Brennan’s record-breaking run helps drive track successes

As the indoor track and field season begins to wrap up, the Baldwin Wallace University women’s track and field team shows no sign of slowing down.

On Saturday, Feb. 2, the team traveled to Hillsdale, Michigan to take part in the Hillsdale “Wid­­­e Track” Open in the Margot V. Biermann Athletic Center.

The Yellow Jackets placed second of the 19 teams that competed at the meet.

Junior All-American runner Kelly Brennan broke the Baldwin Wallace University 3,000-meter school record with a time of 10:07.86, almost three seconds better than the previous record that stood for 32 years.

This is the second record Brennan has broken this season. Sophomore All-OAC runner Hastings Marek took home the gold in the 1-mile run with a time of 5:17.05 and junior All-OAC and Academic All-OAC runner Bella Pendola took second in the 800-meter run with a career-best time of 2:23.74. ­­

Courtesy of University Relations
During the Feb. 2 “Wide Track” Open, Kelly Brennan broke the BW record in the 3,000-meter that had held for 32 years.

Following their second-place finish in Michigan, the Yellow Jackets returned home for the Mid-February meet inside the Lou Higgins Center Fieldhouse.

Again, Baldwin Wallace took home second place, this time out of nine teams which included some OAC competition.

Junior Breeanna Karam and freshman McKenzie Burke finished second and third in the weight throw with distances of 13.29 meters and 13.17 meters, respectively.

Sophomore Abby Lewicki took first place in the pole vault with a height of 3.04 meters in her first meet of the season.

One day later, on Saturday, Feb. 9, the team travelled to Otterbein University to partake in the All-Ohio Indoor Championships inside of the Clements Recreation Center in Westerville, Ohio.

Of the 18 teams that participated, the Yellow Jackets took home bronze with a third-place finish and seven All-Ohio honors.

After setting the All-Ohio meet-record in the 1-mile run with a time of 5:03.36, Brennan earned her fourth All-Ohio honor of her career. For her performances, Brennan earned her second All-OAC Track Athlete of the Week accolade and another first-place finish in the 800-meter run saw her achieve her fifth All-Ohio accolade.

Senior All-OAC sprinter Grace Nemeth also earned two All-Ohio honors during the weekend by finishing as runner-up in the 60-meter dash with a career-best time of 7.96 seconds and then following it up with a first-place finish in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.99 seconds. These were her third and fourth All-Ohio honors of her career.

Freshman hurdler Amanda Milo won the 60-meter hurdles final with a career-best time of 9.08 seconds to earn her first All-Ohio accolade of her career.

Freshman distance runner Alyssa Laughner took second in the 5,000-meter run for her first All-Ohio accolade with a career-best time of 18:00.21.  Pendola took home her third All-Ohio honor of her career when she placed second in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 10:34.36.

The team believes its program has continued to grow over this season and in general, over the past few years. The team has reaped the benefits of having a strong culture from the top to the bottom.

“Our team has progressed so much in the past few years,” said Pendola. “Our team is growing stronger. From the new recruits to the seniors, it’s really rewarding to see all of the hours of hard work that we’ve put into this sport that we love paying off on race day.”

The Yellow Jackets will return to the track on Saturday, Feb. 16, when they travel to the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio to partake in the Raider Tune Up inside the McPherson Academic & Athletic Complex.