www.grace.edu

2010

NAIA National Championships: Wegert Finishes Strong

11/20/10

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Running by herself in a field of 331 runners at the NAIA National Championships, MariJean Wegert represented Grace College with a strong 60th place showing.

Although the course was wet and sloppy, Wegert managed to finish in 18:59 to cap off her senior season. She will go down as one of the most successful runners in the history of the women's cross country team. She was an NCCAA All-American and a member of the Mid-Central College All-Conference team.

"This was a great way for MariJean to conclude her cross country career," said head coach Jeff Raymond. "She represented Grace College at a high level throughout this season."


Wegert to Represent Grace at NAIA Nationals

11/17/10

WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Senior MariJean Wegert will complete her cross country career Saturday at the NAIA Nationals in Vancouver, Wash.

Wegert has had a standout final season in her Lady Lancer uniform. Last week, she earned the second NCCAA All-American status of her career after finishing in third place at the NCCAA National Championship in a field of nearly 150 runners. During the race, she set a personal record with a time of 18:28.07.

In the Mid-Central College Conference championship meet, she finished in fifth place and qualified for the NCCAA Nationals. She was also named to the MCC All-Conference team.

On October 16, she won the first race of her career at the Manchester Invitational. One month earlier, she earned All-Little State honors with a second-place finish in her division at the Indiana Intercollegiate Meet.


Grace Cross Country Excels at NCCAA Nationals

11/13/10

CEDARVILLE, Ohio -- The Grace College cross country team had a standout performance at the NCCAA National Championship on Saturday.

MariJean Wegert and Ashley Thomas both earned NCCAA All-American status by virtue of their top-20 finishes. Wegert earned her second All-American honor (she was All-American in 2008) with a third-place finish and personal best time of 18:28.07.

Wegert made a strong move with less than a mile left to seperate herself from a small pack and almost caught the second-place finisher, crossing the finish line less than a second behind her.

Thomas placed 16th in the meet with a time of 19:20.91. She earned first All-American status in a field of nearly 150 runners. This is the first time Grace's women have had two All-American runners in one year.

"I'm so pleased for Ashley, as she has worked very hard to reach this level," said head coach Jeff Raymond. "Much like MariJean, she made a great move in the last mile to put herself into position to earn All-American honors. This was a fantastic way for her to finish her cross country career."

The men's team had their best showing in the national meet since 2004 with an eight-place finish. The Lancers also had a spread of 1:05 amongst their top five runners, which was the best of the year.

Daniel Ng was the first Lancer finisher in 27:58, followed by Randy Sterk in 28:23. The rest of the top-five included: Ben Drew (28:32), Jonathan Rex (29:01) and Jacob Wachtel (29:03).

"Overall the guys' race was a little slow, but our team competed hard," Raymond continued. "The course was pretty tough, but it was unseasonably warm. They've come a long way as a team this year and to finish in the top 10 at the NCCAA meet is a good way to finish up."

Wegert will compete in the NAIA Nationals in Vancouver, Wash., this Saturday.

For complete results, click here.

 

Women's Individual Results
Name
Place
Time
MariJean Wegert
3
18:28.07
Ashley Thomas
16
19:20.91

 

 

Men's Individual Results
Name
Place
Time
Daniel Ng
36
27:58.86
Randy Sterk
45
28:23.43
Ben Drew
53
28:32.68
Jonathan Rex
73
29:01.73
Jacob Wachtel
74

29:03.05

Greg Davies
124
30:48.04
 

 


Wegert Qualifies for NAIA Nationals at Conference Meet

11/6/10

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- At the Mid-Central College Conference championship meet, senior MariJean Wegert qualified for the NAIA national championships with a fifth-place finish on Saturday.

On a slick course covered with a layer of snow at St. Patrick’s Park in South Bend, Ind., Wegert posted a time of 18:48 to advance to the national meet in Vancouver, Wash., in two weeks.

"MariJean ran a smart race, knowing what she needed to do to make it to nationals,” said head coach Jeff Raymond. “Placing in the top five in our conference is impressive.”

Fellow senior Ashley Thomas finished with the second-best time of her career with a time of 19:17. Her 14th-place result qualifies her for the NCCAA national championships next weekend at Cedarville University. She will be joined by Wegert at the meet.

Laura Pasche ended her running career impressively, posting a personal best of 23:02 on a difficult course.

