Monday, June 24, 2019
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor
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Mount Mercy University - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Mustangs open Rinderknecht Athletic Center

The Mount Mercy University athletic department took another leap forward Friday with the Grand Opening of the Rinderknecht Athletic Center.

The transformed warehouse, located at 939 17th Street NE in Cedar Rapids, is a state-of-the-art wellness and athletic performance center. The building houses batting cages for baseball and softball, a golf hitting area and putting greens, a 60-meter sprint track, an athletic training room, fitness/cardio/weight equipment, a dynamic movement area for yoga and more.

Renovations to the building include a new HVAC system and new flooring, roof, siding and windows that look onto Mount Mercy's Plaster Athletic Complex that is located across the street. A neighboring facility, formerly the Barry K. Wendt building, houses new administrative offices for the athletic department.

The renovation was made possible through a substantial lead gift from John Rinderknecht, a Mount Mercy trustee and president of Ram Development Company.

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Mustangs tab 3 for Hall of Fame

Amanda Frost, Mwale Kapande and Justin Schulte will be inducted into  the Mount Mercy University Hall of Fame Sept. 27 during Alumni Reunion  Weekend.

Frost (2017 grad) was an NAIA honorable mention All-American as a  junior and three-time all-Midwest Collegiate Conference selection. She  ranks 12th in school history with 1,578 points and posted the  third-highest scoring average in school history when she averaged 18.9  points.

Kapande (2014) was a five-time NAIA All-American during her two years  in the Mount Mercy track program. As a junior, she was an indoor and  outdoor All-American in the long jump. She repeated those honors as a  senior and also earned All-American credit in the 4x100 relay.

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Cortes takes 3rd in NAIA marathon

GULF SHORES, Ala. – Vanessa Cortes of Mount Mercy University placed  third in the marathon at the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships  this past weekend.

Cortes covered the 26 miles in 3 hours, 10 minutes, 51.2 seconds to  break the school record by nearly 10 minutes and become an NAIA  All-American. The marathon was a new race at the NAIA meet this season  and Mount Mercy dominated the event, with Andrea Ertz finishing in  ninth place and Alexa Zamora placing 10th.

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Mustangs denied trip to nationals

OZARK, Mo. - The Mount Mercy baseball team came within two outs of  earning a trip to the NAIA national tournament Monday.

The Mustangs held a 3-1 lead over Clarke University with two outs in  the bottom of the ninth, needing a victory in the losers bracket final  of the Heart of America Conference tournament to automatically qualify  for nationals.

Unfortunately for Mount Mercy, the Pride rallied for two runs in the  bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game 3-3 and force extra  innings. Clarke broke the deadlock by scoring in the bottom of the  12th for a 4-3 verdict.

Baker blasted Clarke, 16-3, in the first championship game to win the  conference tournament. Baker and Clarke now advance to the NAIA  tournament as the conference tournament champion and runnerup, while  Mount Mercy finishes one win short at 29-23.

Mount Mercy compiled a 4-2 record in the tournament and staved off  three straight elimination games.

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Mustangs eye spot at nationals

OZARK, Mo. - Believe it or not, the Mount Mercy baseball team is one  victory away from reaching the NAIA national tournament.

The Mustangs scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday  to clip 17th-ranked Central Methodist University, 2-1, in an  elimination game at the Heart of America Conference tournament at US  Baseball Park.

Mount Mercy (29-22) will face Clarke University (27-20) in the losers  bracket finals Monday at 10 a.m., with the winner advancing to the  conference finals against Baker at 1:30 p.m. Monday and clinching a  spot in the national tournament.

The Heart of America Conference gets two spots in the national  tournament this year, and the two berths go to the conference  tournament champion and the tournament runnerup.

Mount Mercy has won three straight elimination games at the tournament  and Sunday's game was a doozy. The Mustangs trailed, 1-0, heading into  the bottom of the ninth and scored two runs without a base hit.

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