Stanford University track and field star Olivia Baker, a Columbia High School graduate, finished in eighth place in the women’s 800-meter run at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field National Championships held at Texas A&M University on Saturday, March 10.
Baker finished in 2:04.54. This marked her third straight appearance in the NCAA Indoor National Championships.
Baker, a senior who is majoring in human biology, was one of five Stanford women who finished among the top eight to help the Cardinal score 24 points to place eighth at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, matching its most points since 2008.
Baker, a 2014 CHS graduate, had one of the most decorated high school careers in New Jersey history. She never lost a 400-meter race in state competition throughout her entire high school career, both indoors and outdoors. As a junior in 2013, she became the first athlete in NJSIAA State Outdoor Meet of Champions history to win four gold medals as she won the 100, 200, 400 meters and anchored the 4×400 relay. Then at the 2013 New Balance Nationals, she won the 400, was part the winning 4×800 relay, anchored the 4×400 to a state-record 3:40.36 and was part of the sprint medley team that clocked the No. 2 time ever in the nation.
As a senior in 2014, she split a meet-record 2:02.55 on the anchor leg to help Columbia to victory in the 4×400 at the Penn Relays in which she ran down three runners and made up 50 meters on the leader on the final lap. After winning the Meet of Champions outdoors, she set the state record in the 400 in 52.46 as she finished second at the U.S. Junior Nationals.