NASHVILLE, Tenn.-The leaders for the Lipscomb Bisons cross country team this year have been doom, despair and agony.
Heading into Saturday’s Atlantic Sun Championship at Buckingham, Fla., coach Bill Taylor is ready for anything from his team.
“Anything is possible, but a lot of things are unlikely at this point,” Taylor said. “We have just been through a lot.”
The problems started with the team even before the season started as three top recruits were unable to run due to injuries or health problems. Geoff Musick, Isaiah Greer and Mike Yang, three of the top runners from last year, are redshirting this season.
Tim Muller, a senior, and freshman Matt Hall have also been sidelined for most of the season.
“We have kind of had a men’s season where anything that could go wrong kind of went wrong,” Taylor said. “We have found ourselves relying on a lot of freshmen to run an 8-K, a race they have never run before.
“We have been void of upperclassmen leadership on the course. It has been about as rough a season as you could have.”
One of the bright spots for Taylor is that his runners are keeping a positive attitude and are in an upbeat mode heading into the championship.
“I don’t think we have any expectations, which is a good thing for this team right now” Taylor said. “I didn’t give them a specific race plan. They have run on the course. They know what it is like down there.
“I basically told them each individual will make his own decision about what he wants out of this meet. I have told them to go race and be competitive. It is kind of a test for them to see what they are willing to do.”
Taylor is not counting on any one individual to set the pace for the team. He would like to see his runners hit the course in an aggressive mode.
“I know that a lot of our guys are capable of some pretty great things if they make that decision,” Taylor said. “And that is the key.
“We have been a tentative, kind of fearful team. If some of those guys decide they belong there they will be there because they are good enough.”
Another thing that gives Taylor hope is that last season the women’s cross country team was hit with some setbacks and they prevailed to win their first ever conference title.
“I don’t know we can expect the same result from the men, but we have seen that any good team can put it together on that one day, no matter what has happened during the regular season," Taylor said. “I would love to just see them compete hard and take whatever we get.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations for Athletics.