WESTERVILLE, Ohio – Junior outdoor All-American distance runner Kelly Brennan (Akron/Walsh Jesuit) broke a Baldwin Wallace University school record as the women's indoor track and field teams began the 2019 season at the Dave Lehman Open, hosted by Otterbein University inside the Clements Recreation Center.
BW tied for first with host Otterbein out of 10 teams with 147 points.
Brennan won the 5,000-meter run in a time of 17:26.35 and improved on the previous school record by two full seconds. Otterbein's repeat All-American Claire Lamb crossed the finish line as the runner-up almost 37 seconds behind Brennan. The school-record mark currently ranks fifth nationally at the time of the meet.
Freshman distance runner Alyssa Laughner (Howard, Pa./Central Mountain) and junior All-Ohio Athletic Conference distance runner Bella Pendola (Warsaw/River View) also had a strong showing in the 5,000. Laughner finished third in her first collegiate track event with a time of 18:18.83 while Pendola was one spot behind in fourth in 18:22.87. Brennan followed up her school record with a third-place finish in the 800-meter run in a time of 2:24.11.
In the 1,000-meter run, junior All-OAC and Academic All-OAC distance runner Katie Fowler (Mount Vernon) and freshman distance runner Natalie Vinci (Canton/St. Thomas Aquinas) took fourth and fifth, respectively, in times of 3:18.66 and 3:19.01, respectively.
Senior sprinter Rachel Bender (Massillon/Jackson) and freshman sprinter/hurdler Amanda Milo (Akron/Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy) turned a few heads in their first collegiate meet. In the 60-meter dash preliminaries, Bender posted a time of 8.16 seconds to advance to the finals where she put up a time of 8.08 seconds in a runner-up finish. Milo, meanwhile, breezed through the 60-meter hurdle preliminaries in 9.30 seconds and raced 9.16 seconds to a near-tie in the finals, just 0.009 seconds behind the event champion.
Opening up her senior season on the right foot was All-OAC sprinter Grace Nemeth (Medina) with a win in the 200-meter dash. Winning the first heat of the event, Nemeth posted a time of 2.16 seconds to stand up against 33 additional runners, a time that was just just 0.05 seconds off her career best. The senior also placed third in the 60 dash finals, crossing the line in 8.10 seconds.
In relay action, the 4x400-meter relay team of sophomore All-OAC sprinter Ky'leana Allen (Columbus/Bishop Hartley), Milo, Bender and Nemeth placed second in a time of 4:19.12. Brennan, Fowler, Vinci and sophomore All-OAC distance runner Madison Kile (North Canton/Hoover) also combined for a third-place finish in the same event, posting a time of 4:25.29.
Another event champion also came out of the field as senior Academic All-OAC jumper Jessica Edwards (North Versailles, Pa./East Allegheny) claimed first in the triple jump with a leap of 32 feet, 9.75 inches. Sophomore jumper Abby Lewicki (Medina/Highland) added even more points for the Yellow Jackets in the same event with a third-place mark of 31'2.75". In the pole vault, senior Academic All-OAC jumper Abby Weagraff (Cochranton, Pa./Meadville) claimed a fourth-place finish when she cleared a height of 9'9.75".
In the throwing events, junior All-OAC performer Jillian Roberts (Broadview Heights/Brecksville-Broadview Heights) was the runner-up in the shot put by hitting 40'1.5" for her longest toss of the day. Junior All-OAC thrower Brooke Buckhannon (Collins/Western Reserve) placed fourth in both the shot put and the weight throw with marks of 38'7" and 45'3", respectively.
BW will be back in action on Saturday, Jan. 26, when the Yellow Jackets host the Dr. Taraschke Team Challenge on the Harrison Dillard Track inside the Lou Higgins Center Fieldhouse. Field events will begin at 9 a.m. while running events will begin at approximately 9:45 a.m.