Randy Sterk led the way for the men's team as he finished 20th with a time of 26:52. The men finished seventh in the conference and topped conference rival Bethel College.

Several men ran close to personal bests in the meet. The gap between the top five runners for Grace was a mere 1:18. The top seven Lancer runners will compete in the NCCAA national championships next weekend at Cedarville.

 

Women's Individual Results
Name
Place
Time
MariJean Wegert
5
18:48.1
Ashley Thomas
14
19:17.3
Laura Pasche
83
23:02:4
Katie Blemker
85
23:19.7
Marena Lodzinski
95
24:10.7

 

Men's Individual Results
Name
Place
Time
Randy Sterk
20
26:52.0
Daniel Ng
29
27:07.6
Ben Drew
46
28:08.9
Jacob Wachtel
47
28:10.2
Jonathan Rex
48

28:10.9

Matt DeRenzo
77
29:55.9
Greg Davies
82
30:18.3
 

 


Lancers Represent Well at Great Lakes Invite

10/23/10

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- In one of the biggest races of the season, Grace's men's and women's cross country ran strong at the NAIA Great Lakes Invitational at Aquinas College on Saturday.

Senior MariJean Wegert once again topped Grace's performance with an 11th place finish out of 271 runners. Her time of 18:32.00 was a personal best. Ashley Thomas and Laura Pasche also had the best races of their careers with times of 19:21.63 (39th place) and 23:13.13 respectively.

The women's team placed 19th out of 25 teams and topped three other teams in the Mid-Central College Conference. Overall, seven teams in the MCC were represented at the meet.

“Each race included nearly 300 runners with all the best NAIA teams from around the Midwest, so it was a very tough field," said head coach Jeff Raymond. "Overall, we competed well and gained some valuable experience. I think we will be ready for the conference championships in a couple of weeks.”

The men's team was paced by Randy Sterk, whose time of 26:35.29 put him in 78th place. Daniel Ng almost broke into the 26-minute mark with a time of 27:01.51. The Lancers finished 22nd out of 28 teams.

Grace will now prepare for the conference championship meet, which will be held at Mishawaka, Ind., in two weeks on Nov. 6.
 

Women's Individual Results
Name
Place
Time
MariJean Wegert
11
18:32.00
Ashley Thomas
39
19:21.63
Laura Pasche
225
23:13.13
Katie Blemker
244
24:15.20
Marena Lodzinski
250
24:32.19

 

Men's Individual Results
Name
Place
Time
Randy Sterk
78
26:35.29
Daniel Ng
113
27:01.51
Ben Drew
192
28:30.43
Jacob Wachtel
220
29:13.66
Jonathan Rex
237
29:38.94
Matt DeRenzo
255
30:15.29
Matt Brunner
287
31:54.00
 

 


Wegert Wins Manchester Invitational

10/16/10

NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. -- Senior MariJean Wegert won the first cross country race of her career by over 20 seconds in the Manchester Invitational on Saturday.

Both the men's and the women's cross country teams placed sixth in the meet as the women placed a full team of five runners for the first time this season.

Wegert's run of 22:43.5 in the 6k highlighted Grace's performance, and fellow senior Ashley Thomas also placed in the top 10 with a seventh-place finish of 23:45.4, despite missing most of the week with an injury. Katie Blemker, in her initial race as a Lady Lancer, was the third finisher for the team with a time of 28:59.1.

“We had several people run gutsy races today," said head coach Jeff Raymond. "MariJean (Wegert) had a slight injury a week ago but obviously came back strong, as did Ashley (Thomas) who wasn’t sure until Saturday morning whether she would be cleared to run. They led our team well today."

On the men's team, Randy Sterk (16th place) and Daniel Ng (21st place) paced Grace on the day. Freshman Ben Drew had an impressive day with a time of 28:05.1, which was over a minute faster than his previous best. He finished third for Grace. Matthew Brunner also notched a personal best with a time of 31:43.2.

"I thought Ben (Drew) ran very aggressively at the beginning of the race, and it paid off for him," Raymond continued. "Matt Brunner and Sean Smith also impressed me with their runs today. Overall, both teams are clearly improving.”

Grace returns to action next Saturday on Oct. 23 at the Great Lakes Invitational.
 

