Grace’s track and field teams had one of its strongest showings of the season at the 2014 Crossroads League Championships.
The Lancers broke or tied five school records and had one runner (Lance Taylor) qualify for NAIA Nationals. The meet was hosted by Marian University.
“We had an awesome weekend with school records falling and numerous season and personal bests. I’m very proud of how the ladies competed. The guys had a great weekend and even exceeded my expectations in some areas,” said Grace head coach Jeff Raymond. “Lance [Taylor] qualifying for NAIA in the 400 was a huge accomplishment, and Donovan just missed the qualifying mark in the 800. He will hopefully get it next week.”
Lance Taylor made his mark in the 400-meter race, placing second in a school-record time of 48.21 seconds. His finish met the NAIA national qualifying standard.
The men’s team had three other All-League finishers (top-three finishes are All-League). Donovan Graham had a personal-best finish in the 800 at 1:54.32 for second place, and Drew Perrin was third in the triple jump at 42-feet-4.
The men’s 4×400 relay team of Taylor, Graham, KeJuan Leek and Matt Lee took third place in the CL meet at 4:21.93.
Micah Pollard had a part in two school records. She tied the 100-meter school mark in a time of 12.45 during the preliminary race, going on to finish third in the 100. Pollard broke Grace’s record in the 200, crossing the finish line in 25.52 for third place. Both marks earned All-League recognition.
Sabrina Whitaker earned All-CL honors in the high jump, clearing 5-feet-2.5 for second place.
Jo Boren placed fourth in the 400 with a new school-record time of 59.23. She also placed fifth in the 200 with a personal-record time of 25.89.
The 4×800 relay squad of Allison Zylstra, Jenna McClellan, Katelyn McCullough and Rachel Fehring set Grace’s fifth school record of the meet in 9:49.51.
McCullough had a busy weekend, also placing fifth in 100 hurdles (16.35), seventh in the 400 hurdles (1:08.29) and ran on the fifth-place 4×100 relay and fourth-place 4×400 relay. Others in 4×100 were Boren, Erin Jones and Pollard. The 4×400 included Jones, Alicia Hertzler and Boren.
Other strong finishes for the Lancers included Brandon Smith’s fifth place in the 3000 steeplechase, Heather House’s sixth place in the 100 hurdles, and Jesse Feitz’s seventh place in the javelin. Erin McPherson finished fifth for the shot put and eighth in the hammer throw. The men’s 4×800 (Jonathan Rex, Taylor, Smith, Graham) and the 4×100 (Evan Kilgore, Leek, Niko Read, Ben Hutton) squads each placed sixth.
The Lancers’ next meet is the NCCAA National Championships. Grace will have 17 athletes competing in the meet in Rome, Ga.