MOST IMPROVED AWARD: Hunter Hethcoat, a freshman from Franklin, Tenn., was presented the “Most Improved Award”. His high school personal record was 17:55 and he only broke 18 minutes once in high school. For the one 5-K race Lipscomb’s men ran this year Hunter posted a time of 16:33. On paper he was 18th fastest on the team coming into the 2008 season. During the season he finished as high as fifth on the team and posted an 8000m time of 26:40, the sixth fastest time on the team this season.
“The 26:40 for 8000m is roughly equal to 16:00 for 5-K!, said Bisons cross country coach Bill Taylor. “He was an inspiration to the whole men’s team and has proven he can be a great collegiate runner.”
FIGHTING BISON AWARD: Tyler Youngs, from Kennesaw, Ga., was awarded the “Fighting Bison Award” as the person who demonstrates the most guts, mental toughness and physical toughness.
“Tyler ran with guts and toughness in every workout and race this season,” said Taylor. “He finished as high as fourth on the team this year.
“In the most impressive display of toughness, Tyler was tripped and spiked in the head in the first 400 meters of the Loyola Invitational in Chicago. He got up with spike cuts and blood flowing from his head and worked his way up from about 360th place to finish 133rd in the race. His performance inspired the whole team and showed that you can overcome huge obstacles.”
FOR THE TEAM AWARD: Jared Carlson, from Rockford, Ill., was given the “For the Team Award”. It is present to the person who is the best teammate and the person who is most positive, motivating and caring.
“Jared was expected to be one of the top runners for the men’s team in 2008, however a lower back stress fracture caused from throwing freight in a summer job cost him the entire season,” said Taylor. “Instead of whining about his situation or fading away, Jared was out with the men’s team in any weather taking times, yelling encouragement, driving the team to the park and back, and doing everything in his power to help the men’s team succeed. His positive attitude and great sense of humor were a huge asset to the men’s team.”
HEART OF GOLD AWARD: Ryan Chastain, from Mitchell, Ind., received the “Heart of Gold Award”. It is presented to a runner who demonstrates the highest character, who doesn’t compromise and who does the right thing even when nobody is looking. Ryan chose Lipscomb because he wanted to study Engineering so he could help go help impoverished countries and communities build bridges and other technical structures to improve lives.
“That gives some insight into Ryan’s heart for people,” said Taylor. “As a member of the team and as a team captain he leads by example and cares about each member of the team and how the team is impacting the University, the community and the world.”
TOTAL COMMITMENT AWARD: Ryan Chastain also was given the “Total Commitment Award” which is given to the person “that did it right, did it all and did all the little things”.
“Ryan certainly has athletic talent and that has helped him improve dramatically over the past year and a half,” said Taylor. “However, Ryan’s work ethic and willingness to do everything he needs to do mentally and physically are a just as big a part of his success.
“From getting his sleep, to striving for academic success, to all aspects of training, he gives his best and expects the whole team to do the same. Ryan has been a great example of what it takes to be excellent.”
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD: Nathan Brame. From Radford, Va., finished second on the team in most meets this year and was easily the top freshman on the team. He ran an 8000m time of 26:07, the second fastest time on the team. He also earned All-Atlantic Sun Freshman team honors. Nathan is only the second runner in Lipscomb history to earn a spot on the A-Sun All-Freshman team (Ryan Chastain was the first).
“Nathan has a bright future for the Bisons,” said Taylor.
ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD: Ryan Chastain was the No. 1 runner for Lipscomb’s men in every race this year. He ran under 25 minutes for 8000m for the second year in a row and served as a team captain. Ryan won the Vanderbilt Invitational, the first cross country individual victory in the NCAA division I era for Lipscomb. He also earned All-Atlantic Sun First Team honors with a sixth place finish in the conference championships, becoming the first member of the Lipscomb Men’s Cross Country team to earn All A-Sun honors. He owns the Lipscomb school record for 8000m at 24:48.
TEAM CAPTAINS: Ryan Chastain, Andrew Shankles, Clint Carter
MEN’S SEASON WRAP-UP: In 2008 a young Lipscomb men’s team finished sixth in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Throughout the season the men crushed their previous team times on courses Lipscomb had run before. With no less than three and often four freshmen in the top five, it was definitely a learning year for the men. The increase from high school 5-K to college 8-K was a transition for the freshmen men, the benefits of which will be realized more next year. It is a young team with a lot of promise and the ability to move up the conference rankings quickly.
2008 Men’s Season Best 8-K Times:
Ryan Chastain 24:56
Nathan Brame 26:07
David Wolfe 26:25
Ben Fennell 26:26
Tyler Youngs 26:31
Trace Carlson 26:39
Hunter Hethcoat 26:40
Cormac Carolan 27:03
Jeff Hoover 27:04
Andrew Shankles 27:09
Benton Reed 27:10
Jonathan Williams 27:12
Paul Wright 27:35
Aaron Todd 27:36
Chad Martin 27:51
Clint Carter 28:57
Andrew Jones 30:28