By Tim Glon
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Junior Maddy Reed (Piketon) earned All-America honors in the pole vault to lead Ohio Northern on the first day of the NCAA Division III Women's Indoor Track & Field Championships on Friday at the Birmingham Cross Plex.
Reed finished fifth out of 16 vaulters, clearing 3.85 meters, to earn All-America honors for the second time Indoors and her third time overall.
Sophomore Maggie Krause (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) tied for 12th in her first NCAA appearance, clearing 3.60 meters.
Senior 5-time NCAA Champion and 7-time All-American Emily Richards (Delaware/Hayes) won her heat in the mile in 4:54.55. She advances to the finals on Saturday at 3 pm (CST) where she looks to defend her 2017 title in the event.
Richards also won her prelims heat of the 800-meter dash in 2:13.64. She will be the No.2 seed in the finals on Saturday at 3:50 pm and is the two-time defending NCAA Champion in the event.
Junior Taylor Fisher (Wapakoneta) sophomore Taylor Lavey (New Baltimore, Mich./Findlay) , junior Avery Ewing (Kokomo, Ind./Eastern) and Richards finished fourth in their heat and 10th of 12 overall in the 4x400 relay in a school record 3:55.67.
The entered the meet seeded 11th with an adjusted qualifying mark of 3:53.13.
Richards will also run the 3,000-meter run on Saturday at 4:45 pm (CST). There are no preliminary heats in that event and she enters as the nation's top seed at 9:23.61, nearly 16 seconds ahead of the next closest qualifier.
"We enter every championships meet hoping everything goes perfect," ONU head coach Jason Maus said. "It never goes perfect, but today was a very good day. Maddy was an All-American and jumped well. Maggie cleared two heights in her first NCAA Championships meet, which is an outstanding accomplishment. Emily advanced in her two prelims without pushing herself and our relay team set a school record. Quite a lot to be proud of and it sets us up for a big day tomorrow."