Former Crusader is marathon All-American

Jun. 02, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

Grace Christian graduate Ashley Matthews, now a long-distance runner at Lee University, earned NAIA All-American honors for finishing seventh in the marathon at the 2013 NAIA Track and Field Championships last Saturday.

Matthews and teammate Cayce Bryan, in the same meet in the 800 meters, became the first two All-Americans in Lee’s outdoor track and field history.

Matthews, a junior, finished seventh in a time of 3:01:07. Monica Kalicinska of St. Gregory’s University won in 2:50:52.

“Ashley did a great job today in her first marathon,” said Lee head coach Caleb Morgan. “She ran like a veteran, racing very smart. Her time would be competitive in any major marathon around the country.”

Matthews is studying education, ESL, spanish and history at Lee, in Cleveland, Tenn. She has a GPA of 3.96.

Matthews runs cross country for the Flames in the fall, indoor track in the winter and outdoor track in the spring.

Earlier in the outdoor season, Matthews won the Southern States Athletic Conference title in the 5,000 meters, winning in a time of 19:05.1 at the conference meet in Rome, Ga. in April.

She spends her summers working with Teameffort Missions as Director of Missions in Antigua, Guatemala and has been active in mission work since going on her first mission trip with Grace Chapel Youth Group as an eighth grader.

Ashley is the daughter of Barry and Deborah Matthews in Sanford.