Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Playing it forward

James Baker ’06 shares life lessons with young athletes

James Baker ’06

James Baker ’06, a standout pitcher for the Lyons and a professional baseball player with the San Diego Padres minor league team, now helps young athletes reach for their dreams as founder and director of his North Shore Performance Training in Danvers, Mass.

James Baker ’06 understands the importance of self-confidence. A baseball fan from a young age, he grew up eating, sleeping, drinking the sport. But during his sophomore year at Masconomet Regional High School in Topsfield, Mass., he was cut from the baseball team.

“I’ll never forget the moment the coach put the roster up on the gym wall and my name wasn’t on it,” says Baker, who majored in history and is well aware of how the past can influence the future.

But he didn’t let that curve ball stop him from pursuing his passion. Instead, he worked out harder and his coach gave him another shot. At the end of his senior year, Baker received the Coach’s Award, and caught the attention of Wheaton Head Baseball Coach Eric Podbelski.

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On the right track

Kimberly Spence ’04 hits her stride as running coach

Kim Spence ’04Kimberly “Kim” Spence’s love for track and field actually started on the softball diamond, where her favorite part of the game was stealing bases. That love for running developed into an obsession with track in middle school that was so intense that the New Hampshire native created hurdles out of tree branches, buckets, sawhorses and anything else she could get her hands on to practice.

Her passion for the sport powered her through Wheaton as a student-athlete and now fuels her as the head coach of the track and field and cross country teams, which have both enjoyed successful seasons under her guidance.

During the 2016 track and field season, the women’s team had three individuals and the 4x100-meter relay team qualify to compete at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Another runner qualified for the women’s indoor championships. The Lyons also had eight all-conference performances at the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championships, which included a Rookie of the Year nod for Cathryn MacGregor ’19 after her performance in the javelin. [Read more...]

Replay: 2015-16 year in review

Baseball: Wheaton captured its 14th New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament Championship after defeating Babson College in a best-of-three series. The Lyons then earned the top seed in the NCAA New England Regional, which marked the program’s 13th postseason appearance. Eric Dumas ’16 was named the NEWMAC Pitcher of the Year, after concluding the regular season with an NCAA-leading 13 saves, while head coach Eric Podbelski was named the D3baseball.com New England Region Coach of the Year. [Read more...]

Hall of Fame 2015 inductees honored

The Department of Athletics and Recreation in October 2015 honored the most recent inductees into the Yowell Hall of Fame with a festive ceremony in Emerson Dining Hall.

The new inductees are: Therese Ross ’86, Jessica Johnson ’98, James Manganello ’99, Deshawnda “Dee-Dee” Williams ’00, Rahiem Greenridge ’02, Damon Whalen ’02, Erin Duffy Corbett ’05, longtime head coach and administrator Del Malloy, and the 1999 women’s indoor track and field team. The 1941 Wheaton Tritons were also honored as the pioneering squad for synchronized swimming, which celebrated its 75th anniversary.

“These seven alums are some of the most accomplished student-athletes in Wheaton’s history, with all of them being named All-American at least twice in their collegiate careers. Along with his accolades as a head coach and taking Wheaton women’s basketball team to the NCAA Final Four, Del Malloy was instrumental as a part of the athletics department staff that helped transition Wheaton athletics from a single-gender athletics department to a coeducational program, said Director of Athletics and Recreation John Sutyak ’00.

“The 1999 women’s indoor track and field team kick-started one of the most dominant stretches in NCAA Division III women’s track and field history,” Sutyak noted. “The depth of talent on that team was rather impressive, and it set a standard of excellence that many of our programs strive for to this day.”

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