DELAWARE, Ohio – The Baldwin Wallace University women's cross country team finished off the season with a top-15 finish at the 2017 NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional Championships.
The women's team placed 11th out of 35 teams with a total of 304 points. Hope (Mich.) College took home the women's regional championship with 88 points.
This year's Great Lakes Regional Championship showed a marked improvement for the Yellow Jackets over last year's results of 19th for the women and 22nd for the men.
After competing in the Ohio Wesleyan Invitational earlier in the season, BW came into the regional meet familiar with the course. For the team's freshmen, the season has come full circle as most of them ran their first collegiate 6k race at the OWU Invitational.
Head coach Joe Eby said that his teams understood the importance of the meet and that they've run in a lot of big, competitive meets this season. He hoped for his teams to be able to take the lessons that they've learned from those races and be able to execute the race plan.
Two Yellow Jacket women earned All-Great Lake Region honors with a top-35 finish individually. Sophomore All-Ohio Athletic Conference runner Bella Pendola (Warsaw/River View) was the team's top finisher with a career-best time of 23:20.7 to finish 32nd out of 247 runners, improving on her previous career-best by 19.1 seconds. Freshman All-OAC runner Madison Kile (North Canton/Hoover) also earned All-Great Lakes Region honors with a 34th place finish in a career-best time of 23:22.5, almost 10 seconds better than her previous career best.
Three freshmen rounded out the top five finishers for the Yellow Jackets as freshman Hastings Marek (Pataskala/Watkins Memorial) took 42nd place with a 6k time of 23:32.3, freshman Rebecca Penrose (Springfield/Shawnee) placed 93rd in 24:34.0 and freshman Molina Otte (Omaha, Neb./Millard West) finished 103rd with a time of 24:42.6.
The Yellow Jackets will return their core group of runners for the 2018 season, including their talented group of freshmen who continue to get better with each race, and will look forward to competing in the Ohio Athletic Conference, the Great Lakes Region and nationally.