Poyner wins ASUN title as men's XC takes crown, women finish second
Saturday, October 28, 2017
By Logan Butts
Poyner wins ASUN title as men's XC takes crown, women finish second

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. – For the fourth time in the past five years, the Lipscomb men’s cross country team is taking home the conference crown after placing first overall with 29 points at Saturday’s ASUN Championship meet.

Lipscomb senior Jacob Poyner earned the individual title on the men’s side as well, finishing first in a field of 59 runners with a time of 24:02.2.

“Jake ran absolutely amazing,” Lipscomb Director of Cross Country Bill Taylor said. “Second-fastest time in ASUN Championship history. He went after it from the start and led the whole way. He set the tone for the whole men’s team.”

Fellow senior Juan Gonzalez placed fourth with a time of 24:31.1 to earn a First-Team All-Conference spot.

Freshman Silas Griffith earned Freshman of the Year and First-Team All-Conference honors after finishing seventh with a time of 24:48.1.

A trio of Bisons earned Second-Team All-Conference spots as William Kachman (24:48.6), Chase Hampton (25:01.0), and Zach Israel (25:03.2) finished eighth, ninth, and tenth, respectively.

The Bisons fought off North Florida for the individual and team titles, as the Ospreys finished second with 34 points and had the second and third best times overall in the individual standings.

“The men ran tough,” Taylor said. “It was a back-and-forth battle with North Florida the whole way. The guys would come by one time, and we would feel like they were ahead. The next time we’d see them we thought we were behind.

“I think we were behind again with just 300m to go, but the guys finished so strong. They definitely wanted it bad and left it all out there.”

The women finished second on Saturday by just one point, 43-44, as they also dueled with North Florida. The second-place finish ended the Lady Bisons conference-record streak of six consecutive titles.

“For the women, it’s tough to lose after winning six straight years,” Taylor said. “It’s tough to lose by just a point. It means nobody is specifically to blame and yet everyone knows they could have been the difference. At the same time, it is a good positive lesson for running and for life. A lot of things can come down to a single ‘point’.

“The girls ran hard, but it wasn’t our best team race. I’m excited to see how we learn from this and become better.”

Senior Kacey Kemper led the way for the Bisons, grabbing second overall in a field of 58 runners and a First-Team All-Conference spot thanks to a time of 17:47.7.

“Kacey ran amazing,” Taylor said. “There really isn’t anything else she could have done. Second is like first running against Eden Meyer right now.”

Freshman Lauren Flynt also grabbed a First-Team All-Conference spot, as well as spot on the All-Freshman team, thanks to a sixth-place finish and a 17:59.7 mark.

Senior Katie Sperry (18:13.3) and Sophomore Kailey Schuyler (18:25.9) each earned Second-Team All-Conference slots, placing eighth and 12th, respectively. 

“Lauren was right there with Kacey until about the last 100m,” Taylor said. “She ran a great race. Katie Sperry ran the best race of her career, and Kailey finished fourth for the team with her all time PR. Kailey was our 8-9 runner coming in, so that was big and she just ran so brave and tough.”

The Lady Bisons landed two others on the All-Freshman team: Kayla Rudie (18:48.5) and Jacie Legois (18:48.7) who placed back-to-back in 16th and 17th.

Both the men’s and women’s squads will be back in action on Nov. 10 at the South Region Championships in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.