Caledonia, MI – The Grace Christian University track & field squads had a big final weekend of competition at Davenport University as three more school records fell and the first automatic qualifying standard of the season was achieved over the course of the two day meet on Friday and Saturday.
Grace head coach Gerry Verwey was pleased with the team after the conclusion of the meet, which featured the majority of the field events and the 10k on Friday night with the rest of the events on Saturday. "Things are really coming together for us," noted Verwey. "The athletes have been responding well at practices. They are listening well, putting in the time, and have been really receptive to coaching. It’s so rewarding to see it all come together at our meets. This team has really rewritten the record books this season and, what’s scary is, I don’t think we’ve reached our top potential yet."
Freshman Makensie Mondy (Kentwood, MI), after just learning how to high jump this past week, hit the automatic qualifying standard for the NCCAA Outdoor National Championships and set the new school record for the event in the process. Mondy also broke her own school records in the 100m and 200m dashes on Saturday, as well.
Senior Sarena Overbeek (Jenison, MI) had a big night on the track Friday when she ran a season best time in the 10k bringing her within 53 seconds of the automatic qualifying standard for Nationals.
Senior Zyan Tatum (Grand Rapids, MI) also had a huge weekend. Tatum nearly broke the school record in long jump, missing it by 0.02 meters, and then joined Mondy in high jump where she too broke the original school record in the event (having also just learned the event this past week). On Saturday, Tatum came back to set a new personal best time in the 100m dash, as well.
Freshman Devin Bartee (Muskegon, MI) broke the school record in long jump, a record that had stood since 2017 (Montae Harris), with a big leap of 5.62 meters.
Sophomore Ben Bird (Allendale, MI) broke his own school record in the 3k steeplechase by a whopping 28 seconds.
Junior Kent Herring (Evart, MI) nearly won his 800m race, finishing second with a season best time after setting a new personal record in shot put earlier in the meet.
The Tigers track & field teams will now prepare for the NCCAA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships on May 10-12 in Columbia, South Carolina. Although Mondy is the only automatic qualifier, and Herring secured his entry in the decathlon earlier this season at Indiana State University, the Grace coaches are optimistic about a few other athletes joining them at Nationals with provisional "right of membership" invites, which will be announced early this week. Stay tuned for further updates on the Grace website and social media platforms as the National Championships approach next week.