Archive for the ‘Feature Stories’ Category

Grace Sweeps Spring Arbor on Senior Day

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Senior Brooke Shell (center) being congratulated by Morgan Cody (right) on a catch in the outfield during Friday's sweep of Spring Arbor.

Grace’s softball team celebrated Senior Day in style with a sweep of Spring Arbor on Friday.

Senior Chelsea Whitesell homered and fellow senior Brooke Shell stretched her current hitting streak to 21 games as Grace won 10-3 and 7-2 at Miller Field.

The Lady Lancers have one doubleheader remaining in the regular season – a home series against Indiana Wesleyan on Monday at 3 p.m. Grace has already wrapped up the No. 4 seed in next week’s Crossroads League Tournament.

Grace’s team made highlight plays on both sides of the field in the opener. Defensively, Grace used double plays in both the first and second innings to stop a potential Cougars’ rally. Offensively, the Lady Lancers (26-21, 19-15 CL) ripped off eight runs over the first three innings.

Brooke Shell doubled in two runs in the second inning, and Clarissa Knight singled her in with two outs to put Grace ahead 5-0. Ashley Kleinbub led off the third inning with a double, and Kati Gregory took care of the rest, belting a two-run home run over the center field fence. Alex Shipley later scored in the inning to put Grace on top 8-0.

Spring Arbor was on the verge of losing the game in five innings due to the run rule, but the Cougars (15-30, 9-23 CL) rallied with three runs in the top of the fifth to stay alive.

Grace tacked on two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Kleinbub’s sac fly brought in Knight. Gregory later had a two-out single to plate Chandler Elliott.

Elliott took care of the rest from the mound, tossing the complete-game victory. She allowed nine hits and struck out four to get the win.

Gregory drove in three runs on two hits, and Hannah Herbster was 2-for-3. Knight and Elliott were each 2-for-3 with two runs, Shipley scored two runs and stole a base, and Kleinbub was 2-for-4 with a double and a steal.

In the second game, eight different players tallied eight hits overall for Grace. The Lady Lancers got on the board in the second inning with two runs. Herbster’s sac fly brought in Kleinbub, and Brittany Turner’s two-out single scored Shipley.

Whitesell led off the fourth inning with a solo home run on a 1-0 count, and Turner and Shell later plated in the inning to pull Grace ahead 5-0. Clarissa Knight belted a two-run homer – Grace’s third of the day – in the seventh inning to give the Lady Lancers insurance runs. Spring Arbor tallied two runs in its final at-bats, but Allison Franklin secured the win from the mound. The sophomore pitched the final three innings of relief, striking out two.

Hannah Adams got the win, pitching four innings with just two scattered hits. Turner was 1-for-2 with two runs, and Knight was 1-for-3 with 2 RBIs, 1 run and 1 stolen base. Shell and Shipley each tallied a hit, a run and a steal.

Lancers Finish Fifth at Crossroads League Championships

Monday, April 27th, 2015

pictured is Matthew Lee competing in the 800m on Saturday at the league championships.

Grace’s track and field teams had their best finish in over a decade at the Crossroads League Championships on Friday and Saturday.

The men’s team placed fifth for the program’s best result since 2002. The Lady Lancers were also fifth, equaling their best finish since 2000.

Micah Pollard was the league champion in the 100-meter race, finishing in 12.55 seconds on a rain-soaked Saturday at Goshen College.

“It was a crazy weekend because of the weather on Saturday, but I’m proud of both the men’s and women’s teams for their efforts in spite of the elements. Everything wasn’t perfect because of some injuries and a couple missed opportunities, but overall I’m extremely pleased. Getting fifth is a great step for both our teams,” said Grace coach Jeff Raymond. “We placed in the top five of every relay we entered with three relays posting season bests. We placed in seven of the eight throwing events, and we scored points in sprints, hurdles and middle distance. It’s satisfying to see contributions from each part of our team.”

