NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb men and women’s cross country teams will be back in action at this weekend’s Atlantic Sun Cross Country Championships, hosted by Belmont. The meet is scheduled to begin with the men’s 8K at 10 a.m. on the Vaughn’s Gap Course at Percy Warner Park. The women’s five-kilometer race is scheduled to begin at 10:45 a.m.
This will be the first race in nearly a month for many of the Lipscomb athletes competing in the championships. When Saturday’s race kicks off, Lipscomb’s top runners will not have run in a meet since Oct. 1 at the Greater Louisville Classic. Of this weekend’s runners, only freshmen Tate Honaker and Zak Vruwink (men) and senior Louisa Van Batavia (women) competed in the Evansville Invitational, two weeks ago.
The women’s team enters the weekend as one of the favorites among the conference schools. Sophomore Tessa Hoefle and senior Ashley Lehman have stepped up in the absence of 2010 A-Sun Freshman of the Year and first-team all-conference runner Dani Walker and helped maintain the Lady Bisons place among the elite teams in the conference.
Joining Hoefle and Lehman this weekend will be seniors Van Batavia and Catherine Beals, sophomores Katie Bunker, Missy Dowd and Emily Longden and freshmen Minna Fields and Maggie Lawrence.
Based on the current A-Sun marks Hoefle, Lehman and Fields would be All-Conference, while Fields and Lawrence are on pace for All-Freshman team honors. Both Fields and Lawrence are in the mix to become Lipscomb’s second consecutive A-Sun Freshman of the Year.
The men’s team, ranked sixth in the most recent A-Sun poll, has been led all season by junior Isaiah Greer. Greer, who won A-Sun Male Runner of the Week for his 12th-place run at the Erik Anderson Invitational on Sept. 24, is on pace for Lipscomb’s first men’s all-conference first team honor since Ryan Chastain in 2009.
The other Bisons in the hunt for Lipscomb this weekend will be senior Benton Reed, juniors Ashton Fisher, Geoff Musick, Ben Wright and Mike Yang and freshmen Ryan Gadsey, Honaker and Vruwink.
Fisher and Musick are also expected to compete for all-conference honors. Wright is a dark horse if he can repeat his performance at the Anderson Invite, where he shaved more than a minute off his previous personal best. Gadsey looks to make a run at an all-freshman team nod.
Lipscomb fans should make sure they are in attendance for this event. Beginning at 9:30 a.m., Lipscomb in Motion will be hosting a pancake breakfast for students at the course. The Lipscomb Marketing Department will also be giving away Lipscomb long-sleeved t-shirts for students.
Lipscomb will take seven of the nine performers from each team competing this weekend to the NCAA South Regional, scheduled for Nov. 14 at the Harry Pritchett Course in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
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