Krista Baker ’10 Inducted into the WPI Athletic Hall of Fame
When the WPI Athletic Department notified Krista Baker ‘10 she would be inducted into the WPI Athletic Hall of Fame the
initial surprise and joy were quickly replaced with a feeling of deep humility. “I knew I was committed and worked hard as an athlete, and that I did well for the university, but to be put in the same category as so many outstanding athletes — within such a wide-reaching pool of possible candidates was an incredibly moving and meaningful experience.” says Baker.
The Track & Field athlete won the NEWMAC Discus title in 2009, NEWMAC Shot Put and Hammer Throw in 2010, is a Four-Time All-NEWMAC Selection, and a Five-Time All-ECAC Performer. She also won the prestigious WPI Patricia Graham Flaherty Award for the university’s most outstanding woman athlete in 2010. Baker acknowledged the hard work and commitment it took to achieve what she did as a student athlete but likened the WPI Athletics program to simply another opportunity on campus to strive for excellence.
“During my time at WPI, the Sports and Recreation Center didn’t exist, which meant all training was done outside. It was definitely a grind training and competing in New England weather, but WPI coaches helped their athletes embrace the challenges. My teammates and I learned how to not dwell on the negative aspects of the sometimes cold and wet practices or the often tired and achy muscles and to just do what we needed to do. You choose to be an athlete, or you don’t, and if you’re going to do it, you just got to do it. We all learned to show up, and that we could trust our teammates were going to show up too. It’s been over a dozen years since I graduated, and I still go to the gym every week; I still show up.” says Baker.
When asked how she found her way to throwing, Baker shares, “I love the technical aspect of throwing and how much you have to be present in the moment. It’s like when you step into that circle, you bring weeks, months, even years of training with you —and all you have is one quick minute to show what you can do. It’s a challenging, yet highly satisfying feeling.”
WPI Head Coach, Brian Chabot says of Baker, “She's perhaps one of the most underrated athletes the university has ever seen. And her Hall of Fame career as a thrower speaks not only to her athleticism, but to her determination and grit to work at a skill…”. The praise is mutual with Baker saying of Chabot, “He has always been a very big supporter of mine as an athlete and as a coach, and I think he sets the bar for committed and invested coaches.” Similarly, Baker notes her appreciation for Coach Mike Stompski, saying, “Stomp was there for me day in and day out. To use his words, he was an adding machine, no matter what, I could count on him.”
Beyond Baker’s additional contributions to the WPI athletic program by guiding multiple WPI student athletes to NEWMAC titles and All-New England performances as a Track & Field coach, she also supported the university for years as a WPI Wellness Program dance instructor.
Baker attended the WPI Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony during Homecoming Weekend with her inspirational Medway High School coach Mary Ellen Hasenfuss, her parents, and a friend. “It was so nice to be able to reunite with my coaches and share this honor with them. It was a special evening.”