Donovan Graham finished up his Crossroads League career in style, placing second in the 800 at 1:59.25. He also anchored the 4×400 relay team of Joel Zook, Lance Taylor and KeJuan Leek to second place. Graham has now finished as an All-League winner (top-three finish) in both an individual event and the 4×400 relay in all four CL Championships during his impressive career.

The 4×400 relay also secured fifth place for Grace as the final event of the meet. The men moved into fifth place in the final standings by a half-point after passing a team on the final straightaway.

Mya Brown was All-League in the 100 hurdles, placing second in 15.40. She also finished fourth in the triple jump before suffering an injury during the 400 hurdles which ended her day.

Jo Boren picked up the final All-League honor for Grace. The junior was second in the 400 at 59.36. Boren also was sixth in the 200.

Other strong performances on the men’s side included the 4×800 relay team of Matthew Lee, Taylor, Graham and Hunter Reed. The foursome finished fifth in a time of 7:50.80, missing qualification to NAIA Nationals by less than two seconds.

Jacob Brown (javelin) and Drew Perrin (triple jump) both were sixth in their respective events, and Lee was seventh in the 800. In the shot put, Tyler Back placed fifth and Macallister Seitz was eighth. Seitz also earned seventh in the discus.

On the women’s team, Heather House and Hannah Treadway both shined. House was fourth in the 400 hurdles and seventh in the 100 hurdles, and Treadway placed sixth in the shot put and seventh in the hammer throw.

The 4×800 relay unit of Katelyn McCullough, Jenna McClellan, Emma Mitchell and Alicia Hertzler was fifth in 9:54.25.

The Lancers now face national competition. The NCCAA Outdoor Nationals start May 1 in Rome, Ga. The NAIA Outdoor Nationals kick off on May 21 in Gulf Shores, Ala.

Grace College Congratulates New Director of Alumni Engagement

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

This week Grace College welcomes Denny Duncan as the new Director of Alumni Engagement. Duncan is a Grace alumnus who received his Master of Science in Education from Indiana University in 1983. Duncan promoted and nurtured the education of students within the Kosciusko community and Grace College for many years, serving Warsaw Schools as a teacher, dean of students, and principal of both Atwood Elementary School and Jefferson Elementary School. Before taking the position of Director of Alumni Engagement, Duncan served Grace College as an adjunct professor from 1984-2011 and as director of Grace Community Education since 2011.

“I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to serve in this capacity,” said Duncan. “My passion has always been to cultivate relationships. This role will enable me to share the excitement and energy on campus with alumni who are literally spread across the globe. The goal is to get more alumni interested, involved, and invested in the amazing things God is doing through Grace.”

 

“Having Denny join the advancement team is a huge answer to prayer,” said Drew Flamm, vice president of institutional advancement at Grace. “Our desire is to engage with our alumni in new and authentic ways, and Denny is the perfect person to lead this effort. He loves Grace and he loves people.”

 

Duncan has been honored with the Indiana Principal Leadership Academy award (1993 – 1995), the Kosciusko County Heart of Gold Award (2001), DARE Educator of the Year (2004-2005), and the Bill Reneker Community Service Award (2011).

“As Grace College and Seminary continues to grow and develop as an institution of higher education, it is more important than ever to engage the Grace alumni in that growth and development,” said Bill Katip, president of Grace. “We are thrilled that Denny Duncan will be our new Director of Alumni Engagement! Denny is well-known and well-loved. He is highly relational, but also has excellent administrative gifts. He is the perfect fit as we continue to build bridges with our current and future alumni.”

Track/Field Readies for League Championships this Weekend

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Grace’s track and field team is set for the climax of the season – the 2015 Crossroads League Championships.

The two-day event is held at Goshen College and features all 10 league schools competing in 42 events. The meet will kick off on Friday at 2:30 p.m. with several men’s and women’s field events.Saturday’s events will start at 1:50 p.m. with the opening ceremony and will wrap up with the awards ceremony at 6:45 p.m.

