Coach Bill Taylor expected Chastain to finish somewhere in the top five. Chastain covered the 8-K course at the Sperling Sports Complex in DeLand, Fla., in a time of 25:49, four seconds behind the third place finisher.
Chastain earned All A-Sun First Team honors for the second year in a row with the finish.
“Ryan ran great, though the heat and humidity were hard on him,” said Taylor. “He pushed through and ran very tough.
“Fourth might be the highest A-Sun finish ever for a Lipscomb man or woman. It was definitely the best ever for the men. He's also the first ever two time A-Sun runner in Lipscomb men's cross country history.”
Taylor stressed that the weather conditions were a challenge.
“The heat and humidity were very tough, especially during the men's race,” said Taylor. “I was told 95 percent humidity was expected. I believe the temperature was in the 80s.”
East Tennessee’s Ken Rotich was the winner of the race with a time of 25:31.
The Bisons finished sixth as a team. Kennesaw State won the men’s division for the second year in a row.
"I'm disappointed with the men's finish," said Taylor. Both teams are very young. We lose one senior on each. Losing Ryan will be a huge void we need to fill next year with the men, either from within, by bringing new guys in, or hopefully both. The ASun conference gets tougher and deeper every year. It has become a very exciting and competitive meet." Taylor knows that Chastain is going to be difficult to replace next season.
"Both teams are very young," said Taylor. "We lose one senior on each.
"Losing Ryan will be a huge void we need to fill next year with the men, either from within, by bringing new guys in, or hopefully both."
Freshman Tim Muller finished in 25th place in the field of 79 runners. His time was 27:13. Close behind in 28th place was freshman Isaiah Greer with a time of 27:26.
“Tim looked amazing until the last mile when he died,” said Taylor. “At least he left it all out there though.
“Isaiah Greer also ran an amazing race. It was his best race of the year.”
Freshman Jeff Musick was 38th (27:51) and junior Jared Carlson was 39th (27:52).
Freshman Ashton Fisher finished in 45th in a time of 28:34. Freshman Mike Yang was 49th with a time of 28:45.
Sophomore Benton Reed was 63rd with a time of 30:47. Hunter Hethcoat crossed the line in 67th place with a time of 31:10.
“Jeff Musick had a solid race,” said Taylor. “Other guys were overwhelmed and ran very poorly.
“It surprised me. I think maybe having so many underclassmen on the conference roster caught up with us.”