Lady Jackets win fifth straight NCCAA Championship


CEDARVILLE — Balance and depth were the difference as Cedarville captured its fifth consecutive NCCAA Women’s Indoor Track & Field Championship at the Doden Field House.

The Lady Jackets had three runner-up finishes on Saturday and three more third-place efforts to help in retaining the banner.

CU totaled 155 points while Campbellsville was next with 125. Rounding out the top five were Bethel (77), Greenville (77), and Grace (75.5).

Nora Hagan sprinted to second place in the 60 meter dash in 7.63 seconds tying the second-best mark in school history.

Britain Musick was the runner-up in the 60 meter hurdles (9.03). The 4 x 400 meter relay unit of Jessica Ferguson, Calista Bobula, Sydney Diedrich, and Martha Bergley was second in 4:08.40.

The top three finishers in each event are considered NCCAA All-Americans.

Third place finishers were Madeleine Peramaki in the 800 meters (2:22.13), Becky Madsen in the 3,000 (10:33.25), and the 4 x 800 relay of Reghan Mulder, Paige Fuller, Abigail Brown, and Abigail Atkins (10:32.15).

On Friday, the Lady Jackets had three individual champions. The trio included Madsen in the 5K (17:55.97), Haleigh Eckert in the pole vault (12-2.50; 3.72 meters), and Hannah Willow in the high jump (5-3.75; 1.62m).

Freshman Sophia Schneider was the runner-up in the pole vault with a season-best 11-8.50 (3.57m) to garner All-America honors.

Atkins, Peramaki, Mulder, and Mary Miller finished third in the distance medley relay in 13:17.90.

Head Coach Jeff Bolender and his staff were recognized as the NCCAA Women’s Indoor Coaching Staff of the Year.

Men finish as runner-up

A victory by the 4 x 400 meter relay team vaulted the Yellow Jackets into second place in the NCCAA Men’s Indoor Track & Field Championship at the Doden Field House.

Trey Gruet, Josh Jones, Ethan Hunter, and Ben Place won the race in 3:25.81 to move Cedarville from fourth to second in the final team standings.

The only individual title for the hosts came from Grant Weise in the shot put who won with a heave of 48-0.75 (14.65 meters).

CU had four other All-America showings (top three finishers) in the two-day meet.

Place finished third in the 800 meters (1:58.77), Trevor Cross was third in the 3,000 meters (8:43.29), and Isaac Reinhard placed third in the heptathlon (3893 points).

The Jackets’ other All-American effort occurred on Friday when Kolson Kytta came in third in the 5,000 meters (15:37.36).

Campbellsville won the team championship with 137 points. Cedarville (86), Southwestern Assemblies of God (84.5), Grace (81), and Greenville (79.5) compiled the rest of the top five.

Softball begins season in Nashville

The 2023 softball campaign for Cedarville University gets underway this weekend at the Music City Invitational in Nashville.

G-MAC member Trevecca Nazarene is the host of the three-day event in which the Lady Jackets will play two games on Friday and two more on Saturday.

On Friday, CU will face McKendree at Noon and Illinois Springfield at 4 p.m. Saturday’ games are against Missouri S&T at Noon and Wisconsin Parkside at 2 p.m.

Kelsey Chapman enters her second year as head coach after leading the program to records of 24-19 overall and 9-13 G-MAC last spring.

The 16-player roster includes plenty of veteran experience led by junior pitcher/first baseman Casey Bertke – a two-time All-G-MAC performer and NCCAA All-American.

She has 23 career wins inside the circle with a 1.68 ERA to go along with a .285 batting average and six homers.

Bertke is joined on the pitching staff by juniors Emily Blake and Adaline Ziehmer, who have more than 60 appearances combined.

Sophomore outfielder Mackenzie Russell was voted to the All-NCCAA Midwest Region Team during her rookie season. She led the club with 26 RBI and is the team’s top returning hitter (.326).

First baseman Arica Flaugher and outfielder/second baseman Sophia Hevel are the lone seniors on the squad.

Juniors Faith Bergner, Kaley Clark, Lexi Parsons, and Mariah Wallace have each been two-year starters midway through their careers.

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