KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The 2008 Daktronics-NAIA Men's and Women's Cross Country Scholar-Athletes have been announced and Grace College is proud to recognize the three members that have been selected.
The members from the women's team include juniors Mary MacLeod and Amy Misak. MacLeod is a native of Kennebunk, Maine while Misak is from Wayland, Michigan. From the men's team, junior Samuel Roth received the national honor. Roth was a standout runner from Hudsonville, Indiana.
In order to be a recipient of the NAIA-Daktronics Scholar-Athlete award, athletes must be a junior or above in academic standing; has been in attendance at the nominating institution a minimum of one full year of attendance; has a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.50 (on a 4.0 scale) at the time of nomination at the nominating institution; has been certified as eligible.
Kenosha, WI--MariJean Wegert finished 163 out of 327 runners at the NAIA National Cross Country meet in a time of 19:29. Though not her best race of the year, it was a great experience and one that for her that will better prepare her for her next couple of years of cross country competition.
"I am very proud of the way MariJean has progressed this season," said head coach Neal Butler. "She has shown great improvement and still has nowhere to go but up as she continues to compete. It will be fun to watch how much she continues to improve over the next couple of years."
Wegert has the top five fastest times in Grace College program history.
Cedarville, OH -- The women's cross country team completed their season with a 9th place finish out of 19 teams in the NCCAA Nationals. They reached their goal of a top 10 finish.
The women were lead by MariJean Wegert's 13th place finish, which earned her recognition as an NCCAA All-American. She became the first Grace cross-country woman to earn this honor, which goes to the top 15 at the National meet.
Kristin Hawkins finished her senior season as a four year varsity runner. "She was one of the most improved runners I have ever coached," said head coach Neal Butler.
This concludes a great season for the women. They saw their highest conference finish, received their first vote towards NAIA Top 25 and had their first NCCAA All-American and NAIA individual qualifier. Amy Misak and Mary MacLeod were also recognized as NCCAA Scholar Athletes.
"The women's program took a giant step forward this season. I am very proud of the women, their hard work and all the growth that I have seen in them in all areas of their lives: spiritually, academically and athletically," Butler said. "We set high goals, and they have been reached. The Lord has truly blessed the efforts of these fine athletes. They are a joy to coach, and I am excited for what the future holds for this program."
MariJean Wegert will conclude her season with the NAIA National Cross Country Meet in Kenosha, Wisconsin, next Saturday, Nov. 22. The race is at 10:30 am.
Spring Arbor, MI--The Grace College women's cross country team finished 4th at the Mid-Central College Conferee Championships hosted by Spring Arbor University on Saturday. The Lady Lancers had their best finish in program history behind a 113 point effort as they just trailed Indiana Wesleyan University, Spring Arbor and Bethel College.
Sophomore MariJean Wegert led the Grace effort with a 3rd place finish in a school record time of 18:42 that qualified her for the NAIA National Championships on November 22nd. Not far back were teammates Ashley Thomas and Amy Misak who placed 22nd and 24th in times of 19:47 and 19:56 respectively, both personal records.
Rounding out the Lancers scoring was Kristin Hawkins with a 45th place finish and a time of 21:04, followed by Alison Spahr in 48th at 21:06. Sophomore Heather Vaughn placed 50th at 21:09 and junior Mary MacLeod finished 53rd in a time of 21:16.
"The women ran a great race today as it was the highest finish in program history and it was the first time we defeated Taylor University as a team," said head coach Neal Butler.
The women will race in the Christian Nationals at Cedarville University on Saturday November 15th.
Grand Rapids, MI--The Grace College women's cross country team ran on a muddy course Saturday at the Great Lakes Invitational where they placed 13th out of 20 teams.
"The women ran solid today but not as well as I had hoped," said head coach Neal Butler.
