The Grace College cross country and track teams have added a talented newcomer to their 2013-14 roster with the signing of Sarah Hoff.
Hoff is a standout athlete for Open Door Christian School (Ohio). She has earned First and Second Team All-County honors for her cross country achievements, qualifying for Ohio’s regionals three times.
She is also a two-time regional qualifier for track as a member of the Patriots’ 4x800-meter relay team. Hoff’s personal-best times include 20:17 for the 5k race and 2:30.83 in the 800.
“I chose Grace College because it felt like home. It was the one place I could always count on a response from, and I felt God leading me here,” Hoff said. “My goals are to improve my running skills, excel in the classroom to the best of my ability and to be the best runner I can be.”
Hoff is also a strong student as a member of the high honor roll and the National Honor Society at Open Door Christian.
"We're very pleased that Sarah will be in a Lancer uniform for the next few years,” said Grace head coach Jeff Raymond. “She has run well in both cross country and track and should continue to get better. She will be a great fit at Grace."
Hoff, who plans to study elementary and special education at Grace, is the daughter of Dwayne and Jennifer Hoff.
Grace’s cross country and track teams have signed Allison Zylstra of Mishawaka High School for the 2012-13 seasons.
Zylstra is a two-time state qualifier for Mishawaka’s track team. Her 4x800-meter relay team has advanced to the Indiana state meet in both 2010 and 2011.
Her current best splits are 2:21.0 for the 4x800 and 0:59.9 for the 4x400.
“I met Allison early in her junior year and knew then that we would love to have her on our team,” said Grace head coach Jeff Raymond. “In my brief visit to Mishawaka High School, I had several members of faculty or administrators tell me what a great person we are getting in Allison, and I believe they are right.”
In her final season, Zylstra helped the Mishawaka girls’ team to a conference title in the 2012 Northern Indiana Conference Championships.
Zylstra has served as team captain for Mishawaka’s cross country team and has also been named Academic All-State for cross country.
“Mishawaka recently won a conference championship, and Allison has competed at the state level in track, so she comes into Grace with some great experiences,” Raymond continued. “She has been coached very well and will be able to step in and make an impact on our team right away.”
Zylstra has been a member of Mishawaka’s honor roll throughout high school. She is the daughter of Dan and Sandra Zylstra.
The Grace College cross country and track and field programs have added an accomplished runner for 2012-13 in Kouts High School's Tara Hamstra.
Hamstra is a four-year All-Conference runner who won the Porter County Conference race and the Rensselaer County Sectional as a senior.
"I chose Grace primarily for the Christian environment and the academic opportunities," Hamstra said. "I'm looking forward to contributing to the team while improving my high school personal records."
Hamstra improved her finish each year in the PCC conference cross country race from ninth place (freshman year) to sixth place (sophomore) to third place (junior) to winning the race as a senior.
In track, Hamstra was a two-time regional qualifier (800 meters, 3200m).
"Tara will be a great addition to our program. She's been one of the best cross country runners in her area for the last couple of years, winning conference and sectional titles," said Grace coach Jeff Raymond. "In addition, she's very strong academically and has been involved in various musical groups and in her church. We're looking forward to having her join our team."
Outside of athletics, Hamstra has been heavily involved at Kouts as a member of the school's choir, band and National Honor Society as well as being active in her church's youth group and Bible study.
She currently holds a 3.87 GPA and ranks fourth in her class.
Tara, who is the daughter of Gene and Lisa Hamstra, plans to study elementary education at Grace.
The Grace College cross country program has added a local standout for their 2012 lineup in Warsaw Community's Creigh Ogle.
Ogle is a two-time Honorable Mention All-Conference performer in the Northern Lakes Conference. She set her best time of 20:31 in the 5K.
"I enjoyed the Christian environment that Grace provides," Ogle said. "I like how close Grace is to home, and I'm looking forward to improving my running times while at Grace."
During her senior season in the fall of 2011, Ogle helped lead the Tigers to a state-qualifying run by racking up conference, sectional and regional championships along the way. Warsaw finished 11th in the state cross country meet with Ogle.
"Creigh has shown a tremendous amount of improvement and mental strength during her career with the Lady Tigers," said Warsaw coach Scott Erba. "She was new to the sport as a sophomore yet developed into one of our most dependable and consistent runners by the end of her senior year. We are going to miss her personality and ‘team-first’ attitude but look forward to seeing her progress at the collegiate level.”
Ogle was a standout in the classroom as well with high honors. She was also a member of the National Honor Society.
"We are very excited to have Creigh join our program here at Grace," said Grace coach Jeff Raymond. "She's been on a very good team at the high school level and has been coached very well, which should make the transition to college go smoothly. She improved throughout her high school career, running her best in the big meets as a senior. We look forward to having her run for the Lancers."
Creigh is the daughter of Doug and Melissa Ogle.