NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb men’s cross country team picked up the No. 1 ranking in the Atlantic Sun last week in the final coach’s poll of the year.
The Bisons will look to keep that ranking enroute to winning its first A-Sun Championship which takes place on its home turf at Percy Warner Park at Vaughn’s Gap at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Lipscomb has a mix of three redshirt seniors, three sophomores and three freshmen comprising the nine runners competing in the meet. Bill Taylor, director of cross country and track and field, likes the mix of runners and has been happy with the three seniors Isaiah Greer, Tim Muller and Geoff Musick.
“It is an interesting mix with three fifth-year seniors,” Taylor said. “It is funny I told them that we have a good young team and that if you redshirt this season (last year), understand there is no guarantee that you are on the roster.
“And boy they worked their butts off to get on that roster. They have been a real good stabilizing force for the younger guys. It has been a great mix.”
The Bisons are also running the three members of the All-Freshmen Team from a year ago in Jared Wingerter, Daniel Gardner and Fidel Leon.
“We had three guys on the all-freshman team last year and a good chance of getting three guys on it this year,” Taylor said. “Christian Freeman, Juan Gonzalez and John Kingstedt are right up there.”
Gonzalez has been the team leader throughout the season as the top finisher at all five meets for the Bisons.
“Juan is amazing,” Taylor said. “I am just kind of waiting for him to take that next step. He has so much ability and is a great racer. I would love to see him take it this week or in two weeks.”
USC Upstate enters the meet as the two-time defending champions and won the meet the last time the A-Sun Championship was held at Vaughn’s Gap in 2011.
Following Lipscomb in the final coach’s poll was ETSU. North Florida, Florida Gulf Coast and Upstate round out the top five.
With the meet hosted by Lipscomb in Nashville, the squad is hoping for a strong turnout from the home crowd.
“We’re counting on people coming out,” Taylor said. “We’ve done well in the past. The home crowd can make a huge difference.”