Women's Individual Results
Name
Place
Time
MariJean Wegert
1
22:43.5
Ashley Thomas
7
23:45.4
Katie Blemker
72
28:59.1
Laura Pasche
78
29:38.6
Marena Lodzinski
79
29:47.1

 

Men's Individual Results
Name
Place
Time
Randy Sterk
16
26:53.5
Daniel Ng
21
27:11.6
Ben Drew
43
28:05.1
Jacob Wachtel
49
28:20.0
Jonathan Rex
51
28:37.3
Greg Davies
73
30:10.4
Matt DeRenzo
82
31:17.2
Matt Brunner
83
31:43.2
Sean Smith
84
31:55.7
 

 


Thomas, Wegert Grab Top-Five Finishes

10/2/10

MARION, Ind. -- Ashley Thomas and MariJean Wegert continued their impressive senior campaigns by finishing in the top five in the Indiana Wesleyan Invitational.

Wegert placed second for the second consecutive race, and Thomas had a personal record of 18:55.06 to grab fourth place out of 89 runners. Marena Lodzinski and Laura Pasche both recorded season bests for the Lady Lancers.

On the men's team, Randy Sterk ran the best race of his career with a time of 26:22.28, good enough for 14th place. Dan Ng, Jonathan Rex, Jacob Wachtel and Ben Drew rounded out the top five for the Lancers. The men finished eight out of 10 teams.

Six of the nine Mid-Central College Conference teams competed in the event.

"I'm very pleased with our performances today," said head coach Jeff Raymond. "We are just at midpoint of our season, but most of the runners have already set personal bests. I'm excited to see what they can accomplish over the next several weeks."

The cross country teams compete next at the Manchester Invitational on Oct. 16.

Women's Individual Results
Name
Place
Time
MariJean Wegert
2 18:49.06
Ashley Thomas
4
18:55.06
Marena Lodzinski
73
23:45.42
Laura Pasche
74
23:46.93

 

Men's Individual Results
Name
Place
Time
Randy Sterk
14
26:22.28
Daniel Ng
38
27:17.96
Jonathan Rex
49
28:12.03
Jacob Wachtel
50
28:15.69
Ben Drew
59 29:02.84
Greg Davies
64
29:31.59
Matt DeRenzo
73 30:22.81
Matt Brunner
84 32:50.52
 

 


Lady Lancers Impress at Indiana Intercollegiates

9/17/10

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Seniors MariJean Wegert and Ashley Thomas earned All-Little State honors at the Indiana Intercollegiate Meet.

Wegert led the Lady Lancers with a time of 18:43.98, good enough for second place in the small-school competition and 25th in the state of Indiana. Thomas's time of 19:57.30 placed her 14th in the little state competition and 70th in the state of Indiana.

For the men's team, Daniel Ng paced the Lancers with a top 50 finish of 27:47.70, and Randy Sterk was just behind at 28:03.60.

Grace's cross country team will resume competition on October 2 at the Wildcat Invitational in Marion, Ind.

Women's Individual Results
Name
Place
Time
MariJean Wegert
2 18:43.90
Ashley Thomas
14
19:57.30
Marena Lodzinski
98
24:50.10
Laura Pasche
103
25:48.90

 

Men's Individual Results
Name
Place
Time
Daniel Ng
46
27:47.70
Randy Sterk
51
28:03.60
Jacob Wachtel
85
29:18.90
Ben Drew
92
29:51.80
Jonathan Rex
97 30:12.30
Greg Davies
108
31:07.20
Sean Smith
117
32:56.90
Matt Brunner
122 33:42.60
Matt DeRenzo
125 35:40.80
 

 


Wegert Finishes First at IPFW Invitational

9/11/10

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- Senior MariJean Wegert took first place in the women's white division at the IPFW Invitational on Saturday.

Wegert finished with a time of 19:16.00, nearly ten seconds before her closest competitor. She improved her time from the first meet of the year by half a minute. Fellow Lady Lancer Ashley Thomas was not far behind, finishing in a time of 19:53.96, which put her in fourth place.

The men's team finished second out of three teams in the white division, finishing ahead of Mid-Central College Conference opponent Saint Francis.

Dan Ng paced the men with a fourth-place finish of 26:31.86. Randy Sterk (8th), Jacob Wachtel (11th), Jonathan Rex (13th), and Ben Drew (14th) all finished in the top 15.

The team's next meet is Indiana Intercollegiate Meet on Sept. 17 at West Lafayette, Ind.

