Allendale, MI – The Grace Christian University track & field teams took on some great competition at Grand Valley State University’s "Al Owens Classic" on Friday and secured four more new school records and numerous personal bests. Even with cooler temperatures than the previous week’s meet, the high level of competition against NCAA D2 and NAIA athletes helped drive the Tigers to new performance levels.
With only a week left in the season to earn a spot at the NCCAA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships next month, no time remains for excuses so Grace head coach Gerry Verwey welcomed the competition. "This is why we look for the best competition for our teams because it forces us out of our comfort zone and helps us realize what we are truly capable of doing," noted Verwey. "At the collegiate level, no matter what school you go to, you have to up your game, own the small details, and accept the responsibility to mentally make no excuses. Our athletes are having fun because they are buying into this and finding success."
Freshman Makensie Mondy (Kentwood, MI) broke two school records over the course of the meet. After breaking her own school record in the 100m dash (13.45 seconds), she stepped back on the track later in the meet to break the 200m dash record (27.34 seconds), which had stood since 2019.
Senior Jada Reese (Macomb, MI) set a season personal record in discus with a toss of 27.80m.
Senior Sarena Overbeek (Jenison, MI) ran a solid race in the 5k (21:44) as she used the event to prepare for a hopeful NCCAA qualification in the 10k next week at Davenport University.
Senior Zyan Tatum (Grand Rapids, MI) won her heat of the 200m dash, setting a new season best time in the process (29.75 seconds).
Junior Kent Herring (Evart, MI) had another big day on the track and in the field. Herring broke his own school record in the 400m dash (56.11 seconds), threw for a new personal best in discus (23.31m), and also set a new personal record in long jump (5.45m).
Sophomore Ben Bird (Allendale, MI) broke his own school record in the 3k steeplechase event by twenty seconds, finishing in a time of 12:28.01. Look for Bird to continue to drop time as he learns an event that he just started competing in last week.
Grace will compete in its final track & field meet of the regular season at Davenport University’s Farmers Insurance Athletic Complex this Friday and Saturday, April 28-29. Friday’s action for the Tigers will feature the javelin competition with Angel Becerra and Kent Herring beginning after 2 PM, followed by Sarena Overbeek in the 10k on the track at 6 PM. All of the other events will be contested on Saturday with field events kicking off at 11 AM and running events at 1 PM. The Davenport meet represents the last chance for the Tigers to earn a spot at the NCCAA National Championships on May 10-12 in Columbia, South Carolina.