2015 EVENT SCHEDULE

A fan bus is available for Grace students to watch the action on Saturday, leaving from Grace’s campus. For more information, contact Grace Student Affairs.

The Lancers have high hopes for the 2015 meet under head coach Jeff Raymond. Grace has broken numerous school records during the indoor and outdoor season. The men’s side has rewritten seven school records (two in outdoor season) with Nathan Brown responsible for three of those. The women’s team has set 13 new records (seven in outdoor season). Micah Pollard and Mya Brown have each been a part of four new records this year.

Additionally, the Lancers have been named the Track/Field Athlete of the Week by the Crossroads League six times. The NCCAA has selected as Grace’s student-athlete as the National Athlete of the Week five times this year.

Golfers Tackle Bethel Invitational

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Grace’s golf team placed seventh over the weekend at the Bethel Invitational.

The Lancers were just five strokes removed from fifth place in the nine-team tournament held at Blackthorn Golf Club.

Grace shot a combined 312 after the first round but added nine strokes on Saturday to finish with a team score of 633.

Jon Schram led the way for Grace again. The sophomore’s two-round total of 153 (75-78) was good enough for ninth place on the individual leaderboard.

Taylor Fanning was consistent with an 80-79 to finish second for Grace. Tyler Ham fired a 78-83, and Daniel Zawlocki rounded out Grace’s scoring with an 81-81. Zachary Allyn fired a first-round 79 in the tournament.

Grace has one regular-season tournament remaining. The Lancers will participate in the Huntington Invitational from the Rock Hollow Golf Club on April 24-25.

Elliott Tosses One-Hitter in Split with Huntington

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Chandler Elliott pitched another gem for Grace’s softball team against Huntington on Saturday.

Elliott’s one-hitter lifted the Lady Lancers (24-19, 17-13 Crossroads League) to a 5-0 victory in the opening game, but the Foresters evened the day with a 5-4 win in nine innings to wrap up the doubleheader.

In the opener, Elliott got all the run support she needed in the first inning. Brooke Shell started the game with a single, and Clarissa Knight followed her two batters later by launching a two-run home run over the center field fence.

Grace added two insurance runs in the fourth and another in the fifth. Knight and Samantha Johnson plated in the fourth, and Hannah Herbster singled in Morgan Hutcheson in the fifth to make the score 5-0.

But the first game was all about Elliott’s pitching. The freshman hurler allowed just hit in seven innings. She needed just 80 pitches to finish the complete game and struck out four batters in the process.

Knight finished 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs, and Kati Gregory was 1-for-3 with a run and a double.

Grace’s momentum carried over into the second game. The Lady Lancers scored three times in the first inning and led 4-0 headed into the fifth. But the Foresters (17-21, 14-16 CL) rallied to tie the game in the sixth inning.

Neither team could score in the seventh, sending the game into extra innings. Huntington threatened to win the game in the eighth with a triple, but the runner was picked off by Gregory and Brittany Melzoni. The Foresters managed to punch across the winning run in the ninth, however. Grace could not muster a hit over the last four innings of the contest.

Alex Shipley pitched well from the start, giving up one run in five innings of work. Grace was outhit 10-4 in the game. Shell, Herbster, Elliott and Ashley Kleinbub had hits for Grace.

The Lady Lancers wrap up the regular season next week. Grace plays at Marian on Tuesday and then hosts Spring Arbor on Friday and Indiana Wesleyan on Saturday.

Lancers Excel at Huntington Invitational

Monday, April 20th, 2015

In the final tuneup to next week’s Crossroads League Championships, Grace’s track and field team had a strong performance at the Huntington Invitational on Saturday.

In a field of eight teams – including six from the Crossroads League – Grace’s men’s squad finished second while the women were fourth. Grace set five school records and had one NAIA qualifier in an impressive outing.

