Pictured is Kylie Sauder running for Grace's track and field team at the Lancer Invitational
Pictured is Kylie Sauder running for Grace's track and field team at the Lancer Invitational
WINONA LAKE - The Grace track and field teams took advantage of decent weather and the opportunity to run at home in competition at the annual Lancer Invitational. The Key Track and Field Complex hosted the event for the fifth time since the facility opened in 2017.

Lancer athletes captured top honors in eight events as many competitors used the meet as a chance to stay sharp before the Crossroads League Championships next week.

League foes Bethel, Goshen, Huntington and Indiana Wesleyan had athletes in the non-scoring meet, as did Indiana Tech and Trine.

Both the men's and women's 800 meters races were highlights for Grace. The Lancer men claimed six of the top eight spots in the event, with Tanner Sallee winning in 1:53.96, nipping teammate Logan Rufenacht who finished in 1:53.97. Bryan Hernandez-Rios was third (1:54.88), Isaac Beatty fifth (1:56.97), Luke Smith seventh (1:57.55) and Dimitri Margaritidis eighth (1:57.66).

For the women, Tara Friesen ran a personal best of 2:18.98 to win the 800, with Heather Plastow finishing second in 2:19.63. Sara Lopez-Ochoa was third (2:23.50), Elizabeth Moore fifth (2:28.84) and Emma Lingenfelter sixth (2:20.51).

Isaac Brown captured two events in the meet, winning the high jump with a facility record mark of 2.10 meters (6-feet-10.75) and also claiming the javelin with a throw of 187-9.

Kyle Smith won the 1,500 meters in 4:00.72 and was a member of the 4x400 relay, which won in 3:19.19. Other members of the relay were Sallee, Beatty and Michael Williams.

Also winning events for the Grace women were Gracious O'Connor and the 4x400 relay. O'Connor won the 200 in 24.97, while the relay squad of Friesen, Plastow, Anna Hulstedt and Kylie Sauder pulled away to win in 4:05.59.

Other notable performances for the men included: Korry Hamlin, fifth in the 1500 (4:40.64); Bryce Willard, fourth in the discus (123-9) and fifth in the shot put (40-8.75); Ethan Brown, fourth in the javelin (151-4) and fifth in the hammer (131-10); Josiah Thompson, second in the javelin (171-3); and Jamall Werling, sixth in the hammer (130-8).

The men's 4x100 relay of Williams, Issiac Mitchell, Myles Frohling and John Green placed second in 42.92.

For the women, other standouts included: Nordia Campbell, second in the 200 (25.67); Emma Conrad, second in the 100 hurdles (15.46); Michaela Buriff, fourth in the 400 hurdles (1:12.62); Emily McCreary, third in the high jump (4-10.5); Emma Lehman, second in the pole vault (9-2.25; Mackenzie DeLong, third in the shot put (38-5.5) and fourth in the discus (122-0); Lanae Crowe, third in the discus (133-6) and sixth in the shot put (34-10.5); and Olivia Lugibihl, fourth in the javelin (84-6).

The Lancer teams will compete in the Crossroads League Championships on May 5-6. The meet will be held at the University of Notre Dame and hosted by Bethel.



No. 24 Trojans take two from Lancers

UPLAND - Grace’s baseball team came up empty to begin its final series of the regular season on Friday.

No. 24 Taylor defeated the Lancers 9-0 and 16-0 in Upland.

The Lancers will end their season on Saturday against the Trojans. Grace and Taylor will begin the final doubleheader at 1 p.m.

Grace struggled to generate baserunners in the opener. The Lancers were muted to three hits offensively across the nine innings.

One of the Lancers’ best chances came in the third inning; Patrick Danforth produced a two-out double, but Grace was unable to drive him home.

Chris Griffin also doubled in the seventh inning, and Jeff Pawlik doubled in the ninth inning. But each time, the Lancers were retired before moving a runner across home plate.

The Trojans generated a run in five separate innings. Taylor had a two-run first inning to grab an early edge.

Taylor tacked on two more runs in the third, seventh and eighth innings to gain separation.

In the second game, Grace was quiet at the plate again. The Lancers were held to one hit in the shutout.

Pawlik had Grace’s lone hit in the first inning, and the Lancers were unable to produce a hit after that.

Grace did manufacture a threat in the second inning when Sam Newkirk reached base via error, and Josh Cosme was hit by a pitch. But Grace’s final two batters were retired to end the threat.

The Trojans used two home runs and four doubles to seize a lead and never look back.

Isaiah Herbster was Grace’s most effective hurler, throwing 1.1 inning while surrendering one unearned run.



Grace earns split with Cougars

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — The Grace softball team earned a key split on the road at Saint Francis on Friday. By taking one-of-two, the Lady Lancers are still in the hunt to earn a spot in the Crossroads League Tournament next week.

Grace (13-32, 10-24 CL) dropped the first game 8-3 but scattered seven hits to take the victory in game two 3-2.

In game one, the Cougars got things started with aggressive baserunning in the opening frame, notching three stolen bases in the inning. Grace, however, was able to limit the damage to one run after Montana Brincks produced an outfield assist to nab a runner at the plate.

St. Francis (25-20, 17-16 CL) extended the lead in the bottom of the second to go ahead 5-0, aided by a pair of walks and two singles.

Grace threatened often with at least one baserunner in every inning, but settled for three runs while leaving nine runners on the base paths.

Bethany Gardner paced the Lady Lancers going 3 for 4 from the plate with 1 double and 2 runs. Brincks notched a pair of hits, including a double and run scored. Five others tallied hits for Grace.

The second game saw the Lady Lancers get out to an early lead, plating a run on an RBI single from Jeri Ellis in the first.

Kierstin Fickas started in the circle and pitched well for Grace. She settled in and held St. Francis scoreless through five innings.

The Lady Lancers were able to extend the lead in the fourth. Kendra Arnold singled to lead off the inning. Emily Revercomb came on to pinch run and later scored after back-to-back hits from Bree Gardinier and Brincks.

Grace added an insurance run in the sixth to take a 3-0 lead. Gardinier scored on an RBI fielder's choice from Gardner.

That run proved to be the difference as the Cougars cut the deficit to one on a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth. The rally was squelched when Gardinier caught a runner stealing to end the inning.

Fickas closed the door in the seventh to notch the complete game victory. She scattered seven hits, allowing two runs with seven strikeouts on the afternoon.

Izabela Duran, Ellis, Gardinier and Arnold each produced two hits, and Cassandra Hayes added a double for the Lady Lancers.

The Lady Lancers will conclude the regular season on Saturday at Marian. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.