Three Goshen College athletes named track All-Americans at NAIA Nationals

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Goshen College track and field program made the most of its trip to the 2004 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships at Cardinal Park in Louisville, Ky., May 27-29, as three of the Leafs’ four national participants were honored with All-American status.

Senior Heidi Saunders (Plainwell, Mich.) captured her fifth NAIA All-American award, this time in the 10,000-meter run. Saunders finished in fifth place — the top six finishers in each event earn All-American status — in a time of 38:14.29. Junior Justin Gillette (Niles, Mich.) finished second in the men’s marathon in 2 hours, 29 minutes and 44 seconds, while junior Melissa Lehman (Berne, Ind.) finished the women’s marathon in a time of 3:14:04, finishing sixth.

Senior Jon Cook (Wakarusa, Ind.), Goshen’s other national performer, competed in the 200-meter dash and the triple-jump, but did not advance to the finals in either event.

“Having three of your four athletes [that you take to the national event] achieve All-American status doesn’t just happen,” Clark said. “These four athletes have worked and trained very hard throughout the course of their careers, and to just make it to this level in itself is a tremendous accomplishment.”

In the marathon, Gillette bettered his previous best time by three seconds in rolling to second place in the men’s competition, while Lehman dropped about 10 minutes off her previous time in finishing sixth in the women’s race. This was a repeat All-American performance for Gillette, who finished fourth last year.

–Cory Furman and Lyle Miller

Goshen College, established in 1894, is a four-year residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” Kaplan’s “Most Interesting Colleges” guide and U.S.News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit

Editors: For more information, contact News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or