By Blake Moore
ADA – The Ohio Northern women's track and field program received high praise for their successes in the classroom during the 2018 seasons from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) with the release of their annual All-Academic honors list on Thursday, July 26.
The women's program received All-Academic Team honors from the USTFCCCA for the 2018 season, joining a list of 291 NCAA Division III teams recognized for their academic achievements. The listing would include 106 men's track and field squads while 185 women's programs garnered the accolade.
The Polar Bears secured their spot on this year's list after ending the 2017-18 school year with a 3.23 cumulative team grade point average.
Additionally, Northern would add five individuals to the All-Academic Individuals list, headlined by senior standout Emily Richards (Delaware/Hayes), who was tabbed the 2018 Division III Women's Scholar Athlete of the Year for both indoor and outdoor seasons. She would be joined by juniors Ashlie Baumann (Sterling Heights, Mich./Stevenson), Taylor Fisher (Wapakoneta), Maddy Reed (Piketon), and sophomore Maggie Krause (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) on the All-Academic listing.
Richards, a 2018 graduate with a degree in chemistry, secured the top honor by being the highest-finishing performer at the NCAA Division III Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships who achieved All-Academic status. The outdoor award is her second straight honor as a USTFCCCA Scholar Athlete of the Year while her indoor recognition is the first recorded in Ohio Northern history by a female track athlete.
The graduate finished her career as a nine-time NCAA Champion and 13-time All-American after winning four national titles during her senior season.
Baumann, a criminal justice major, received her first All-Academic nod.
On the track, the junior distance runner would earn All-OAC accolades during the indoor (3,000-meter run) and outdoor seasons (5,000- and 10,000-meter runs).
Fisher is a pharmacy student at Ohio Northern receiving her first USTFCCCA recognition.
During both indoor and outdoor seasons, she received All-Great Lakes Region honors, All-OAC kudos, and was a conference champion and national qualifier in the 4x400-meter relay.
Reed, another pharmacy student at ONU, also collected her first award from the national association.
She claimed a national title in the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships in the pole vault after winning both OAC titles and becoming an All-American in the indoor season.
Krause, the lone sophomore recognized for the Polar Bears, majors in biology at Northern.
She had a stellar second year where she would receive her first All-American honor in the outdoor pole vault event after winding up eighth.
To be named an individual All-Academic team member, student-athletes must meet the team's minimum 3.30 cumulative grade point average requirement. In addition, they must achieve the association's athletic standard requiring the athlete to either qualify for an NCAA Championship event or finish the season ranked in the national top-50 in an individual event or in the top-35 of a relay event on the official NCAA Descending Order List.
Northern would finish the 2018 campaign having won the OAC Outdoor Championships and ending second in the field at the OAC Indoor Championships. The program would also boast their highest-ever team standing at the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships where they battled to a third-place finish.