By Caleb Scott
GENEVA — For the second time in 2017, junior Emily Richards (Delaware/Hayes) claimed two titles at the same NCAA Div. III Championship meet to lead the Ohio Northern women's outdoor track and field team at the 2017 NCAA Div. III Outdoor Track & Field National Championships at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.
As a team, the Polar Bears finished tied for eighth in the team standings with 26 points and posted the best finish in school history at the outdoor championships.
Richards opened the day for the women's team as she claimed the 1,500-meter run title in a stadium-record time of 4:23.87.
The junior doubled back shortly after to claim the 800-meter run title.
Richards won the event in a new national meet record time of 2:03.51 and beat the field by nearly five seconds.
"I was pretty nervous heading into the 800," said Richards. "I just ran the 1,500 pretty hard right before the 800 and my legs were a little tired. Once I started running everything just started taking care of itself and I felt great. Getting the meet record in the 800 was pretty special to me. It's really hard to put into words what winning four titles this year has been like but I'm just really happy."
Senior Kelsey Commager (Maumee) competed in the triple jump and posted a 21st place finish for the Polar Bears.
The senior finished the event with a leap of 36' 9.75".
"This has been a great experience just getting here," said Commager. "It's been a lot of fun being here but its also really emotional being my last meet. You think about those three jumps possibly being the last of your career and it means so much more. Today could have gone better but I'm happy I made it here and got to compete at such a high level."
"We had a pretty solid meet on the women's side," said head coach Jason Maus. "Kendra battled through a small injury and still competed well. Kelsey had an okay day but just being here is a huge accomplishment. Maddy was obviously fantastic and had a great performance on Thursday. Emily was just Emily. She knew she was capable of winning these two events coming in and she really battled and competed. It's really hard to put into words how well she has does this season. She makes it look really easy but its not easy at all. This was just a fantastic experience for all of us this season and we are really proud of these girls."