Maddy Reed wins national title, Maggie Krouse earns All-America honors in the Pole Vault to lead Ohio Northern on day one of the NCAA III Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships

Maddy Reed wins national title, Maggie Krouse earns All-America honors in the Pole Vault to lead Ohio Northern on day one of the NCAA III Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships

By Tim Glon

| NCAA III Championships Site |

LACROSSE, Wis. — Junior Maddy Reed (Piketon) won the national title and sophomore Maggie Krause (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) earned All-America honors in the pole vault to lead Ohio Northern on the first day of the 2018 NCAA III Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Thursday afternoon at Roger Harring Stadium.

Reed won her first title and is now a four-time All-American by clearing 3.95 meters.

Krause cleared 3.65 meters to finish tied for eighth.

Senior 11-time All-American and 7-time national champion Emily Richards (Delaware/Hayes) won her heat in the prelims of the 1,500-meter run in 4:35.57.

Richards then combined with junior Taylor Fisher (Wapakoneta), sophomore Taylor Lavey (New Baltimore, Mich./Findlay) and junior Avery Ewing (Kokomo, Ind./Eastern) in a record-setting effort in the prelims of the 4x400 relay.

The foursome finiahed sixth in their heat and 10th overall in a school record 3:51.22, falling .74 of a second shy of qualifying for the finals.

The top eight in each event earn All-America honors.

"We had a great day as a team today," ONU head coach Jason Maus said. "A national champion, an All-American, we advanced Emily to finals and set a school record in the 4x400. I am so happy for Maddy and Maggie. Emily was strong in the 1500. The 4x400 finish is bittersweet right now - we were so close to qualifying for the finals. But the ladies ran faster than anyone in ONU history, so you can't ask for more than that."

In the pole vault, Reed passed on the first two heights and needed a third attempt to clear 3.75 meters to get off to a shaky start.

She then made an adjustment on her approach and cleared the bar on her next four attempts to move into first place at 3.95 meters.

The NCAA Indoor Champion, Katherine Pitman of Ithaca (N.Y.), passed at all of those heights and came into the competition at 4.00 meters, hoping to make a run at the NCAA Division III record of 4.22 meters.

Pitman had cleared 4.31 meters earlier this season, but missed at all three attempts to finish with a no-height, giving Reed the title and keeping Krause in eighth place.

"It still hasn't sunk in," Reed said. "I owe it all to my teammate Maggie. After I missed my first two jumps she told me I was starting from the wrong spot, 10 feet too far back. I knew something didn't feel right and she helped me. After that, I felt great and I made every jump. I would have never done it without her."

"It feels great to be an All-American," Krause said. "I feel bad for Pitman though. You don't ever want to see that happen to anyone. I felt really good on my first two jumps and I'm glad that it turned out that it was enough."

Richards led the entire way in the 1,500 and comfortably advanced to the finals, where she hopes to defend her 2017 national title on Saturday at 12:35 pm (1:35 pm EST).

In the 4x400 relay, ONU was in the hunt for a spot in the finals as the top two in each heat and the next five fastest times qualified for the finals.

Richards passed two runners in the final 100 meters of the race to put Northern sixth in its heat.

Things looked good for the Polar Bears heading into the final leg of the second heat, with a 3-woman pack well ahead of the field. But Chelsee Wilson of Concordia (Ill.) ran a strong final leg to catch the pack and give two at-large spots into the finals in that heat, bumping ONU from the final spot.