-American. We had a rough go with the weather. We've missed 30 training days up to now, but those guys still were able to come in here and perform at a high level and do well.
"I think this meet should and could be a springboard for our men's team."
Outdoor season is less than a week away, where the Horned Frogs will host the TCU Invitational March 19-20 at the Lowdon Track and Field Complex.
"It's outstanding for Ronnie, for Echols-Luper in the long jump, for Sam Watts getting eighth and for the mile relay team getting fifth," Anderson said. "We had to make an adjustment on that and put Kolby in because Sam dinged his leg a little bit in the 200. So for those guys to come in and get fifth place was huge.
"That catapulted us into the top 10. We're the seventh best team in the country."
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