By Caleb Scott
BEREA — Junior Emily Richards (Delaware/Hayes) and senior Rebecca Olashuk (Defiance/Tinora) highlighted a very strong performance for the No. 6-ranked Ohio Northern women's indoor track and field team Saturday afternoon as they competed in the Ohio Athletic Conference Championships.
The Polar Bears move to 53-9 on the year.
Richards led the way for the Polar Bears on day two of the meet as she claimed the OAC Title in the 1,000-meter run, the 1-mile run and the 800-meter run.
The junior is the first female athlete in OAC history to win all three events in the same meet.
The junior also garnered Female Distance Athlete of the Year for her efforts, while sophomore Maddy Reed (Lucasville/Piketon) claimed Female Field Athlete of the Year.
Richards won the 800-meter run in 2:19.18, the 1,000-meter run in an OAC-record 2:57.20 and also won the 1-mile run in an OAC-record 4:56.48.
Olashuk had an impressive performance in the weight throw as she set an Ohio Northern school record with a toss of 53' 5.00", breaking an eight year old school record.
Sophomore Ashlie Baumann (Sterling Heights, Mich./Stevenson) claimed the OAC Title in the 5,000-meter run, finishing first in 18:26.63.
In the 55-meter hurdles, senior Allie Gast (Grandville, Mich.) was named OAC Champion, winning the event in :8.50.
In the triple jump, senior Kelsey Commager (Maumee) was named the OAC Champion with a winning leap of 37' 2.50".
Commager also earned All-OAC honors in the long jump, finishing second in the event with a jump of 17' 10.25".
Senior Meagan Ellinger (Bath, Ind./Union County) earned All-Conference honors in the 400-meter dash, as she finished third in 1:00.02.
In the 500-meter run, freshman Taylor Fisher (Wapakoneta) claimed third place and earned All-Conference honors with a time of 1:20.72.
The 4x400-meter relay team of Richards, Fisher, Ellinger and freshman Taylor Lavey (Findlay) earned All-Conference honors with a third place finish in 4:04.26.
The distance medley relay team of seniors Genevieve Marchese (Beavercreek/Carroll), Nicole Huber (Findlay), sophomore Avery Ewing (Kokomo, Ind./Eastern) and Lavey were named All-OAC after finishing third in 12:45.80.
Reed was crowned OAC Champion in the pole vault, winning the event and becoming the first female athlete in OAC history to clear four meters or higher.
"Our women just flat out performed this weekend," said head coach Jason Maus. "We couldn't be more proud of the meet that they had. These girls gave everything and really put it on the line. We had a lot of huge PR's today and yesterday and saw a lot of improvement. Maddy Reed and Emily Richards both earned their Athlete of the Year awards. We think we had two Field Athletes of the Year in Maddy and Kelsey. We were really proud of the effort they gave and just want to keep building momentum moving forward."
The Ohio Northern coaching staff garnered OAC Coaching Staff of the Year for Northern.
The Polar Bears return to action Mar. 3-4 as they host the Polar Bear Last Chance Invitational at the ONU Sports Center Fieldhouse.
Final Team Standings
1. Mount Union, 161, 2. Ohio Northern 152, 3. Otterbein 112, 4. John Carroll 98, 5. Baldwin Wallace 85, 6. Capital 70, 7. Heidelberg 31, 8. Wilmington 20, 9. Muskingum 8, 10. Marietta 3