The BW Cross Country Program is Steeped in Tradition and Success
The BW Women's Program is One of the Best in Division III; Janosko is OAC Men's Runner of the Year in 2011-12
The Baldwin Wallace University cross country program for men and women already has a rich heritage of excellence and is one of the best in Ohio, the Ohio Athletic Conference and in NCAA Division III. Head Coach Bill Taraschke's long-term goal is to make his program for cross country and track and field the best in the nation for NCAA Division III schools.
With Taraschke as its coach the past 21 years (through the Fall season of 2011), the Yellow Jacket women have competed at the NCAA Division III National Cross Country Championship Meet six times. BW was an all-time school-best 12th in the nation in 2000-2001. In addition, the Yellow Jackets were 17th in 1995-96, 18th in 1999-2000, 20th in 2001-2002, 21st in 1994-95 and 29th in 2009-10.
The BW men's program continues to build momentum and this season was highlighted by the running of junior Kenny Janosko (Mentor) who was the 2011 OAC Men's Runner of the Year. He is just the second Yellow Jacket to win that award (Tim Budic '01 did it in 2000-01).
Individually, three Yellow Jacket student-athletes, Peggy Fortune (1991), Jessica Carmona (1997) and Kim Chinn each have earned NCAA Division III All-America status by placing in the Top-35 runners at the national meet. Carmona was an all-time best eighth in 1997-98 and Chinn placed 13th in 2010-11.
This fall, the Yellow Jacket men were represented by Janosko on both the All-OAC and All-Great Lakes Region teams and the women were represented by juniors Sarah Rospert (Milan/ Edison) and Shaina Kovatch (Parma/ Valley Forge) on the All-OAC squad and Rospert also was All-Region.
Two seasons ago, the Yellow Jacket women captured the program's 16th OAC Championship and 12th under Taraschke. The 16 titles are more than twice as many as any other OAC school since the league began recognizing women's championships in 1985.
In the 1990s, the BW women dominated the OAC and won seven conference team titles, including an OAC-record six straight from 1992-97. In 25 seasons of successful competition for women in the OAC, BW has claimed 16 championships. In addition to the OAC-record streak of six straight titles, BW has two other streaks of four straight crowns.
The program has been led by some outstanding competitors, including 12 OAC individual champions:
- Martha Dora (1987)
- Lisa Winans (1988)
- Jennifer Schafer (1992)
- Tina Lokar (1993 and 1996)
- Shawn Conley (1994)
- Jessica Carmona (1997)
- Hannah Pudy (1999, 2000 and 2001)
- Lindsay Brickner (2007)
- D'Arcy Hlavin (2008)
Purdy is the only OAC women's runner to ever win three individual titles and Lokar is one of two to capture a pair of crowns.
The women's program originally began in the late1970s before being recognized as an OAC sport in 1985. In the late '70s, the Yellow Jackets built a strong reputation by winning the AIAW (the late Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women) state title in 1979.
More Than 50 Years of Men's Cross Country Excellence
The Baldwin Wallace University Yellow Jacket cross country program for men has a rich heritage of excellence. For many years, the program has been among the best in the Ohio Athletic Conference, the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Region and nationally in Division III.
The men's program originally began in the 1950s and reached prominence in the 1970s and early 1980s under the direction of legendary head coach Paul "Sparky" Adams. During that time, BW was one of the OAC's best teams, finishing high at both the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional and NCAA Division III National meets each year.
The Yellow Jacket men won a pair of OAC titles in the 70s (1973 and 1979) and captured three straight from 1981 through 1983. In both the 1970s and into the early-to-mid 1980s, BW placed almost annually in the Top-10 teams at the Division III national meet. Four times in the history of the program, a runner captured the OAC individual title with the last being John Finlay in 1993.
The Developmental Goals of the Program
The Baldwin Wallace University cross country program strives for excellence by stressing the development of each runner to his or her fullest potential. To achieve excellence, the BW cross country student-athlete is asked to be self-disciplined, unselfishly dedicated and to place the goals of the team ahead of personal recognition.
While many valuable lessons can be learned on the cross country course and at practice, the ultimate goal is to help each student-athlete grow and graduate at the end of his or her stay at Baldwin Wallace University.