Senior Emily Richards named OAC Distance Runner of the Year, leads No. 9 Women's Track & Field to second place finish at OAC Championships

Senior Emily Richards named OAC Distance Runner of the Year, leads No. 9 Women's Track & Field to second place finish at OAC Championships

By Caleb Scott

BEXLEY — For the second consecutive season, senior Emily Richards (Delaware/Hayes) was dubbed the Ohio Athletic Conference Women's Distance Runner of the Year as she led the No. 9-ranked Ohio Northern women's track and field team to a second place finish at the 2018 Indoor OAC Championships in Bexley.

The Polar Bears move to 37-13 on the season with the second place finish. 

Otterbein claimed the women's title with 144 points, while John Carroll rounded out the top-3 with 121 points.

For the second consecutive year, Richards won three individual events at the championships to lead the way for ONU. She was also a part of Northern's OAC Champion 4x400-meter relay team.

The senior set a new OAC record in the 1,000-meter run as she raced to first place in 2:54.44.

Richards would also claim the OAC title in the 800-meter run in 2:18.60, before winning the 1-mile run in 4:58.15.

The 4x400-meter relay team of Richards, juniors Taylor Fisher (Wapakoneta) and Avery Ewing (Kokomo, Ind./Eastern) and sophomore Taylor Lavey (New Baltimore, Mich./Findlay) also claimed in OAC title in the event, finishing first in 3:59.91.

In the 60-meter dash, Lavey earned All-Conference honors and bettered the school record mark she tied on day one of the meet, finishing third in :7.92 and claiming the school record.

Lavey would continue to impress, earning All-OAC honors in the 200-meter dash after finishing third in :26.20.

After posting the fourth fastest time in the preliminaries in the 500-meter dash, Ewing claimed the OAC title in the event, finishing first in 1:20.00, while Fisher was eighth in the event in 1:21.08.

Junior distance runner Ashlie Baumann (Sterling Heights, Mich./Stevenson) earned her second All-OAC nod of the weekend after finishing third in the 3,000-meter run in 10:19.45.

Freshman Stella DeWitt (Weston/Cardinal Stritch Catholic) also garnered her second All-OAC honor of the championships after finishing third in the triple jump with a leap of 35' 6".

In the shot put, junior Tia Harris (Newton Falls) posted a top-4 finish in the event, finishing fourth with a throw of 41' 2.25".

Northern returns to action next weekend as it hosts the Polar Bear final qualifier meet on Mar. 2-3 at the Kinghorn Fieldhouse.

Team Standings

1. Otterbein 144, 2. Ohio Northern 128, 3. John Carroll 121, 4. Mount Union 120, 5. Baldwin Wallace 73.5, 6. Heidelberg 56, 7. Capital 52.5, 8. Wilmington 30, 9. Muskingum 15