News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

January 29, 2013

Sycamore track standout takes aim at MVC indoor and outdoor championships

TERRE HAUTE — As a Charlestown High School senior in 2009, Justin Baxtron placed 11th in the 100- and 200-meter dashes in the boys track and field state finals.

He did OK, but not well enough for any NCAA Division I universities to offer him an athletic scholarship.

So Baxtron pondered his future in the sport and finally made his decision after talking to his high school coach, an Indiana State University alum named Adam Kemple.

Kemple recommended that Baxtron consider going to ISU, even without a scholarship.

So Baxtron followed his advice.

“I checked it out and I thought I’d try to earn my spot on the team,” he recalled.

ISU men’s coach John McNichols agreed to let Baxtron on the team as a freshman walkon in the fall of 2009 and he’s glad he did.

Over the years, Baxtron worked hard and steadily improved, so much that he captured the Missouri Valley Conference outdoor championship in the men’s 200 as a junior in 2012.

Now that the 2013 indoor season has started, the Sycamores’ 5-foot-6, 145-pound senior wants to finish his running career with a bang.

“I had my third-fastest indoor time ever in the 200 at Purdue [on Jan. 19] and it’s still early in the season,” Baxtron told the Tribune-Star. “With the help of my teammates and coaches, I know I can have the confidence to pretty much do anything.”

His 2013 goals are not modest — win MVC indoor and outdoor championships and be named All-MVC (top three) in the 60 indoors and 100 outdoors. He’d also like to help the ISU 4-by-100 relay team qualify for the NCAA finals.

ISU sprints and relays coach Geoff Wayton learned in 2012 that he shouldn’t doubt Baxtron when he sets goals.

“Last year, he exceeded my expectations,” Wayton admitted. “He ran faster than I ever thought he could run in the 60 [indoors]. Then he ran faster than I ever thought he could in the 200 — indoors and out.”

Although Baxtron demonstrated a serious work ethic and competed hard as a freshman in 2009-10, he didn’t make anyone on the ISU coaching staff think he was destined to become a future standout.

“His first year, he did not score in the conference meet for us,” McNichols noted. “But he did score a lot of points during the regular season. He was pretty steady and stayed healthy and he had a pretty good year.”

“He was truly average,” Wayton reflected. “When he came here, he was doing a few crucial things wrong, technique-wise, but he was just young.

“What he’s done [since then] is approach sprinting with the same point of view as a distance runner. He does all the little things and he’s been so consistent. He’s really methodical about his diet and the weightroom. … He’s real passionate about making gains in the weightroom. … He’s very detail-oriented.”

With a year of college training under his belt, Baxtron started turning some heads as a sophomore.

“In the indoor conference, I didn’t score,” Baxtron mentioned. “I wanted to show the coaches that I wasn’t that person, that I wanted to try harder, that I could potentially help this team. So at the outdoor conference [championships] of 2011, I finally ran some decent times. That’s when I made scholarship and I scored in the conference as well.”

The NCAA allows only 12.6 scholarships for men’s track and 18 for women’s track per season, so McNichols doesn’t hand out scholarships like they’re candy. But Baxtron proved during his sophomore season that he deserved one.

“With many talented athletes coming out of high school, there just isn’t scholarship money for all of them,” McNichols explained. “Justin came to us as a walkon from Charlestown. His high school coach encouraged Justin to take a good look at us. Then he came in and coach Wayton’s done an excellent job with him.

“His sophomore year on, he’s made a greater impact. Last year, it kinda culminated at the [MVC] outdoor meet with his win in the 200. Going in, Wichita State was highly favored to win the team championship. They had like a 50-point lead on us going into the second day. Then slowly, event by event, our guys performed at a high level and we slowly ran ‘em down. Justin’s win in the 200, along with a teammate’s third-place finish, kinda put the final nails in Wichita State’s coffin.”

In the MVC indoor championships, Baxtron placed fifth in the 60 (6.99 seconds) and second in the 200 (career-best 21.75 seconds) after leading most of the race.

