LaSalle News Tribune | LaSalle, IL
Due to weather related issues, in some areas there may be delayed deliveries of your Monday issue of the NewsTribune.
If road conditions are severe enough, your delivery person may not be able to deliver your NewsTribune at all on Monday.
In this case, your Monday edition will be delivered with your Tuesday newspaper.
We ask you to be understanding for the safety of our carriers.

You can view Tuesday's newspaper online at

home : sports : sports   April 30, 2016

6/20/2013 10:54:00 AM
2013 NT Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year: Maria Baldwin, Fieldcrest

2013 NewsTribune Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year Maria Baldwin.NewsTribune photo/Scott Anderson
+ click to enlarge
2013 NewsTribune Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year Maria Baldwin.

NewsTribune photo/Scott Anderson

The Maria Baldwin File

School: Fieldcrest
Year: Junior
Season accomplishments:
 *5th-place state finish in 3,200
 *8th-place state finish in 1,600
 *Only area female athlete to earn multiple individual state medals
 *Set FHS school record of 11:27.19 in 3,200
 *Also holds school record in mile at 5:19

Chris Yucus
NewsTribune Photographer

According to Fieldcrest girls track and cross country coach Carol Bauer, good distance runners are forged in the offseason.

And that’s where Fieldcrest junior Maria Baldwin used her personal fire — the disappointment of last year’s state meet, where she came up short of trips to the medal podium in two events — to steel her reserve for a return trip to state.

“The season is really made up before track season starts,” Bauer explains. “Throughout the winter I would give her workouts and she would be running in all kinds of weather. You have to put in that hard work. I tell the kids, everyone works hard when March and April start and the meets begin. Especially for distance kids, you’ve got to put in that base and be able to do the hard workouts it takes.”

Bauer said Baldwin always had EIU’s O’Brien Stadium in the back of her mind this offseason.
“We didn’t really talk about it, and certainly her cross country season gave us a lot of success. But still, there was a thought of unfinished business at the blue track in Charleston,” Bauer said.

And Baldwin’s determined investment of hard work last winter, which came on the heels of a state medal in cross country, would pay dividends this spring.

The distance standout erased the memory of her sophomore jinx with a stellar showing at this year’s IHSA State Meet, earning a fifth-place finish in the 3,200 meters in a school-record 11 minutes, 27.19 seconds and an eighth-place medal in the mile with a time of 5:22.
For her stellar end to a strong season, Baldwin is the 2013 NewsTribune Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year.

“Getting two medals means the world to me, especially since last year not even getting (a state medal). My goal this year was to get both of them — and to do that just feels great,” Baldwin said.

“It was really hard for me to miss out on a state medal (as a sophomore), especially after telling myself all year that I could do it and not being able to do it. You get down on yourself, but you can’t keep your head down. You have to lift it back up and tell yourself that you are one of the best, and train your absolute hardest,” Baldwin said.

Along with her desire to return to the state medal stand, where she hoisted  an eighth-place medal in the 3,200 as a freshman, Baldwin had something else driving her success — a familiar face and family connection on the sidelines in her older brother Keith, who took over as the Fieldcrest boys track and field coach and helped motivate his younger sister.

“He’s always, ever since I was younger, been an amazing motivator and gives me so much determination to meet my goals. ... He’s just always uplifting and I love that. To have him there at practice and every single one of my meets, it was just great. I had someone constantly keeping me focused and keeping my eyes on the prize,” said Baldwin.

Adding a family atmosphere to track this year was a big bonus for Maria, one of seven children in the Baldwin family, which includes freshman sister/teammate Annette.
“It was a natural fit and it definitely helped out. … To have him be there was awesome,” Baldwin said.

Next year, Baldwin has her sights set on lowering her school distance records, which include a time of 5:19 in the mile, as well as making a run on Fieldcrest’s all-time best half-mile mark of 2:25.

She’s not worried about this spring’s success cooling her fire this winter, after all she’s got goals to accomplish and limited time left to accomplish them.

“I believe I can reach my goals. It’s my senior year (coming up) and I want to go out with a bang. I’ve got to get these times down and train my absolute hardest because it’s my last year. I remember when it was my freshman year I dreamed of where I would be right now. This is it. I believe I can do it.”

NewsTribune Sports Writer Chris Yucus can be reached at 220-6995 or at Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsChris.

Login to your account:
Remember me
Login reminder
  If you'd like to comment on this article, please log in or click here to subscribe.


Subscription Login

Rural King-sized crowd (VIDEO)
Updated: 4/30/2016 2:20:00 PM
Saturday morning car tunes at area career center auto show (VIDEO)
Updated: 4/30/2016 11:38:00 AM
Two people injured in Peru fire
No more dead money in the cemetery fund
County board won't decide on consolidation of clerk and recorder offices
Donation means new equipment for the Y

Illinois Valley Events
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Photo GalleryVideo LibraryMagazinesDealsAbout UsAP Terms of UseAdvertise With UsExtra Content

Copyright 2016 NewsTribune, LaSalle, Illinois. All rights reserved.

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved