Pictured is Isaac Brown on the podium after winning the NAIA title in the high jump on Thursday
Pictured is Isaac Brown on the podium after winning the NAIA title in the high jump on Thursday
GULF SHORES, Ala. - Isaac Brown completed the final chapter in his storied career by winning the NAIA national championship in the high jump. He claimed the first title in school history by jumping a school record 2.14 meters, which put him over the magical seven-foot barrier (7-0 1/4).

The accomplishment by Brown highlighted a great day for the Lancers at the NAIA National Championships held at Micky Miller Blackwell Stadium in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Two relays and two individuals qualified for Friday's finals.

Brown made his final performance in a Lancer uniform a special one by clearing the initial five heights on his first attempt. Included was a clearance at 2.11 meters (6-11) to tie his personal best, and then a make at 2.14. One other competitor cleared the 2.14 height, but did so on his second attempt, allowing Brown to win with fewer misses. Brown nearly added to his record, just nudging the bar on his third attempt at 2.17 (7-1 1/2).

"It has just been a blessing to compete at Grace for the past four years," said Brown. "I really could not have done this without the support of my team, family, coaches and most importantly, God. It was a special way to end my career with the best performance of my life. Thankful to be a Lancer."

This is the fifth overall NAIA All-American award for Brown counting indoor and outdoor track. He finished as the national runner-up at the 2020 NAIA indoor meet and was third at last year's outdoor national competition.

"I couldn't think of someone more deserving," said Coach Michael Moffitt. "Isaac is one of the most coachable and hard working athletes I've had the chance to work with. I'm incredibly proud of him."

The day started with the 4 x 800 relay preliminaries that were postponed on Wednesday evening because of rain and lightning. The women's group of Tara Friesen, Heather Plastow, Anna Hulstedt and Kylie Sauder posted a school record time of 9:09.77 and easily advanced to the finals at noon on Friday.

The men's relay followed up by winning their heat in 7:34.82 and advanced to the finals. The squad was made up of Isaac Beatty, Tanner Sallee, Logan Rufenacht and Kyle Smith. Counting indoor championships, this will be the fifth straight appearance in the NAIA national finals for the men's 4 x 800 relay.

Later in the day, Sauder returned to win her heat of the 800 meter prelims in 2:13.20 and automatically qualified for the finals. A few minutes later Smith ran 1:51.54 in the men's 800 prelims to break his own school record and also advance to the finals.

The women's relay and Sauder are poised to make more history on Friday, as they are set to become the first NAIA All-Americans in outdoor track and field for the Grace women's track program.

The final event of the day for the Lancers was the women's 4 x 400 relay. The foursome of Lyne Camara, Zoe Huley, Sara Lopez-Ochoa and Nordia Campbell ran 4:00.01 in the prelims and did not advance to the finals.

In addition to the finals in the 4 x 800 relays and the men's and women's 800 meters, Bryan Hernandez-Rios will compete in the 5,000 meters on Friday. He enters the event ranked eighth.