2014 NCAA Track and Field Championships, Meagan McKee & Je'Nia Sears, Hayward Field, Eugene, Oregon, June 11, 2014. Photos by Geoff Thurner, Copyright 2014.
The 2012 Track Commission Awards and Honors Banquet was held at World Sports Cafe in Fresno, Calif. May 17, 2012.
Chris Baptista enters his 11th season (2015-16) at Fresno State with a proven record for developing dominant sprinters, jumpers and hurdlers.
During his time at Fresno State, Baptista has guided his student-athletes to 64 NCAA postseason bids and had four named All-Americans, four named an All-American honorable mention while 21 earned conference championships. Baptista has also led 31 athletes to all-time top ten performances, including four student athletes who grasped the all-time school record in the 200-meter (W), 400-meter hurdles (M/F), long jump (W) and 4x400-meter relay (W), respectively.
In all, Baptista has produced seven NCAA Division I All-Americans, 79 NCAA Regional qualifiers and 52 individual conference champions in his 18-year career. In addition, 55 of his athletes have gone on to win all-academic awards.
He currently holds a certification as a USATF Level III and IAAF Elite Jumps Coach.
2015: In 2015, Baptista saw his student-athletes break Fresno State all-time school records in the women's 200m (23.45) and women's 4x400m relay (3:35.34). Sophomore Njeri Omawahleh topped a record that has stood since 1997 in the 200m and the 4x400m relay team of Omawahleh, Dezirae Johnson, Kyra Johsnon and Nailah Harris-Murillo busted a mark that stood at Fresno State since 1998. Additionally, new all-time Top 10 marks in the women's 400mH (No. 2, 58.22), women's 800m (No. 3, 2:08.94) and men's 110mH (14.28) were also set during the season under Baptista's direction.
Baptista had individuals in six different events compete at the NCAA West Prelims in Austin, Texas, two weeks after the 4x400m relay team claimed the 2015 Mountain West Championship and Kyra Johnson claimed the 400mH title at the conference championships. By setting a new school mark in the 4x400m in the preliminary round, the women's relay team advanced to be one of 24 teams to compete for a National Championship in Eugene, Ore. Kyra Johnson also advanced out the Prelims in Texas for an appearance at Track Town USA.
2014: Five Bulldogs qualified for NCAA West Prelims under coach Baptista, including the first-ever qualification for a Fresno State women's 4x400m relay team, as well as a return trip for standout Je'Nia Sears in the long jump. Sears advanced to compete in the NCAA Outdoor Championships and finished ninth out of 24 competitors in the finals to earn Second-Team All-America honors. Sears shined under coach Baptista for the second consecutive year as she set an all-time school record in the outdoor long jump with a leap of 20'5" in addition to her postseason accomplishments.
The Johnson sisters were able to put their mark on their 2013-2014 seasons. Both of them were added to the All-Time Records List in the 400m hurdles. They weren't the only Bulldogs to be added the list this season, Coach Baptista had 3 other student-athletes, for a total of five earn spots on the `Dogs all time list.
2013: 2013 featured the emergence of NCAA All-American Je'Nia Sears who set all-time school records in the long jump in both indoor (20-10.75) and outdoor (20-5.75) under the tutelage of coach Baptista. Sears earned the Indoor Mountain West Championship and also qualified for the NCAA Preliminary Round in both circuits. Altogether, Baptista led nine individuals to the NCAA Outdoor Preliminary Round and guided the 4x100m relay team (40.30) and Breeauna Thompson (400m - 53.59) to a Mountain West Championship
2012: Baptista sent four individuals to the NCAA postseason. Latrisha Jordan returned for the fourth-straight year to the NCAA Regionals after earning her third WAC title in four years, she finished nearly two full seconds ahead of the pack in the 400m hurdles at the conference championships. Breeauna Thompson qualified for the 400m dash for the second consecutive year. Thompson also qualified for the 200m, making her the only Bulldog to qualify for two NCAA postseason events in the spring.
2011: Latrisha Jordan and Breeauna Thompson represented Fresno State at the NCAA Regionals. Jordan made her third-straight appearance in the 400m hurdles while Breeauna Thompson qualified for her inaugural 400m bid.
2010: Baptista sent five individuals to the NCAA Regionals, including standout Latrisha Jordan in her sophomore campaign. Jordan won the WAC Outdoor title in the 400m hurdles for the second year in a row. Val-Pierre Dai'Re, Cameron Parker and Kendrick Young all earned spots in the NCAA Qualifier. Dai'Re set a school record of 50.37 seconds in the 400m hurdles under Baptista's guidance. Breeauna Thompson also earned her first NCAA Qualifying bid.
