WESTERVILLE, Ohio – The Baldwin Wallace University women's 4x800-meter relay team successfully defended its Ohio Athletic Conference title to lead the Yellow Jackets to fifth place after the first day of the 2019 OAC Outdoor Championships, hosted by Otterbein University inside Memorial Stadium.
BW currently sits fifth of 10 teams with 27 points. The University of Mount Union is the women's leader with 61 points.
The winning 4x800 team of junior All-OAC and Academic All-OAC distance runner Katie Fowler (Mount Vernon), sophomore All-OAC distance runner Madison Kile (North Canton/Hoover), junior All-OAC and Academic All-OAC distance runner Bella Pendola (Warsaw/River View) and junior two-time All-American distance runner Kelly Brennan (Akron/Walsh Jesuit) combined for the top of the podium in a time of 9:20.59.
Out in the field, junior All-OAC and Academic All-OAC thrower Brooke Buckhannon (Collins/Western Reserve) started off the day with the Yellow Jackets' first All-OAC accolade. The junior was the runner-up in discus throw with a toss of 130 feet, 8 inches. Sophomore jumper Abby Lewicki (Medina/Highland) added a point to BW's team total with an eighth-place finish in the pole vault after clearing a career-best height of 10'2.5".
In perhaps the most exciting race of the day, freshman distance runner Alyssa Laughner (Howard, Pa./Central Mountain) earned her first career All-OAC honor with a runner-up finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. She crossed the finish line in a time of 11:08.39, just 0.02 seconds behind the two-time defending event champion and eventual winner. Laughner now sits 11th nationally in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the time of the meet.
Five different preliminaries were contested during the first day's action. Freshman All-OAC hurdler Amanda Milo (Akron/Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy) won her heat of the 100-meter hurdles in a career-best 14.66 seconds, which was second best in the preliminaries and also ties for the 15th-fastest time in NCAA Division III at the time of the meet. Senior All-OAC sprinter Grace Nemeth (Medina) advanced to the finals in both her events, running 12.63 seconds for the fifth-fastest time in the 100-meter dash and a career-best 25.38 seconds for the third-fastest time in the 200-meter dash.
BW will conclude the 2019 Ohio Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships on Saturday, April 27, beginning at 9:30 a.m. inside Memorial Stadium.