Locals excel in the field

HOUGHTON – In some parts of Michigan, track meets are being held outdoors, and a couple Copper Country alumni have made a mark the 2014 season.

Houghton alumna Addie Grier-Welch is a sophomore on the track team at Michigan State. In the opening event of the outdoor season at the Raleigh (N.C.) Relays, Grier-Welch set a career-best outdoor mark in the high jump, clearing 5-foot-7 (1.70m). The effort was good enough for a tie for seventh in a field that included representatives from throughout the eastern half of the U.S.

She competed April 5 with close to 1,200 athletes at the home Spartan Invitational.

Grier-Welch took fourth in the high jump, clearing 5-4 1/4 (1.63m).

During the indoor season, Grier-Welch cleared 5-8 1/2 in the high jump at the Jan. 25 Notre Dame Invitational, which was at the time the fourth-best result in the Big 10 that season.

At the Big 10 Indoor Championships, Grier-Welch finished 10th, clearing 5-7 1/4.

Ferris State thrower Briana Raasio of Hancock won the javelin throw and took top-fives in two other throwing events at the Hillsdale College Track Invite last Saturday.

Raasio’s toss of 39.24m (128-9) came less than a meter (about 2 1/2 feet) from being an NCAA Division II provisional qualifying mark.

Raasio finished fifth in the discus with a toss of exactly 39m (127-11 1/2). Her fifth-place mark in the hammer throw was in the same neighborhood, at 38.25 meters (125-5 1/2).

Raasio also competed at the Spartan Invite, winning the javelin at 39.06m (118-6), taking ninth in discus (34.23m) and ninth in hammer (38.25m).

Houghton alum Sam Henderson is back for her junior season as a catcher/infielder on the University of Detroit Mercy softball team.

Henderson has started 30 games for the Titans and is 4-for-32 at the plate with a double and a home run.

The homer came Feb. 8 in a game against Butler (Ind.) in Nashville, Tenn., and two of her hits came April 6 at Valparaiso. It was her third career multi-hit game for the Titans.

UDM is 4-32 overall this season and 0-6 in Horizon League play. The Titans play this weekend at Illinois-Chicago.

Houghton’s Jess Ahlborn is the second-leading hitter at Division III Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind.

Ahlborn, who has started all 24 games for the Fightin’ Engineers, is hitting .346 with three home runs and 11 RBIs. She also leads the team in triples (three), walks drawn (eight) and stolen bases (a perfect 5-for-5).

Rose-Hulman is currently 13-11 (with a win over Houghton College of New York) and 7-5 in the Heartland Conference going into a doubleheader at Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati Saturday afternoon.

EDITOR’S NOTE: “Calls From Home” is meant to recognize the accomplishments of area athletic alumni in collegiate athletics outside the Copper Country. If you know of an athlete we can add to our records, please contact DMG Sports Editor Brandon Veale at bveale@mininggazette. com.