NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb cross country squads will kick the season into full gear as they travel to Boston College to take part in the Battle in Beantown Friday Sept. 26.
"This is a great opportunity for our program,” said Bill Taylor, director of cross country. “We are really excited for a number of reasons. First, we get to run against great competition. Great competition provides the opportunity to go to a new level, which is exciting.
"Second, we have been having terrific practices. Though practice doesn't always translate to race performance, we are going to be better as a result of these practices. I don't know what that means in terms of results now, but our practices have looked different lately...more elite. So whether that pays off right away or further down the road, we are getting better.”
The coaching staff is eager to unleash the power performers for the first time this season. Lipscomb’s top female runners will make their debuts at Boston after resting for the first two meets.
“The freshmen and the girls that have run so far have done awesome,” Taylor said. “We've had a great start. It will be even more fun to watch the whole team working together.”
The top performers from the men’s team will also enjoy time on the course as they embark on their first meet of the year.
"For the men it will be the first time since August that almost all of our top men will be running,” Taylor said. “We will still be without Christian Freeman, but the rest of the guys are running and it’s a great opportunity to find and develop guys in the No. 5 spot.”
The women will square off with several teams ranking in the top 25 in the nation including No. 1 Michigan, No. 5 Georgetown and No. 15 Syracuse.
The men will see hearty competition as well this weekend running alongside nationally ranked teams such as No. 3 Oregon, No. 8 Syracuse and No. 16 Providence.
"To be honest, expectations are minimal for this meet,” Taylor said. “What I mean is, we aren't trying to finish in a certain place, we are trying to do a number of things really well. The results take care of themselves.”
Both teams settled into the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s South region poll. The men sit in eighth while the women claim fourth.
"I don't know if we are ready for some of these nationally ranked teams or not, and I don't really care,” Taylor said. “Our goals are focused on doing things a certain way and getting better at them each week and each meet.
“We see the victories in the small things and we look at these races as an opportunity to improve and to learn. Building a national team is a process and this is an opportunity to move forward in many ways in that process.”
The women’s race will kick off at 2 p.m. CT at Franklin Park in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. The men’s race will follow beginning at 2:30 CT.
"If we do enough of the things we've been talking about and practicing, our finish will be strong,” Taylor said. “If we don't, then we have a lot of things we can focus on to get better.
“We grow and benefit no matter what. In a sense, we win no matter what.”