“When I saw I had the potential to win [a conference championship] and the opportunity, I trained even harder for the outdoor season,” he said. “I went all out, then me and my teammate Andrew Stull [third place] were able to become All-MVC.”

Yes, in the MVC outdoor championships at Wichita, Kan., Baxtron won the 200 in a career-best time of 21.42 and he finished second in the 100 in a career-best 10.49 while also helping the Sycamores claim the team title.

“He’s the kind of story that coaches love to tell,” McNichols insisted. “He comes in, works hard and does everything he’s supposed to do, then he succeeds. Justin Baxtron will be someone we’ll talk about for years to come as we’re recruiting other [high school] kids who have a fair level of talent but aren’t quite ready for a scholarship.

“He’s also a good student, so that’s a plus. He’s a little bit of an intellectual type. He’s a writer. He writes poetry sometimes. He’s a quiet kid, but he’s been a very positive influence on the team. He’s very supportive of his teammates.”

Wayton said the other ISU sprinters “kinda follow Justin’s lead.”

While coaching ISU’s current athletes for the indoor and outdoor seasons, Wayton also is helping recruit for next season when Baxtron will no longer be competing.

“He’s the blueprint for the kind of kid that I want,” Wayton said in respect of Baxtron.

But for now, Baxtron is focused on performing better than ever during the 2013 indoor and outdoor seasons.

“This year at our first meet [the Eastern Illinois Dual on Dec. 7], he ran a great time in the 60 — 6.96 — right behind [2012 Summer Olympic hurdler and ISU teammate] Greggmar Swift [6.81],” McNichols mentioned.

McNichols said Indiana State rarely uses Swift in “flat” races that don’t involve hurdles, adding that he isn’t sure if he’ll enter Swift in the 60 at the MVC indoor championships Feb. 23-24 at Cedar Falls, Iowa.

So not counting Swift, Baxtron owned the conference’s fastest 60 time and he had the second-fastest 200 time entering this past weekend.

Looking ahead, McNichols believes winning MVC indoor (60 and 200) and outdoor championships (100 and 200) in 2013 would be a fitting end to Baxtron’s track career.

“Everybody’s not an NCAA champion,” McNichols summarized, “but he’s had a very good Division I experience and he’s a contributor on a good Division I track team.”

After the season, there will be no more competitive running for Baxtron, who majors in English and information technology and wants to become a technical writer after he graduates in 2014.

“I think this is it for me,” he said. “I’ve been running since the third grade. That’s about 13 years now, so I think this will be it and I’ve got to make the most of it.”

Indiana State's next indoor meet will be the Mayo Invitational on Friday and Saturday at South Bend.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Rex fall to Miners 4-3 in 11 innings, forcing them into tie with Quincy for first place

    The West Virginia Miners tallied the go-ahead run with two outs in the top of the 11th inning Wednesday night at Bob Warn Field, then held Terre Haute scoreless in the bottom half of the frame to post a 4-3 baseball victory and shove the Rex into a virtual tie for first place with the Quincy Gems in the Prospect League West Division second-half standings.
    Terre Haute is now 18-8 in the second half, while Quincy is 19-9.

    July 31, 2014

  • SPT-HB0731-ColtsCamp-Werner-319.jpg Colts need Woerner to step up in Mathis' absence

    Big Bjoern has certainly made his presence felt during the first week of training camp for the Indianapolis Colts. Bjoern Werner — the 6-foot-3, 257-pound second-year outside linebacker for the Colts— is being counted on to big a major force on the Indianapolis defense this season.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP202765859190.jpg Colts' Thomas leaves practice with lower-leg injury

    Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano has been trying to take a lighter approach to training camp practices this year in an effort to slow down the list of injuries that dogged his team a year ago.
    Pagano’s plans, though, haven’t been bearing fruit.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT-HB0731-ColtsCamp-Fleener-206.jpg Colts, Fleener focused on situational football

    One year ago, the focus in Indianapolis Colts training camp was on turnovers. The team had committed far too many in 2012 and was determined not to repeat its mistakes.
    The theme at Anderson University carried over to the field and the Colts’ 14 turnovers were the fewest in the NFL last year.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Metro roundup: 'Fore the Kids' golf scramble Friday at Rea Park

    The Vigo County Education Foundation (VCEF) will host its 22nd annual “Fore the Kids” golf scramble Friday at Rea Park.
    The scamble will begin at 1 p.m., with lunch being served at noon. This year’s tournament chairperson is Dave Piker, a current board member for the VCEF.
    There will be 36 teams comprised of business people and community members as well as teachers, principals and administrators from the Vigo County School Corp.

