By Blake Moore
DELAWARE — Junior pole vaulter Maggie Krause (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) and the 4x100-meter relay squad of freshmen Kayla Silva (Westerville/South) and Emily Norden (Carey), sophomore Stella DeWitt (Weston/Cardinal Stritch), and junior Taylor Lavey (New Baltimore, Mich./Findlay) won event titles and senior thrower Tia Harris (Newton Falls) broke the outdoor shot put record Saturday at the George Gauthier Track in Delaware, leading the Ohio Northern women's track and field program to a fourth-place finish at the 2019 All-Ohio Championships.
The Polar Bears (51-8 overall) ended fourth in a 20-team field with 85.5 team points, just 0.5 points outside the top-three programs. Otterbein won the team title with 136 points; John Carroll ended second with 91 points; and Baldwin Wallace edged out ONU for third place with 86 points.
Krause cruised to an event title in the pole vault after clearing the bar at 3.82 meters (12' 6.25"), finishing 0.27 meters (11 inches) better than second-place finisher Sarah Voit from Oberlin. In addition, her effort ranks third on the NCAA Division III performance list, pending other results from around the country this weekend.
In the 4x100-meter relay, Silva, Norden, DeWitt, and Lavey nearly rewrote the Ohio Northern record books with a :48.61 clocking. The performance, which was just 0.03 seconds off the current school record, claimed the event title and ranks 18th-best in the NCAA Division III this season.
Harris claimed her second ONU school record on Saturday afternoon, launching the shot put 12.92 meters (42' 4.75") for a fourth-place finish. The 2019 OAC indoor champion now owns both indoor and outdoor shot put records at Ohio Northern following her performance this weekend.
The Polar Bears had nine additional top-five performances at the All-Ohio Championships, which included eight top-five finishes on the track.
Senior Sydney McCluer (Columbus Grove), Lavey, Norden, and senior Avery Ewing (Kokomo, Ind./Eastern) added a runner-up effort in the 4x400-meter relay with a 4:03.58 clocking. The quartet established a new season-best for the ONU 4x400 team.
Northern continued to show success in the sprint/hurdle disciplines over the weekend, which included third-place finishes from Lavey and Norden in the 100- and 400-meter dashes, respectively.
Lavey and Silva ended 3-4 in the 100-meter dash finals. The former crossed the tape in :12.43 while the latter trailed closely behind in :12.53.
Meanwhile, Norden broke the one-minute barrier in the 400-meter dash for the first time in her collegiate career on Saturday. She finished third in the quarter-mile with a career-best :59.89 clocking.
Ewing also claimed a top-three finish in the 800-meter run. The senior from Kokomo, Indiana ran a season-best 2:15.70 to finish third in the 28-person field.
McCluer and senior Taylor Fisher (Wapakoneta) secured a 4-5 finish in the 400-meter hurdles with nearly-identical 1:06.201 and 1:06.202 efforts, respectively.
Junior Allison Stevens (Naperville, Ill./Central) joined Krause among the top-five performers in the pole vault competition. She matched her season-best mark with a 3.55-meter (11' 7.75") clearance, which tied for fourth overall.
Sophomore Kylie Vestal (Youngstown/Austintown-Fitch) rounded out the top-five finishes for Ohio Northern with a fifth-place result in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in a career-best 11:44.39.
The Polar Bears will return to action next Friday and Saturday when they host the AJ Cody Invitational at Kerscher Stadium in Ada. Field events begin on Friday with the hammer throw and javelin competitions while the remaining events will be contested on Saturday.