By Josh Neuhart
Grace College Sports Information
GULF SHORES, Ala. – Grace’s track and field team is capping off a memorable season in style at the 2021 NAIA Outdoor National Championship.
Entering this year’s national championships, Grace had three events all-time achieve NAIA Outdoor All-American honors.
The Lancers nearly equaled that in one day on Thursday.
Isaac Brown earned the first All-American nod for Grace, placing third in the high jump at 6-feet-8.75.
“Isaac’s experience and maturity showed today as he handled the early pressure to clear the first two heights on his first attempt. First-attempt clearances are extremely important with the pressure of a national meet. I know he wanted to jump higher, but he put together an impressive performance,” said Grace head coach Jeff Raymond.
A few hours later, the men’s 4×800-meter relay team placed fourth to earn All-American status. Tanner Sallee, Kyle Smith, Isaac Beatty and Luke Smith crossed the finish line in 7:34.53.
The relay foursome shattered the school record during the preliminary race, crossing the finish line in 7:32.53.
“This group continues to succeed at a national level, and they are already talking about next year as they all return,” Raymond said. “They broke out in the prelims with a record-smashing time. For them to come back the next night and put together a quality race in the finals is a great accomplishment.”
The women’s 4×800 set a school record of their own. Kaitlyn Mack, Makenzie Adams, Elizabeth Moore and Heather Plastow ran 9:27.39 to place 15th in the nation.
The women’s 4×100 narrowly missed the finals in a school-record performance. Lyne Camara, Nordia Campbell, Zoe Huley and Gracious O’Connor beat their own record at 47.06 to place ninth (top eight advance to the finals).
Mallory Hiatt ran the 10,000 race in 39:17.88 to place 18th overall. The men’s 4×100 (Isaac Findley, John Green, Michael Williams, Braden Smith) finished 23rd at 41.92.
Bryan Hernandez-Rios finished 36th overall in the 5,000 (15:35.10). He qualified for NAIA Nationals in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track this school year.
On Friday, Grace will have two more runners on the final day of the meet. Plastow advanced to the finals of the 1,500, and Dimitri Margaritidis did likewise in the men’s 1,500.
To see complete meet results, click here.