2009: Baptista guided Latrisha Jordan to NCAA All-American honors as a freshman. Jordan shattered the Fresno State record for the 400m hurdles multiple times throughout the season, finishing the regular season with the WAC title in the event and earning WAC Freshman of the Year honors. At the NCAA Championships, Jordan reset the Fresno State record of 58.14 seconds to advance to the final and take eighth-place. Jordan also anchored the WAC title-winning 4x400 relay team. Baptista coached the four-some of Vanessa Sautebin, Tiera Hilliard, Janev Morris and Jordan, who combined for a time of 3:39.85 to win the conference crown, a first for the Bulldogs since 1994. The team went on to take sixth at the NCAA Qualifier. The men also had success in 2009, Michael Barragan, Kendrick Young, Val- Pierre Dai'Re and Darryl Miller won the 4x400 relay at the WAC Championships and earned a NCAA qualifying bid where they took seventh. Dai'Re and Young also earned a spot in NCAA qualifiers in the hurdles. Dai'Re earned bids in both the 110m and 400m hurdles for a second year in a row. Young specialized in the 400 hurdles, taking second at the WAC Championships and placing seventh at the NCAA Qualifier.
2008: In his third season, Baptista coached Gary Lee to No. 1 US Junior long jumper ranking in 2008 (7.78m), earning NCAA All-American honors as a freshman. Baptista also guided both Dai'Re and Young to strong showings at the NCAA Regional. Dai'Re finished sixth at the Regional in the 400m hurdles and just one place from a bid to the NCAA Championship. On the women's side, Tiera Hilliard, WAC Freshman of the Year, and the women's 4x400 relay team qualified for the postseason.
2007: Baptista led six Bulldogs to qualify for NCAA's, including DeAnte Brown in triple jump, Ryan Moore in 400m hurdles and the 4 x 100 relay team.
2006: In his first season at Fresno State, Baptista's athletes picked up three conference titles and six qualifications the NCAA Regional Championships. Fresno State record holder and NCAA National qualifier Ryan Moore and then-freshman Dai'Re both qualified for the USA Track and Field Championships in 2006.Moore set a then-school record in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 50.51. Dai'Re finished with Junior All-American honors in the 110 hurdles. The men's 4x400 relay team featuring Moore along with Kenny Moon, Juan Valdez and Darryl Miller also qualified for the Regional, breaking a stadium record at the WAC Championships. On the women's side, Regina Ollison qualified for the Regional with a leap of 41'-2" in the triple jump.
In addition to his coaching duties, Baptista's serves as the recruiting coordinator for Fresno State. He also serves as the meet director for all home competitions and as a liaison to athletic academic services and athletic compliance office. Baptista's other administrative duties include monitoring student athlete academic progress and working closely with the track club boosters group in planning events.
In 2007, Coach Baptista directed the USA Track and Field Level I Coaching Education School at Fresno State.
Baptista came to Fresno State after three seasons as an assistant coach at Tulsa. During his tenure with the Golden Hurricane, Baptista served as the program's recruiting coordinator and coached the men's and women's sprints and hurdles in addition to jumps and multi-events. He also served as the Assistant Director of the WAC Outdoor Championships in 2005.
Baptista made an immediate impact at Tulsa, coaching the school's first female sprint NCAA All-American Shana Robinson (200m), five individual WAC champions, and 18 NCAA Regional qualifiers. He also led 13th nationally ranked women's indoor 4x400 meter relay team in 2003, and the 20th-ranked NCAA javelin thrower in 2005.
Baptista served two years as the head men's and women's track coach at Shasta College. During his stint at Shasta, the women's team won back-to-back Golden Valley Conference titles and finished the 2002 season as the COA's Women's Scholar Team of the Year for California Community Colleges. Baptista coached 11 athletes to 11 school records and two California Community College Championship titles in the heptathlon.
TROY STATE/SOUTH ALABAMA:
Baptista spent a brief time at the University of South Alabama and three years as an assistant coach at Troy State, where he coached athletes to 10 school records and the school's first female NCAA Championship qualifier in the high jump.
A native of Caruthers, Calif., Baptista earned a bachelor's degree in physical education with a minor in health education from UAB in 1997 and is currently pursuing a master's degree in athletic administration through Grace College. He married Valerie Cain (Oklahoma '02) in the fall of 2009. The couple resides in Fresno, Calif. with their sons Cooper and Camden, and attend Northside Christian Church.
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