 

Women's Individual Results
Name
Place
Time
MariJean Wegert
1 19:16.00
Ashley Thomas
4
19:53.96
Marena Lodzinski
18
24:19.75

 

Men's Individual Results
Name
Place
Time
Daniel Ng
4
26:31.86*
Randy Sterk
8
27:07.94*
Jacob Wachtel
11
28:00.07*
Jonathan Rex
13
28:23.65*
Ben Drew
14 29:00.02*
Greg Davies
18
29:39.11*
Matthew DeRenzo
21
30:28.73*
Sean Smith
22 30:42.90*
Matt Brunner
27 32:39.27*
 

 


Dan Ng and MariJean Wegert Pace Grace is Season Opener

9/3/10

VALPARAISO, Ind. -- The Grace College men’s and women’s cross country teams opened the 2010 season at the Crusader Open at Sunset Hills Farm on Friday.

Grace was the only school who was not NCAA Division I, as they faced runners from Notre Dame, Valparaiso, Wisconsin-Green Bay, Western Michigan, and IPFW in the meet. 

Daniel Ng was the top finisher for the men's team, with a 16th-place result of 21:02.81. Newcomer Jonathan Rex also finished in the top 25 with a finish of 21:43.72.

For the women's team, MariJean Wegert led the Lady Lancers with an 18th-place showing of 19:49.30. Ashley Thomas also placed well with a run of 20:06.61 -- good enough for 24th place. Both times for Wegert and Thomas were career-bests for a season-opening race.

“We had some very good early-season efforts against a strong field," said head coach Jeff Raymond. "Our season-opening times are a positive indication for the rest of the season. I'm very pleased with today's results."

The team's next meet is the IPFW Invitational on Sept. 11.

 

Women's Individual Results
Name
Place
Time
MariJean Wegert
18 19:49.30
Ashley Thomas
24
20:06.61
Marena Lodzinski
46
24:38.86

 

Men's Individual Results
Name
Place
Time
Daniel Ng
16
21:02.81
Jonathan Rex
25
21:43.72
Randy Sterk
26
21:47.17
Jacob Wachtel
28
22:14.81
Ben Drew
32 22:31.04
Greg Davies
33
22:32.78
Sean Smith
43
24:01.47
Matthew DeRenzo
44 24:14.51
Matt Brunner
45 26:41.35

 


Raymond Named Head Track and Cross Country Coach at Grace

6/16/10

WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace College’s athletic department has named Jeff Raymond the new men’s and women’s track and field and men’s and women’s cross country coach.

Raymond comes to Grace from Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Ill., where he was the institution’s athletic director and head track and field coach for the past six years.

"I am honored to be the next cross country and track and field coach at Grace College, and want to thank Chad Briscoe and the rest of the search committee for offering me this opportunity,” said Raymond.  “My family and I are very much looking forward to becoming part of the Grace community.”

At Trinity, Raymond led the track and field program to its best seasons in school history, including new school records in virtually every event. Over the past two years, Trinity advanced a total of 11 individuals and two relays to appearances in NAIA national championships. During the same time period, Trinity produced numerous NCCAA All-Americans, a pair of NCCAA national champions, and the winner of the prestigious NCCAA Wheeler Award.  Raymond was named the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Women’s Track Coach of the Year in 2009.

“We are very excited to have Jeff join our family at Grace College,” said Grace College athletic director Chad Briscoe.  “Jeff brings an extensive background of successful college experience and a strong desire to impact lives for Christ through track and cross country.  We look forward to the great impact he will have our athletes, campus, and community.”

Before he arrived in Palos Heights, he was an assistant coach in the track and field programs at the University of Georgia, Taylor University and Westmont College (Calif.). 

As an athlete, Raymond ran track at Taylor University for four years and broke three school records. He is a four-time NCCAA All-American, and he won NCCAA national titles in the 400 meters, 400 meter hurdles and 4x400 meter relay in 1986. He still sits in Taylor’s top 10 in the triple jump and 400 meter hurdles.

Raymond graduated from Taylor University with a degree in physical education and health. He went on to earn his master’s degree in sports management at the University of Georgia.

"Most importantly, I am excited to start working with and developing student-athletes, and to encourage them to honor God with their talents, said Raymond.  “If that goal is accomplished, I am confident the cross country and track and field programs will grow and improve in the coming years."

Raymond and his wife, Deborah, have one son, Elijah. 

Grace College is located in Winona Lake, Indiana and was voted one of the top colleges in the Midwest for 2010 by the U.S. News and World Report.  Grace is a member of the Mid-Central College Conference and is affiliated with the NAIA and NCCAA.