Junior Emily Richards named USTFCCCA Outdoor Track Scholar Athlete of the Year as three Polar Bears are honored

Junior Emily Richards named USTFCCCA Outdoor Track Scholar Athlete of the Year as three Polar Bears are honored

By Caleb Scott

| USTFCCCA All-Academic Release |

ADA — Ohio Northern landed three women's athletes on the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic list for the 2016-17 season.

Senior Meagan Ellinger (Bath, Ind./Union County) and juniors Emily Richards (Delaware/Hayes) and Kelly Wollenslegel (Clyde) were all named individuals to receive the honor.

Richards led the list of honorees as she became the first female athlete in school history to be named Scholar Athlete of the Year for Ohio Northern's track & field programs.

Scholar Athletes of the Year were selected as the highest finishing performers at the NCAA Division II Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships who achieved All-Academic status. Those who won individual championship titles ranked higher in the tie-breaking process and cumulative GPA is weighed as the final advantage.

Richards earns a USTFCCCA Academic Individual award for the third time in her career as a track and field athlete.

Ellinger earned the honor for the first time in her career.

The senior is a 4-time Ohio Athletic Conference Champion and 10-time All-OAC honoree.

Wollenslegel also earns the Academic Individual honor for the first time in her career.

The junior just narrowly missed being a national qualifier in the pole vault in 2017 after she claimed second place at the OAC Championships.

Kelly earned All-OAC honors for the first time in her career at the outdoor OAC Championships in 2017.

To qualify for USTFCCCA All-Academic honors, the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative GPA of 3.30 and must have met at least one of the following athletic standards:

  • Competed in an NCAA Indoor or Outdoor Championship
  • Finished the regular season ranked in the national top-50 in an individual event or ranked in the national top-35 in a relay event on the official NCAA Descending Order List.

Northern finished the 2017 outdoor campaign with a 78-4 record and finished tied for eighth as a team at the 2017 National Championships under eighth-year head coach Jason Maus.