SOUTH BEND – The Grace College cross country team produced a number of personal records at the Bethel Invitational on Friday.
The Lancers competed against a stellar field, including 13 teams who are receiving votes in the NAIA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll.
The men’s team raced against six teams in the NAIA poll and finished 10th out of 11. The women ran against seven teams in the poll and ended 11th out of 14.
On the women’s side, Grace’s top six runners all recorded PRs. Brigit Nemitz led Grace with a 53rd-place showing at 20:01, and Emma Mitchell was not far behind in 20:15.
McCalah Mast (20:27) and Brooke Smith (20:37) were 10 seconds apart, and Jessica Zvers finished in a time of 20:52.
Liz Fox’s 21:03 also set a new personal best, and Karla Singer ran a time of 21:45.
On the men’s side, Ben Rankin crossed the finish line in 26:45 to place 39th. Joel Bertelsen ran second for Grace in 27:09.
Tyler Houvener (27:40) and Brendan Hamilton (27:42) maintained a tight pack, and Hunter Reed (27:58) and Brandon Smith (28:05) did likewise.
“Despite missing some key individuals, we had several PRs today. It was a very competitive race with several highly ranked teams, so I’m pleased with our effort,” said Grace head coach Jeff Raymond. “We definitely see people getting better each race. If that continues, we can be where we want to be in another month.”
The Lancers are back in action on Oct. 22 with the Great Lakes Challenge in Michigan, Grace’s final tuneup before the Crossroads League Championships.