    July 30, 2014

  • Tom Lindley column mug.jpg TOM LINDLEY: Sideshows involving Rice and Dungy stain NFL’s image

    The National Football League guards its reputation as aggressively as lineman are paid to protect a quarterback.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT 072914 ROSSELLI STEAL.jpg Sabo's 11th-inning double keeps Rex in first place

    Ryan Sabo, a Southern Illinois infielder, was one of several Terre Haute Rex players to come up short in RBI situations through nine innings, but he redeemed himself in the bottom of the 11th inning with a two-out double to center field to lift the Rex to a 2-1 victory over West Virginia.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • ISU football picked last in MVFC

    Indiana State’s football team found itself in familiar, if depressing, territory when the Missouri Valley Football Conference preseason poll was released on Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Post 346 wins Legion state tournament opener

    Post 346 wins American Legion baseball state tournament opener

    July 29, 2014

  • SPT071614sprints clauson.jpg JOE BUCKLES: Clauson living up to lofty expectations

    Sprint car driver Bryan Clauson is living up to lofty expectations

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

Local Interest
SPT 072614 TOM JONES LEADER.jpg

Tribune-Star/Bob PoynterLeader: Tom Jones is leading going into Sunday's final round of the Men's City Championship at Hulman Links on Sunday.

High School
College
  • ISU football picked last in MVFC

    Indiana State’s football team found itself in familiar, if depressing, territory when the Missouri Valley Football Conference preseason poll was released on Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Degano2.jpg Bullpen mates: Three relievers coming on strong down stretch for Rex

    The Terre Haute Rex pitching staff ranks fifth among the 12 teams in the Prospect League in earned-run average this season and first in the league with only four home runs allowed all summer. But the Rex pitchers might be the best in the league the past two weeks as the team has had two shutouts and two games with one run allowed in the past week.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Prettyman wants ISU to be prepared for potential NCAA changes

    Against a rising tide of media, public and institutional sentiment that would suggest otherwise, Indiana State Director of Athletics Ron Prettyman believes that the current model of college athletics still works.

    July 26, 2014

  • ISU basketball trio earn national academic honors

    A trio of Indiana State basketball student-athletes have been named to the 2013-14 National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court as announced by the national organization. Honored from Indiana State were Lucas Eitel, Justin Gant and Jake Kitchell.

    July 23, 2014

  • Metro roundup: Post 346 rallies past Rockville

    Wayne Newton Post 346 scored a run in the sixth and two in the seventh to get past Rockville 6-3 in an American Legion baseball regional at Terre Haute North on Wednesday.

    July 23, 2014

Sports Columns
Pro Sports
Colts Camp Football_Tayl.jpg

Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, right, laughs with running back Chris Rainey during an NFL football training camp in Anderson, Ind., Saturday, July 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Terre Haute Rex
Colts
SPT-HB0731-ColtsCamp-Werner-319.jpg

Don Knight | The Herald BulletinFrom left, Bjoern Werner and Anthony Castonzo face off during Colts Camp on Wednesday. For a gallery of photos to view or purchase, visit photos.heraldbulletin.com.

Auto Racing
SPT071614sprints clauson.jpg

Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis Waiting: Bryan Clauson sits in his sprint car, waiting his turn to qualify at the Terre Haute Action Track for the Don Smith Classic.

AP Auto Racing News
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Raw: Plane Lands on New York Highway Raw: 16 Killed in Gaza Market Strike Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3 People Killed, Deputies Wounded in NC Shootout Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Guinea Rap Concert Stampede Kills 33+ Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity
Real Estate News