Lancers Claim Two Little State Titles

By Josh Neuhart

Grace’s track and field teams took home a pair of titles at the highly competitive Little State Championships over the weekend.

Freshman Nathan Brown overcame strong winds to win the long jump at 21-feet-4.25, and the men’s 4×400-meter relay team finished first by 0.01 seconds.

Lance Taylor, Seth Booker and Zach Speckman got the Lancers off to a fine start in the 4×400, and Donovan Graham raced to the finish line to win by a hair.

“It’s great to win two Little State titles. It’s been a long time since the Grace men have won events at this meet, and both were hard-fought wins,” said Grace head coach Jeff Raymond. “Nathan (Brown) battled swirling winds that some other jumpers weren’t able to handle. The relay team ran a very solid race. Lance (Taylor), Seth (Booker) and Zach (Speckman) put us in position, then Donny (Graham) ran his best split of the season to win at the wire.”

Speckman and Booker went on to finish third and fourth place respectively in the 400 hurdles, and Taylor placed third in the 400.

Booker was also eighth in the 110 hurdles, and Graham was fifth in a close 800 race. Other places included Collin Chupp (eighth) in the 3000 steeplechase, Ben Drew (seventh) in the 1500, and the 4×800 relay team (fourth).

On the women’s side, Kaitlyn Mikel and Erin McPherson picked up fourth and fifth place respectively in the hammer throw, and Sabrina Whitaker tied for fifth place in the high jump.

Kaitlyn Faulkner was seventh in the triple jump, and Elaynne Speckman finished eighth in the 400 hurdles.

“The conditions were pretty tough this weekend with the cold and wind. Overall we competed hard and produced some season-best performances,” Raymond continued. “We have a couple of weeks until the conference meet, so we will keep trying to improve.”

The Lancers will compete at next weekend’s Spartan Invitational at North Manchester, Ind.