NASHVILLE – The Lipscomb cross country squad will make the trip across town to Percy Warner Park for the Commodore Classic on Saturday.
21 teams will be taking part in the Classic, including the hosts Vanderbilt. The Commodores’ women’s squad is ranked 22nd in the nation and first in the South Region, just two spots ahead of the Lady Bisons at third place.
"This is an exciting meet for this early in the season,” Lipscomb Director of Cross Country and Track and Field Bill Taylor said. “We face some terrific competition both within our region and nationally. It will be a good test of where we are right now, and how well both teams will fight for each other.”
For the opening weekend of the season the Purple and Gold competed in another local event, the Belmont Opener, at Lipscomb’s home course Vaughn’s Gap.
"We had a good start two weeks ago, however we also saw so many things we can and must do better,” Taylor said.
"I think the men are very excited. To finish second without so many of our top guys was a big confidence booster. They are ready to get out there and run as a team. While rankings don't matter, I think they feel they are far better than their ninth-place regional ranking and are ready to turn some heads.”
The men’s team finished second at the Belmont opener despite several of the top runners competing in the North Florida Atlantic Sun Preview.
"Jake Poyner had an incredible debut as a Bison,” Taylor said. “I know he is very happy that our other top guys will be there with him this weekend.”
The women won at the Belmont Opener with a score of 32, which helped earn the team’s first USTFCCCA top-30 votes in program history.
"Our women are working on some things,” Taylor said. “I feel like they are very close to figuring it out, and just need to stick together and be aggressive. Each race is an opportunity to shore things up and do things better. It's really fun to compete against great teams. It brings the best out of you.”
Junior Sally Larson finished fourth at the Belmont Opener with a time of 17:34 on her way to winning the A-Sun Runner of the Week award for the performance.
"Sally ran a terrific race at Belmont,” Taylor said. “I think her performance inspired the rest of the team and helped them to be even better prepared for this meet."
The men’s race kicks off at 9 a.m. on Saturday, while the women’s is set to start at 10 a.m.