“It was a great day, weather-wise, and we took advantage of that with some strong performances. I think we set ourselves up very well for the Crossroads League meet next week,” said Grace head coach Jeff Raymond. “We have some momentum going in, and our team gained some confidence today.”

Mya Brown met the NAIA Outdoor National qualifying standard in the 400-meter hurdles race. She won the event in a school-record time of 1:03.45.

Brown then teamed up with Micah Pollard, Paige Kindig and Jo Boren to set another school record in the 4×100 relay, winning the race in 48.61 seconds. Pollard went on to break the 400 record in a race-winning time of 57.74, and Brown combined with Alicia Hertzler, Boren and Katelyn McCullough to win the 4×400 relay in 4:01.43.

Brown also placed third in the triple jump, and Boren was third in the 200. Hannah Treadway finished third in the shot put at 37-feet-9.25, and McCullough was third in the 800.

On the men’s side, three freshmen helped the 4×100 relay team break the school record. Nigel Ngwenya, Joel Zook, Jared Poorman and Austin Keisling crossed the finish line in 43.62. Tyler Back had strong showings in the shot put, where he won the event, and in the hammer throw, where he set the school record at 143-4.

Nathan Lane won two events, including the 1500 and the 3000, and Donovan Graham also took first place in the 800. Nathan Brown placed second in the pole vault and the high jump, and Macallister Seitz (shot put) and Lance Taylor (400) also finished second in their respective events.

The 2015 Crossroads League Championships are held at Goshen College next week. A fan bus for Lancer students is available to support the track and field teams.

Grace Athletic Department Announces New Apparel Deal with Nike

Friday, April 17th, 2015

The Grace College Athletic Department is pleased to announce a new apparel partnership with Nike, Inc., starting this summer.

Nike will be the official apparel provider and footwear dealer for the Lancers’ varsity teams starting June 1 after Grace’s current deal with Adidas expires on May 31.

“We have appreciated our relationship with Adidas, and we’re excited about the future to partner with Nike. We look forward to the growth and branding that will take place for not only our student-athletes, but also for the campus, alumni and community,” said Grace athletic director Chad Briscoe. “We desire to provide the best possible resources for our student-athletes, and we believe that this contract with Nike will afford us that opportunity.”

The agreement with Nike provides Grace with a continued and consistent look, design and coloring across each of the Lancers’ 15 varsity programs.

As part of Grace’s three-year deal with Nike, a new online retail store will be launched for all 15 varsity sports and for general athletic apparel. The site can be used to buy official Lancer Nike gear, including sport-specific items sold exclusively online.

Grace’s athletic teams will transition to Nike uniforms over the next three seasons in conjunction with the current uniform cycle amongst the programs.

Grace’s Offense Soars in Split with Bethel

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Pictured is Brooke Shell coming home to score against Bethel. Shell was 9-of-10 on Tuesday in the doubleheader.

Grace’s bats were sizzling in a doubleheader with Bethel at Miller Field on Tuesday.

The Lady Lancers (22-17, 15-11 Crossroads League) erupted for 35 hits and 20 runs over two games. Bethel came from behind to win 10-9 in the opener before Grace closed out the day with an 11-4 victory.

Brooke Shell was the powder keg to Grace’s offensive explosion. The All-American senior batted 9-for-10 on the day, including a perfect 5-for-5 in the second game.

Bethel kicked off the doubleheader’s scoring with two runs in the first, but the Lady Lancers responded with a four-run outburst in the second inning. Grace loaded up the bases with two outs, and Morgan Hutcheson responded with a bases-clearing triple to the left field fence. Brooke Shell then batted in Hutcheson to put Grace up 4-2.

Clarissa Knight added a solo home run in the third, but the Lady Pilots (13-21, 9-17 CL) rallied to take a 6-5 lead with a three-run homer of their own in the fourth.

