By Tim Glon
LACROSSE, Wis. — Senior Emily Richards (Delaware/Hayes) swept the 800 and 1,500-meter runs on the final day of the 2018 NCAA III Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships on a hot Saturday afternoon at Roger Harring Stadium.
She ends her career as a 9-time NCAA Champion and a 13-time All-American after sweeping the 800 and 1,500 for the fourth consecutive Championships meet.
Richards began her day by defending her 2017 national title in the 1,500 by winning by more then three seconds in 4:25.08. She led wire-to-wire, racing to a 1.8 second lead after the first 300 meters and was never threatened.
Just more than an hour later, she finished her career as a three-time champion and a four-time All-American in the 800.
She again jumped to a large lead in the first 200 meters and posted a three-second victory in a stadium record 2:04.22.
"I wanted to go out fast in each race," Richards said. "It went just as I had hoped. It's amazing to remember as a freshman when I was seventh in this race and how my career at Ohio Northern has progressed. It's been a wonderful four years and it has been so much fun."
This marks the 11th time in ONU history that a Polar Bear has earned All-America honors in the women's 800 and the 21st time in the men's and women's 800.
"I'm so happy for Emily to end her career with such a dominating performance," ONU head coach Jason Maus said. "Neither of her races were in doubt. She went out fast and built a large lead each time. She just makes it look so effortless. She has been fortunate to remain healthy for her entire career - not have any hiccups. I just can't say enough about what she has accimplished at ONU."
Richards won her heat in the prelims of the 1,500-meter run in 4:35.57 on Thursday and won her heat of the 800 in 2:08.97 on Friday evening.
She has won NCAA titles five times in the 800 and twice in the 1-mile and 1,500-meter runs.
Richards has earned All-America honors in the 800 seven times, twice each in the 1-mile and 1,500-meter runs, once in the 3,000-meter run and was an All-American in cross country this fall.
As a team, the No. 9-ranked Polar Bears finished in seventh place with 30.5 points.
Richards accounted for 20 of the points with her two victories. Junior Maddy Reed (Piketon) won the national title and scored 10 points and sophomore Maggie Krause (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) tied for eighth place and scored a half a point in the pole vault on Thursday.