Baker athletes net title trifecta
For one magical night, peaceful Baldwin City transformed itself into Titletown, USA, thanks to Baker University athletic teams winning three different regular-season Heart of America Athletic Conference titles in two cities Tuesday.
Wi-Fi, and all the other technological advances necessary to knock down the barrier of distance, enabled first-year Baker athletic director Theresa Yetmar to multi-task her way to watching all three titles, as well as a pair of season-opening basketball games in a third city.
The Wildcats won, or claimed a share of, the women’s and men’s soccer titles in Marshall, Mo., and the volleyball title in Baker’s on-campus Collins Sports and Convention Center, which is a long name for gymnasium.
Here’s how Yetmar did it: After a day of attending various meetings, she started watching the women’s basketball game being streamed from Salina at 5:30 p.m. Then she walked to the Collins Center, sat in the bleachers and watched the volleyball match in front of her. She kept the basketball, first the women’s game, then the men’s, on one tab of her browser. The soccer, women, then men, played on another tab.
“I had my computer on my lap, or next to me if I needed to jump up for an amazing volleyball point,” said Yetmar, a 2002 Baker graduate and four-year basketball player in her ninth year working for her alma mater.
There were many such moments. Baker volleyball, coached by Kathy Allen, had to come from behind in all three sets and won each by a 26-24 score. Nate Houser, director of soccer at Baker, coached the women to a 2-0 victory for the HAAC title and then coached the men to a 2-2 draw and another HAAC title.
Many in the volleyball crowd kept tabs on it all through Yetmar’s web-browser tabs.
“We had a lot of people at the volleyball match who shared my enthusiasm for all the different teams,” she said. “They were asking me about results from other teams in the conference and wondering what the playoff implications were.”
One such sports enthusiast was Baker president Pat Long, who sat with Yetmar and a member of the school’s board of trustees.
“It was Senior Night so we had a great crowd,” Yetmar said. “It was a little thinner than normal for students because about 50 percent on the main campus are student-athletes.”
Long, the first female president at Baker, founded in 1858, understands the importance of athletics and is a regular at games. The chance to extend an athletic career expands enrollment.
“We get really strong support from Dr. Pat Long,” Yetmar said. “During the last few years she has been actively engaged, asking questions about how our programs work and then actively fundraising to assist with our scholarship needs.”
Baker enthusiasts already have billed 11-1-11 as the day of the Title Trifecta.