In the bottom of the fourth, Grace regained the lead. Shell doubled in Hutcheson for the first run, and Ashley Kleinbub drove in Knight for Grace’s seventh run. The Lady Pilots pushed across a run in the fifth to knot the game 7-7.

Bethel scored another in the sixth to take a one-run lead, but Grace responded with two runs to go back on top 9-8. Elliott singled to plate Shell, and Knight came home from third base on a ground ball for the go-ahead run.

Grace was one out away from winning the game, but a dropped fly ball with two outs allowed Bethel to tie the game at 9-9. The next batter singled in another run to give Bethel the eventual game winner. The Lady Lancers moved a runner to second base with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but Grace was unable to drive in the tying run on its final two at-bats.

Shell hit 4-for-5 with a run and two RBIs from the leadoff position, and Kleinbub was 3-for-4. Knight scored three times and notched two hits, Hutcheson had two runs and three RBIs, and Hannah Herbster batted 2-for-4.

The Lady Lancers scored early and often in the second game. Grace ripped off five runs in the bottom of the first off six hits, including back-to-back RBI doubles from Elliott and Kleinbub.

Grace had a hit in every inning it batted. The Lady Lancers tacked on one more run in the second, three in the fifth and two in the sixth to complete its dismantling of the Lady Pilots’ defense. Hannah Adams earned the win on the mound for Grace, tossing four innings. Alex Shipley pitched the final three innings.

Shell notched five hits from the leadoff position, scoring four times in an impressive display. Herbster batted 4-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs. Grace outhit Bethel 19-7 in the second game with eight players getting a hit. Knight, Kleinbub, Elliott and Hutcheson each tallied two hits.

The Lady Lancers wrap up the week with away games at Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Friday and at Huntington on Saturday.

School Records Tumble at Little State Championships

Monday, April 13th, 2015

One of Grace’s largest meets of the year produced one of Grace’s most memorable results at the Little State Championships on Friday and Saturday.

The Lancers’ track and field team broke five school records and tied another mark in the 12-team event, held at Indiana Wesleyan University.

“This was the best competition we’ve faced outdoors, and many people stepped up to the challenge,” said Grace coach Jeff Raymond. “We’re still not full strength because of some nagging injuries, but we’re getting closer. The next few weeks are shaping up to be pretty exciting.”

Micah Pollard and Mya Brown had a part in three school records, and Jo Boren helped in two relays that also broke marks.

Pollard tied her own school record in the 100-meter race and placed second in the event. She was also fifth in the 200 race. Her time of 25.09 seconds in the preliminary race was the fastest 200 time in Grace’s history. She went on to join Brown, Boren and Paige Kindig to set the 4×100 relay record in a time of 49.09.

Brown and Boren teamed up with Alicia Hertzler and Katelyn McCullough in the 4×400 relay, setting the program record in a time of 4:00.35. Brown’s third school record came in the prelims of the 100 hurdles, crossing the finish line in a time of 15.27. She finished fifth in both the 100 hurdles and the triple jump.

Additionally, Tyler Back launched the longest hammer throw in school history at 140-feet-7. Back also placed eighth in the shot put with a heave of 46-4.

Grace’s field performers had strong outings. Jesse Feitz and Hannah Treadway finished seventh and eighth respectively in the javelin. Victoria Gimben had a season-best mark in the high jump to place sixth, and Macallister Seitz was sixth in the discus at 147-3.

On the track, Nathan Lane was fourth in the 1500 at 4:01.14, and Donovan Graham was also fourth in the 800 at 1:56.81. Lane and Graham joined forces with Matthew Lee and Lance Taylor for a fourth-place showing in the 4×800 relay, and the 4×400 team of Jared Poorman, Joel Zook, Lee and KeJuan Leek finished fifth.

The Lancers have one final tune-up before the Crossroads League Championships on April 24-25 at Goshen College. Grace will take on the Huntington Invitational on April 18.