NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After staying in-state for each of their first three meets of the 2011 campaign, Lipscomb’s cross country teams will be spread over the country this weekend; Bison and Lady Bison athletes will compete in three different meets in three different parts of the country, all on Saturday, Sept. 24.
The top Lady Bison runners will be at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif., scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. (CT), while the top men’s athletes go to Spokane, Wash., for the Erik Andersen Invitational, beginning at 12:45 p.m. (CT). The remainder of the squad will be in Chattanooga for the Chattanooga Cross Country Festival, with the women’s race scheduled for 1 p.m. (CT).
The Lady Bisons showed well last week in the Vanderbilt Commodore Invitational, their first meet without the injured Dani Walker. Lipscomb finished second overall as a team behind Alabama. Sophomore Tessa Hoefle and senior Ashley Lehman finished second and third, respectively, for the Lady Bisons.
A handful of freshmen runners have been imperative to the Lady Bisons in the first races of the season; Minna Fields, Maggie Lawrence and Kendra Lobley have each put up strong times for Lipscomb in 2011.
The men’s side was a respectable sixth last weekend on the Vaughn’s Gap course (in the second of three meets on Lipscomb’s home trail this season), led by junior Isaiah Greer’s 18th-place finish. Coach Bill Taylor has challenged his men’s squad this week to stick closer to Greer in order to put up stronger times.
Taylor hopes that juniors Ashton Fisher and Geoff Musick will close the gap between themselves and Greer this weekend. Freshman Ryan Gadsey has improved each week and is poised to become a strong member of the Bison runners this season.
The squads are expected to face tremendous competition at every stop this weekend. For the women’s team, host Stanford poses a formidable opponent at sixth in the nation; other squads expected to be in Palo Alto are regionally-ranked Cal, San Francisco, Cal Poly, UC Davis, UCLA, Utah and Loyola Marymount, as well as Lipcomb’s sister school of Pepperdine.
In Spokane, the men are slated to see a contingent of teams from west of the Rocky Mountains, including Gonzaga, Montana State (13th in the Mountain Region) and Washington State (sixth in the West).
The Chattanooga race will have a much smaller field; small-school powers such as Oglethorpe and Maryville headline the field at Chickamauga Dam.
Next weekend, the squads will reconvene for the Louisville Classic at Tom Sawyer State Park. The meet is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m.
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