NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After sweeping the Atlantic Sun Cross Country Championships two weeks ago, Lipscomb’s cross country squads are ready to tackle the NCAA Division I South Regional Championships.
"We are really excited for this race,” said Bill Taylor, director of cross country. “We love the course. It's fast and fun. Both the men and women ran great here two years ago.”
The women’s team secured its fourth-consecutive conference championship with five Lady Bisons finishing in the top 10.
Junior Madi Talbert placed first in the women’s 5-K race (17:36.0) followed by freshman Paige Stoner (17:40.1) and senior Dani Walker (17:41.7).
"The women have had the best season yet in Lipscomb history,” Taylor said. “We've grown so much this year. They've matured a ton and it’s also been a very fun team.
"We haven't made the final breakthrough yet, but we are so close though. Practices have proven our ability, an ability we haven't used fully in a race yet.”
The Lady Bisons have competed hard all season recording solid finishes against nationally and regionally ranked programs.
"The girls are very excited for this race,” Taylor said. “If they trust their ability and training, race for and with each other, and show the character to put it all out there, we will do really well.
"To go to nationals we have to be top two. We don't have any at-large points so it's a challenge that I am confident the girls will go fight for.”
Despite a rough season, the men’s team overcame the odds just in time to take home its second-straight A-Sun Championship.
"The men had a rough season until conference,” Taylor said. “They really stepped up incredibly there. It has built some very positive momentum.
"I don't think they have a very strong chance of qualifying, but they can run really well. I'm looking for them to put it all out there, just like they did at A-Sun. Learn, grow, set the bar, and figure out what it's going to take to be in the mix for nationals next year.”
The Bisons look to carry their momentum from the conference championships over into regionals.
"It's a fun position for the guys to be in,” Taylor said. “Free to go out and see what happens, coming off a confidence-boosting race, and looking to the future at the same time. It will be a fun race."
The women’s 6-K will begin Friday at 8 a.m. while the men’s 10-K is scheduled at 9 a.m.