Baldwin Wallace To Host the Division III National Cross Country Meet
BEREA, OHIO -- Baldwin Wallace University, in conjunction with the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, will host the 2009 NCAA Division III National Cross Country Championship Saturday, Nov. 21 at the Highland Park Golf Course. The event is part of the Sports Commission’s broader goal of making Cleveland the “Championship City” for NCAA events at all levels.
“Baldwin Wallace University is excited to partner with the NCAA and Cleveland Sports Commission to host the Division III National Cross Country Championship and the Outdoor Track & Field Championship Meet in May,” said BW athletic director Kris A. Diaz ‘79. “The College has always supported academic and athletic excellence and we appreciate the opportunity to host the best of the best in these national events.
“Our location, outstanding facilities and quality staff make hosting these events a natural fit,” continued Diaz. “We are part of a rich tradition and are delighted to host these championships in an environment where a student’s athletic activities are seen as an integral part of the total educational experience.”
Thirty-two Division III men’s teams and 32 women’s teams (seven runners per team) and 56 individual men and women will fill the field of 560 competitors in Highland Heights. The women’s race at 11 a.m. covers a 6K course while the 8K men’s race steps off at noon. An awards ceremony will follow at the Cleveland Hilton East.
“BW has a great history of hosting NCAA Championship events,” said longtime Yellow Jacket cross country and track coach Bill Taraschke, who led this year’s women’s team to its 16th Ohio Athletic Conference title since 1986. “We are fortunate to have the infrastructure of officials and meet administrators with the experience to put on an outstanding championship meet.
“Our primary goal is to have a student-athlete-friendly meet,” continued Taraschke, who has guided 47 Yellow Jacket teams to OAC titles in his 26 years at the College. “We want the student-athletes to have a positive experience in Cleveland both athletically and culturally.”
In addition to BW hosting the cross country meet this fall and the track meet this spring, John Carroll University will host the Final-8 for Division III Volleyball on Nov. 19-21, and this spring Oberlin College will host the Division III National Men’s Tennis Championships.
“Baldwin Wallace has a fine history of hosting successful NCAA championships as well as the Ohio Games, the A.A.U. Junior Olympic and Pan Am track meets in the past,” said David Gilbert, Executive Director of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. “We appreciate the efforts by BW President Richard W. Durst, athletic director Kris Diaz and coach Bill Taraschke’s to make both of these meets a reality and for joining our broader vision of making Cleveland a Championship City.”
For More Information on the Championship Meet, please visit the championship Web site at www.bw.edu/athletics/09ccnationals/. Those interested in volunteering this spring to help at the Outdoor Track & Field Championship Meet can contact Bill Taraschke at 440-826-3322 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.