NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb men’s cross country team made a statement Saturday morning, winning the Vanderbilt Invite by 15 points at Percy Warner Park.
The Bisons finished with 95 total points as Mississippi State tallied 110 and fellow Atlantic Sun foe East Tennessee State received 112 points.
“That was a lot of fun,” Bill Taylor, director of cross country and track and field, said. “Coach (Daniel) Goetz told them to go out slower and I think they took him more literal than he intended. We were kind of scared early and about a mile into the race, our pack was in about 100th place.
“I scooted up the course, and was going to let the guys know how far behind they were at the two-mile mark, but by the time they got there they had surged hard. It was an incredible response to an early mistake, the kind of adjustment great teams make.”
Freshman Juan Gonzalez led the Purple and Gold with a 14th place finish crossing the line in 25.31.31.
“Juan ran an amazing freshman 8K debut,” Taylor said. “25:31 on our course is incredible. This is a very tough course and set the school course record today.”
Sophomore Daniel Gardner was just behind Gonzalez in 15th place with a time of 25.32.39. Freshman Christian Freeman crossed the line in 25.34.30, good for 18th place.
“Daniel has had major allergy problems this week, but went for it and ran an amazing race,” Taylor said. “Christian also ran a terrific freshman 8K, despite cross training the past two weeks with a light foot injury.”
The remaining top seven for Lipscomb was Tim Muller in 22nd, John Kingstedt 26th and Isaiah Greer 28th.
“I could go on and on,” Taylor said. “We just loved the fight these guys put up and we are excited because we can get so much better.
“We had six guys run faster than any Lipscomb guy has run our home course before. I really think the sky is the limit for this men’s team. Today was a big day in the program’s history. We need to build on it.”
In the only back-to-back weekend of the year, Lipscomb travels to Spokane, Wash., for the Eric Anderson Invite on Saturday, Sept. 21.