Grace Opens At IWU
Grace’s cross country team made its much-anticipated debut on Friday at the IWU Twilight Invitational.
The women’s team placed seventh overall in the meet, and the men’s squad finished eighth.
“This was a fantastic start for our season. Both the men and women ran well, and we saw some individuals really step up, which will be fun to celebrate,” said Grace head coach Jake Poyner. “We’ll be back on this course in two months for the conference meet. But for now, we will learn and grow, rest and recover and gear up for the next opportunity to race.”
On the women’s side, Grace had two runners finish just outside the top 10. Heather Plastow was 11th out of 180 runners with a time of 18:47, and Mallory Hiatt was five seconds behind her (18:52) for 12th place in her collegiate debut.
Kaelyn Johnson was third for Grace at 20:15, and Elizabeth Moore followed her at 21:03. Makenzie Adams (21:25), Anna Hulstedt (22:23) and Ellie Wagoner (22:25) rounded out the top seven for the Lady Lancers.
On the men’s side, Bryan Hernandez-Rios paced the squad with a 27th-place finish of 26:19. Freshman Macallister Cheek was 43rd overall with a time of 26:49, and Isaac Beatty (26:59) and Logan Rufenacht (27:10) were close behind.
Peter Simmon was fifth for the Lancers at 27:43, and freshman Hayden Mullett was sixth when he crossed the finish line in 27:59.
“Two great standouts tonight were Kaelyn Johnson and Peter Simmon,” Poyner added. “Kaelyn ran her first collegiate race after missing last year with injury, and Peter impressed as well after working with a champion’s diligence all spring and summer. This is just the beginning for our crew.”
The Lancers are back on Sept. 18 with the Ray Bullock Invitational, hosted by Taylor.