SPOKANE, Wash. – For the third consecutive race, the Lipscomb men’s cross country squad found themselves at the top of the leaderboard. This time, it was at the Erik Andreson Invite in Spokane, Wash., Saturday.
“Today was terrific for our program,” Bill Taylor, director of cross country and track and field, said. “They really dominated the race. It was certainly a nice showing here in Spokane.”
The Bisons were led by freshman Juan Gonzalez who finished fifth in a time of 25:47.10. Senior Geoff Musick, Christian Freeman and sophomore Daniel Gardner finished seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively. Senior Tim Muller finished 11th for the final point placing.
“Juan knows when to go at the end,” Taylor said. “He is a great team pack runner, helping our guys stick together. When it’s time to finish, he attacks. He is talented and smart. That is why he has been our number one runner all three meets.
“His teammates are close though. Geoff had possibly his best race today. Christian is back after a small injury setback and looks stronger every day.”
The Purple and Gold scored 40 points for the victory as Gonzaga scored 77 points to finished second.
Although Lipscomb won the race, Taylor thought the squad was plagued by a slow start for the second week in a row.
“We got out too slow,” Taylor said. “For the second week in a row, they remained calm and worked their way through and got themselves into position pretty quickly. They worked incredible as a pack and really controlled most of the race from the fourth position on.
“We must improve our start though, or we will get buried at Notre Dame in two weeks. They understand that and we will do some work to fix that over these two weeks.”
In the overall scheme of the season, Taylor has remained proud of his runners and the successes they have had.
“I’m just so proud with the way this men’s team is working together and racing for each other,” Taylor said. “This is an incredible group of guys and they have bought into what we are doing and we can accomplish. Today was another step forward.”
Lipscomb, ranked sixth in the South Region, defeated Gonzaga and Washington State who are both ranked in the West Region.
“Today was a nice victory,” Taylor said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t get Gonzaga at full strength. Washington State didn’t race many of their men, either. Those are two ranked teams in the West that we would love to see how we match up right now.
“We’ll take the win and use this to get even better.”
The Bisons are back in action on Friday, Oct. 4, at the Notre Dame Invite.