By Josh Neuhart
Grace College Sports Information
WINONA LAKE – Grace’s cross country teams celebrated a historic achievement on Thursday.
Both the men’s and women’s teams were receiving votes in the latest NAIA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll, the first combined appearance in school history.
Thursday’s announcement marked the first NAIA poll appearance in the history of the women’s team. The men’s last poll appearance was in 2003, a 16-year gap.
The women earned 33 voting points from the national rankers, good for No. 31 in the NAIA. The men’s team had 12 points, which was No. 34 in the poll.
Head coach Jake Poyner, now in his second year in charge of both programs, was pleased about the national rankings.
“This is a fun accomplishment for us. We’re young and still building, but it is affirming for our runners to know that their hard work is garnering some attention,” Poyner said. “Given the adversity we’ve faced this year, we’re nowhere near where we want to be, but we know we’re headed in the right direction. That path and the physiological, mental and emotional growth we are looking for takes time and consistent, intentional action every day. We are locked in.”
The Lancers have the week off as they prepare for the 2020 Crossroads League Championships, hosted by Indiana Wesleyan on Nov. 6.