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Men's Cross Country and Track signs best distance recruiting class in school history

Friday, April 11, 2008

April 11, 2008

The Lipscomb Bisons Men's Track program announced the signing of six men to the 2008-2009 team.

These are the first men's team recruits to sign with Lipscomb University under first-year head coach Bill Taylor. The six are Nathan Brame (Radford, Va.), Benton Reed (Scottsboro, Ala.), Trace Carlson (Mt. Morris, Ill.), Tylar Youngs (Kennesaw, Ga.), Chad Martin (Coppell, Texas) and Hunter Hethcoat (Franklin, Tenn.).

"I believe this men's distance recruiting class is the best in the history of the university," said Taylor. "All six men can make a major impact on our program in the near future."

The stellar group is highlighted by Brame, a four-time Virginia 1A State Champion in Cross Country and Track, having won the past two Cross Country state crowns, and the past two 1600m state titles. He will go for his third straight 1600m title this year for Radford High School and looks to improve upon two consecutive second place state finishes in the 3200m.

Brame led his Radford High School Cross Country team to their first ever team State Championship in 2007. During his four year career there his teams have progressed from 4th in 2004, 3rd in 2005, 2nd in 2006 to state championship in 2007. Along the way he has led his teams to many regional and district championships. He has earned All-State honors four times in Cross Country and six times in Track, has served as team captain for three years and has finished in the top ten all four years of state competition in Cross Country. His Personal Bests include 15:39 for 5K, 4:18 for the mile, 4:22 for the 1600m, 6:24 for 2000m Steeplechase and 2:00 for 800m (an event he hasn't run since his sophomore year).

"Nathan is a young man of high character," said Taylor. "The fact that he is a top national recruit is a bonus. He is highly competitive, expects success and has led his high school team to the highest levels they've ever seen. He has a thirst for knowledge about how to get better in this sport and has a desire to rise to the top for himself and for his team. I am very excited to work with Nathan, to help him develop as a person and as an athlete. He is going to play a gigantic role in the success of our program."

Reed has been a standout distance runner for Scottsboro High School. A three-time All-State Cross Country performer, Reed has been a contributor to four consecutive top three team finishes in the 5A state championships. In 2004 he helped his team win the Alabama 5A state title.

Likewise, on the track Reed has been a vital contributor to the history of success at Scottsboro High School as a member of six state first or second place team performances in indoor and outdoor track. In 2005 his indoor track team won the state championship and in 2005 and 2006 his outdoor track team won the state championship.

Reed won the 2007 5A Indoor State Championship for 1600m and finished third in the same event at the Outdoor State Championships. He has also won a state championship title in outdoor track as a member of the Scottsboro 2007 4x800m Relay team.

Reed also has some family history with Lipscomb University. Both his parents are Lipscomb University graduates. His Personal Bests include 16:15 for 5K, 4:31 for 1600m, and 9:56 for 3200m

"From the moment I talked to Benton I wanted him with our program," said Taylor. "He has a huge heart and is just a perfect fit for this university and for the type of program we have. I also know that he is going to be a big factor in our future success and in the continuing transformation of this program to an elite level. Like Nathan, Benton has experienced extraordinary team success and has an immense desire to be the best he can be, while impacting the teams he is a member of. He is an absolutely terrific addition to this program."

Carlson is an All-State Cross Country runner from Oregon High School. Trace finished 10th in the state 3200m as a sophomore, but lost most of his 2007 season to an injury. He roared back in Cross Country this year with another 10th place finish this past Fall. Trace has been All-State in Cross Country twice and all-Conference three times and has won the Regional Cross Country Championship twice. He also led his 2007 Cross Country team to the 2007 Regional Championship and to a tenth place state finish.

Carlson has been a team captain in Cross Country the past two years as well as being voted MVP the past two seasons. His Personal Bests include 15:20 for 3 miles, 9:45 for 3200m and 4:33 for 1600m.

"Trace is a terrific addition to our program. He's accomplished as a distance runner yet strives to rise even higher. He has a great personality and is going to be a lot of fun to be around. He will be a huge asset and will excel at the longer distances. I think he will enjoy the transition to 8000m in college Cross Country and will have great success at this level."

Youngs has been one of the top runners at Kennesaw Mountain High School in Kennesaw, Ga. A top five finisher in his past two Cross Country Regional Championships, he has also qualified for the past two State Championships.

Youngs earned most improved honors in xc in 2006 and track 2007. He has Personal Best's of 16:26 for 5K, 4:35 for 1600m and 10:48 for 3200m.

"Tyler has great character and a ton of potential. I really believe his times are just the tip of the iceberg of what he is capable of. He is yet another great fit with our program and has the opportunity to be a major contributor to the success of our programs."

Martin is a top five runner from the 5A state championship fourth place Cross Country team. A relative newcomer to the sport, Chad started Cross Country as a junior and transitioned from the pole vault to the mile for the first time that same year. Despite his lack of experience, he has posted a Personal Best of 16:48 for 5K, 10:06 for 3200m and 4:46 for 1600m.

"Chad is a great guy who will fit with the incredible environment at Lipscomb. I am very excited to see him develop as a runner as he gains more and more experience. I've coached runners like Chad, with a limited background in distance running coming out of high school, and seen amazing performances if they are willing to work hard and listen. I believe Chad will be one of those guys."

Hethcoat is a local product of Franklin High School, just a few minutes south of Nashville. He has been a top two runner on his team and finished fifth in the Regional Championships this past Fall. He has Personal Best's of 18:24 for 5K and 4:46 for 1600m.

"Hunter is such a high character and nice person," Taylor said. "From that perspective he is a perfect fit with our program. However, I have seen Hunter run and I believe he is a diamond in the rough. If he wants to run fast in college distance running, is ready to listen and work really hard, I think he is going to shock a lot of people. There is no doubt Hunter has the ability to run fast in college. I'm going to ask him to drop massive amounts of time off his personal bests during his career here. I believe he will rise to that challenge and develop into a terrific distance runner."

"This is a terrific recruiting class for us in my first year at Lipscomb. All six men have high character and great personalities. That is the foundation of our program. They also bring a lot of talent to our program. I feel especially blessed to be able to bring in a great group despite getting such a late start on recruiting (after being hired in August). This program is definitely moving forward fast. My expectation with both the men's and women's programs is that we become an elite NCAA I program. This is a big step in the right direction for that to happen."

Lipscomb University is an NCAA I school competing in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Located in Nashville, TN, the school has an enrollment of 2,800 students.