The freshman crossed the finish line in 18:55 to place seventh out of 109 runners, helping the Lady Lancers to a third-place showing in the meet. The men’s team were sixth out of 10 teams in the meet.
The Lady Lancers’ team time of 1:39.16 broke the program record as four of Grace’s top six runners set personal bests. Arellano became the first female runner at Grace to break the 19-minute barrier since MariJean Wegert and Ashley Thomas in 2010.
On the women’s side, Katelyn McCullough just missed a top-10 showing and ended in 13th place with a time of 19:09. Raven Arellano finished the race in 20:04, Karla Singer ended in 20:33, and Emma Mitchell was less than a second behind Singer.
Grace’s women’s team finished with a team score of 113, only behind NAIA No. 9-ranked Taylor and No. 13 Indiana Wesleyan in the race.
“The ladies did a very nice job today. The course is the easiest we will run on this year, but posting so many PR’s this early in the year is still impressive,” said Grace head coach Jeff Raymond. “Ariel [Arellano] looked really strong today, and Katelyn [McCullough] was close behind. I also must compliment Emma [Mitchell] and Julia [Neal] for running very nice races.”
The men’s team was led by freshmen. Grace’s top three finishers were all freshmen running their first collegiate 8k race.
Grace was paced by Joel Bertelsen, who finished in 27:09 for 31st place. Fellow freshmen Sam Hall (27:31) and Brendan Hamilton (27:35) were second and third for Grace.
Brandon Smith crossed the finish line in 27:52, and Tyler Houvener ended in 28:07.
“I’m pleased with the freshmen and the way they ran. They now have a feel for the 8k distance and will continue to improve,” Raymond said. “Fortunately it’s a long season, and we have time for our entire men’s group to move forward.”
Grace’s next race is Sept. 19 with the Friendship Invitational at Cedarville University.