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Cross country to race at NCAA South Regional
Thursday, November 10, 2016
By Logan Butts
Cross country to race at NCAA South Regional

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As the postseason continues on, the Lipscomb cross country squad is headed to Tallahassee, Florida for the NCAA Division I South Regionals.

After earning their sixth consecutive ASUN Conference title, the Lady Bisons enter the weekend with confidence and are hoping to best last season’s eighth place finish at the Regionals.

The men will enter the race coming off of a third-place finish at the ASUN title meet. They finished 11th at last year’s Regionals in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

At the Regionals, the men will be racing a 10K, while the women will be competing on a 6K course, both longer lengths than they have been racing all season.

They will also be going up against some of the nation’s best teams as nationally-ranked squads such as Mississippi will be taking part in the race.

With the longer length and tougher competition in mind, the coaching staff has spent the time off since the ASUN Championships helping to prepare the squad both mentally and physically.

The women’s race will begin at 8:30 a.m., followed by the men’s at 9:30. You can follow along with live updates at the links provided.

What Lipscomb Director of Cross Country and Track and Field Bill Taylor had to say about the meet:

"We are very excited about the South Region Championships. For both teams, it is an opportunity to get valuable experience and grow for the future.

"The women's team is in the mix and has a chance to qualify for nationals, though; I would say our chance is an outside chance. That isn't our top goal this year. Our main focus is to work on specific aspects of racing and to really build for our future and our big goals for the future. So, whether we qualify this year or not, we feel good about where we are and what we can get from this meet.

"A few of our women also have a chance to be in the mix for individual qualification spots for Nationals. Their first goal is to help the team, but seniors Sally Larson and Barbara Lee Ball have the experience, past success, and talent to have a chance. They've both run in this meet three previous years. They know what they need to do, and how the race feels. Although our other girls have less experience, any of our seven have the talent and a chance to qualify if they run the right race Friday.

"The men's team we are running this year is very young. Some of these guys have never run a 10k before. So for the men, this really is about running strong and getting experience. We aren't expecting to be in the national qualifying picture with the team or individuals this year. Our goal is to use this experience to be in that position next year, especially when we add our top three guys back into the mix next year. Good performances are important for the experience and confidence we can gain for next year.

"So, in some ways, the goals are the same for both teams. The women really are considered in the mix, but our judgment about how successful we are in this meet this year are focused on how we are setting up Nationals in the near future. It is a great opportunity to see where we are with no pressure. We can go after it and be happy no matter what."