The Baldwin Wallace University women's indoor and outdoor track & field program is always one of the best in NCAA Division III athletics. The Yellow Jacket women won the 2016 NCAA Division III National Indoor title.
BW women's track teams have won 17 Ohio Athletic Conference indoor titles, including 15 straight from 1988 through 2002, and 16 OAC outdoor crowns, including a pair of OAC-record streaks of seven straight years. Add that success to 16 OAC cross country titles, including the 2009 crown, and you have an OAC dynasty in track and cross country.
National Champions: Team and Individuals
The 2016 BW women captured the NCAA Division III national indoor title by parlaying six All-America performances by three separate student-athletes, including three individual national titles, into 42.20 points to give the Yellow Jacket track program its first-ever national title and just the second in school history in any sport.
Seniors Melanie Winters '16 and Kim Gallavan '16 and junior Erin Kasper '17 led the way to the national title. Gallavan won national titles in both the weight throw and shot put to score 20 points, Winters won the national title in the long jump, placed third in the high jump and fourth in the 60-meter hurdles for 21 points, and Kasper tied for sixth in the high jump for 1.20 points. Winters is the most celebrated BW women's student-athlete in history with 10 All-American awards, including one national title. Gallavan enters the 2016 outdoor season as a five-time All-American, including winning two national titles.
BW has been fortunate to have a number of national champs in women's track. Individually, Sonya (Ming) Bianco '89 won NCAA Division III national championships in the high jump and heptathlon in 1988 and 1989, respectively, and helped to begin the string of 11 straight OAC titles. Jenniffer Green '94 ended a great career in 1994 as a nine-time All-American and four-time Division III national hurdling champion. During her career, Green ran on eight straight OAC title-winning indoor (four) and outdoor (four) teams and once owned the NCAA Division III national record in the 100-meter hurdles. In 1999, Jayme Gallant captured the NCAA Division III national title in the shot put. In the spring of 2000, Claire DeChant was the Division III national champion in the discus. In 2011, Kim Chinn won was the Division III national champion in the steeplechase.
The Track Participant Faces a Challenging Schedule
One of the keys to BW's success is its schedule. The BW women have traveled to numerous invitational meets during the winter and spring seasons and to Florida during spring break. Running in invitational meets allows every student-athlete an opportunity to learn, participate and have fun.
The Track Facilities are Outstanding
The track and field student-athlete is afforded some of the finest facilities in small college athletics. The George Finnie Stadium has been the site of six NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships in '75, '79, '91, '93, '99 and '10 . Inside the Lou Higgins Center, lies the 200-meter Harrison Dillard Track with its Mondo surface for maximum performance. In addition, the Cleveland Metropark System, with its 23 miles of running trails, is less than a mile from campus.
The Developmental Goals of the Track Program
The Baldwin Wallace University track and field program strives for excellence by stressing the total development of the student-athlete's academic, athletic and social potential. Each student-athlete will be asked to be self-disciplined and committed to the development of excellence within the BW track program. In return, the coaching philosophy is to provide quality coaching in each event. The coaching staff believes in taking the time to help each student-athlete develop while providing competitive experiences to allow the athlete to improve. While many valuable lessons are learned on the track, the ultimate goal is to help each student-athlete grow and graduate at the end of her career at Baldwin Wallace University.