By Bud Denega
ADA — One of the lasting impressions from the Joe Banks Invitational Saturday will be what Ohio Northern's distance runners did in the 5,000-meter run inside the ONU Sports Center. The Polar Bears boasted four of the top five runners, as sophomore Tessa Pitcovich (Stow/Stow-Munroe Falls) won the race after logging a time of 18:28.47.
Fellow sophomore Rue Whitmore (Mason) placed runner-up, clocking in at 18:42.47, while juniors Megan Wright (Eaton/Twin Valley South) and Kathleen Colvin (Hilliard/Bishop Ready) took third and fifth, respectively, with times of 18:52.91 and 19:04.83. The distance runners helped ONU rally for a third place team finish.
Otterbein won the meet, tallying 141 points. Cedarville took second, scoring 138 points, and Northern rounded out the top three with 111 points.
Much like the 5,000-meter run, the Polar Bears also crowded the top five in pole vault, as well. Senior Maggie Krause (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) placed runner-up, clearing 11-11.75, while freshman Anna Schatzle (Brookville, Ind./Franklin County) and senior Allison Stevens (Naperville, IL./Central) took third and fourth, respectively, with marks of 10-11.75 and 10-06.
Junior Cheyenne Retcher (Ney/Fairview) placed second in the 1,000-meter run, recording a time of 3:13.16. Sophomore Kayla Silva (Westerville/South) finished runner-up in the 60-meter dash, clocking in at 8.01.
The 800-meter relay team — of sophomore Mackenzie Detmer (Waterville/Liberty Center), senior Taylor Lavey (New Baltimore, Mich./Findlay), sophomore Gizem Tanriverdi (Ada) and freshman Emily Hughes (Norwalk/Seneca East) — crossed third, clocking in at 1:52.52. Junior Stella DeWitt (Weston/Cardinal Stritch) took third in the triple jump with a leap of 32-07.5.
Freshman Gabrielle Kowalczyk (Marion/Pleasant Local) placed fifth in the 800-meter run, registering a time of 2:27.22.
The Polar Bears travel to the Hillsdale (Mich.) Challenge, a two-day meet beginning Feb. 7.