Grace will compete in the MCC Championships on November 8th in Jackson, Michigan
27 MariJean Wegert 19:12
74 Ashley Thomas 20:08 PR
79 Kristin Hawkins 20:17
81 Amy Misak 20:22
92 Heather Vaughn 20:48
98 Alison Spahr 20:58
101 Mary MacLeod 21:12
2008 NAIA Womens Cross Country Coaches Top 25 Poll -Oct. 14
1 2 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 14 585
2 1 Cedarville (Ohio) 7 578
3 3 California State-San Marcos 550
4 4 Malone (Ohio) 532
5 5 Concordia (Calif.) 518
6 7 Biola (Calif.) 470
7 6 Black Hills State (S.D.) 469
8 8 Simon Fraser (B.C.) 460
9 9 Indiana Institute of Technology 445
10 10 Wayland Baptist (Texas) 416
11 12 Indiana Wesleyan 401
12 11 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 392
13 13 Concordia (Neb.) 372
14 14 Aquinas (Mich.) 342
15 16 College of Idaho (Idaho) 316
16 17 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 294
17 15 Shawnee State (Ohio) 274
18 23 Saint Xavier (Ill.) 261
19 18 Milligan (Tenn.) 259
20 20 Westmont (Calif.) 215
21 21 Lindenwood (Mo.) 210
22 RV Dordt (Iowa) 199
T23 25 British Columbia 162
T23 RV Doane (Neb.) 162
25 RV Bethel (Ind.) 152
Others Receiving Votes: Hastings (Neb.) 90; Spring Arbor (Mich.) 68; Concordia (Ore.) 62; William Woods (Mo.) 61; Morningside (Iowa) 31; Jamestown (N.D.) 30; MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 14; Vanguard (Calif.) 13; Oklahoma Baptist 10; Taylor (Ind.) 8; Evergreen State (Wash.) 4; Park (Mo.) 3; Southwestern (Kan.) 1; Corban (Ore.) 1; Berry (Ga.) 1; Grace (Ind.) 1; Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) 1; Montreat (N.C.) 1; Union (Tenn.) 1.
Marion, IN--The Grace College women's cross country team had ideal conditions Saturday morning as they ran at the IWU Invitational. Four of the Lady Lancers set a personal best as head coach Neal Butler was very pleased with the team's effort.
"The women ran a great race," said head coach Neal Butler. "The team average was 19:52 which was over 38 seconds faster than last year's best average. Four of the seven runners ran PR's. Two others just missed their PR. Mari Jean Wegert ran the fastest time for any women I have ever coached. The ladies came ready to race and did the best they have ever done."
Grace will compete again on October 11 in Kenosha, WI at the Lucian Rose Parkside Invite.
3 MariJean Wegert 18:53 PR
15 Kristin Hawkins 19:57 PR
19 Amy Misak 20:01 PR
22 Ashley Thomas 20:15
23 Heather Vaughn 20:16
33 Alison Spahr 20:52
34 Mary MacLeod 20:53 PR
1. Indiana Wesleyan 32
2. Taylor 53
3. Grace 64
4. Judson 110
5. St. Joseph 124
Bloomington, IN--The Grace College women cross country team continued with another great showing in the non-division 1 meet on Friday afternoon.
For Grace, sophomore Mari Jean Wegert ran another solid race with a time of 20:10 and a 16th finish overall. Sophomore Heather Vaughn from Wabash, Indiana also broke the 21 minute mark with a time of 20:54 and a 32nd place.
"Our women did another outstanding job of running how they are capable of running," said head coach Neal Butler. "I think we will continue to get better as we get further into the schedule."
Grace returns to the cross country course in two weeks down in Marion, Indiana at IWU Invitational.
16-MariJean Wegert 20:10
32-Heather Vaughn 20:54
35-Amy Misak 21:09
37-Kristin Hawkins 21:11
49Ashley Thomas 21:50
50-Mary MacLeod 21:55
59-Alison Spahr 21:58
Upland, IN--The Grace College women started their season with a solid 2nd place finish at the Taylor Invitational.
MariJean Wegert lead the way with a strong 3rd place finish and a PR of over 30 seconds. The rest of the team finished in a strong pack. Mary MacLeod showed the biggest improvement from last year with a PR of over a minute.
"Though a good start, we still have a lot of run for improvement," said head coach Neal Butler. "Our start was not as strong as it should have been. We were constantly playing catch up to the Taylor runners. We also bogged down a little in the middle. Once we learn how to race a complete race, we will be a very competitive team."
The women next race at the Indiana Intercollegiates on Friday, Sept. 19 at the Indiana University in Bloomington. Their race is schedule for 4:30 p.m.
3 MariJean Wegert 20:06 PR
9 Heather Vaughn 21:18
10 Amy Misak 21:26
13 Ashley Thomas 21:41
14 Kristin Hawkins 21:42
21 Mary MacLeod 22:03 PR
23 Alison Spahr 22:04
44 Leah Jennys 24:07
1. Taylor 32
2. Grace 49
3. Indianapolis 84
4. St. Francis 105
5. Marian 125
6. Holy Cross No Score