TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Lipscomb cross country teams had two of the program’s best-ever showings at the 2011 NCAA South Regional, Saturday. The Lady Bisons were seventh in a field of 27 teams, while the men’s team finished 13th out of 24 squads.
Florida State and Vanderbilt automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships on the women’s side, while Florida State and Florida earned automatic bids among men’s teams.
“Overall, we were happy with the finishes,” said Lipscomb head coach Bill Taylor. “We’re still young and need some more seasoning, but we’re on the right track.”
The Lipscomb women’s team placed three runners in the top 50 overall, led by sophomore Tessa Hoefle. She finished 42nd with a 21:55.90s run in the six-kilometer event. She was the fourth runner from the Atlantic Sun across the line.
Joining her in the top 50 were freshman Minna Fields (45th, 21:58.60s) and senior Ashley Lehman (47th, 21:59.40s). Fields finished ninth among freshman to cap off a stellar first season with the Lady Bisons.
Rounding out the scoring for the Lipscomb women were sophomore Missy Dowd (68th, 22:17.30s) and freshman Maggie Lawrence (77th, 22:30.60s).
“We got out slow and got chewed up early,” Taylor said. “We recovered and formed a nice pack through the middle. We earned a best-ever finish at Regionals, and it wasn’t our best race. With more experience, we’ll get better.”
With two freshmen, two sophomores and a senior scoring for Lipscomb, the Bisons were among the youngest teams in the field. No team that finished ahead of the Lady Bisons relied on more athletes that were in their freshmen or sophomore seasons.
The men’s team was led by junior Isaiah Greer. The Johnson City, Tenn. native finished 41st overall, and was fourth among A-Sun runners with a 32:33.30s mark in the 10K.
Junior Geoff Musick finished 53rd overall with a 32:59.70s mark.
Freshman Ryan Gadsey finished 72nd overall, and 13th among freshmen, with a 33:24.00s run.
“Isaiah, Geoff and Ryan ran very well,” Taylor said. “Our finish matched our USTFCCCA ranking, so I was pleased with that. I know we can be better though.”
Juniors Ashton Fisher (102nd, 33:57.60s) and Ben Wright (107th, 34:06.10s) rounded out the scoring for the Bisons in Tuscaloosa.
That wraps up the cross country season for Lipscomb. Lipscomb will send its track sprinters to the MTSU Christmas Invitational, Dec. 10. The full indoor track and field season for the Lady Bisons will begin Jan. 7 at TSU’s Ed Temple Classic.
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