Both teams competed against about 21 other universities. Although still in early season training, the teams are showing themselves to be very competitive and a lot of Personal Records have already fallen.
The highlight for the Lady Bisons was sophomore Jenny Randolph’s meet victory in the women’s mile. Randolph ran a strong race, putting in a great surge with 200m to go in the last heat of the mile to build a gap, then held off a late attack to claim an exciting victory in a time of 5:12.08. Her mile time was a 22-second personal record over her best 1600m time, and is faster than her best 1500m time.
“Jenny ran a very intelligent race and is learning that she has the ability to do great things this year and in the years to come,” said head coachBill Taylor. “It was a very exciting race and really set the competitive tone for the day with both teams. This is just the beginning for Jenny as she learns to understand her talent and believe in herself. The greatest part is that as she does that, others will follow.”
Not to be outdone, on the men’s side Steven Lindsey continued his already strong freshman season with an event victory in the high jump, clearing 6 feet 8 inches and establishing a new all-time personal record.
“Steven is having a terrific freshman campaign,” said Taylor. “He faced some adversity, missing at 6-6, but regrouped and soared over 6-8. He showed he can clear 6-10, just clipping the bar with his legs on at least two of his attempts and looked to achieve a peak height above 7 feet.
“Jumps coach Buford Williams is doing a terrific job with Steven. Even greater things are coming for him. I expect to build a really strong jumps program under Buford’s guidance.”
In other events, freshman Andrew Jones made a statement in the 800m, posting a time of 1:57.88 on the un-banked 200m track for seventh place overall. Teammate Jonathan Williams, a sophomore, ran right around 2:00, though the timing system malfunctioned, so an exact time was not available. Equally impressive was Clint Carter’s 800m DMR split of 1:57.9. Freshman Nathan Brame won his heat of the men’s mile, finishing third overall in a time of 4:32.04. Tyler Youngs finished 21st in the mile with a personal best of 4:38.90.
“Andrew stepped up today,” said Taylor. “We see his ability in practice all the time, but some nagging injuries and a bit of sickness this season have held him back. He started to show his ability today.
“The exciting thing for Andrew and our team is that he hasn’t even come close to his potential yet. If he believes and keeps training like he has been, he is going to nail some amazing times this year. I was also impressed with Jonathan Williams effort in the 800m. He ran a very smart race and showed that he has developed mentally over the past year and a half. I wish we had an official time for him, but he’ll just have to run it again and faster at the next meet.”
Taylor also had high praise for Clint Carter.
“He is running so well this season and is not letting the young guys get away,” said Taylor. “His leadership is apparent in the rapid development of the youngsters, and his competitive fire is an inspiration to the whole program. What I like most is his team focused attitude as he fights to make both relays and make both relays great!”
The men’s and women’s distance medley relays dramatically improved their best times on the season, both finishing fourth overall. The men posted a time of 10:41.62, a more than 30-second improvement despite not having Ryan Chastain, the teams best distance runner, due to a knee injury.
The women went 12:59.29 and fought hard. The men’s 4x400m B team was also impressive, running just two seconds off the A teams best time this year. Unfortunately the A team had an accident during their heat with the second leg runner falling to the track, and did not finish.
“I think the A team was keyed up to run seriously fast,” said Taylor. “However, they may have been a bit too keyed up. Both teams are definitely fighters and our relays are setting the tone so far.
“I really like the fight and teamwork everyone is showing, and the fact that everyone wants a relay spot. It makes my job of selecting relays tougher, while it makes the program stronger. I hope we get Ryan back for conference, however we have good depth and will be strong no matter what.”
In the men’s 5000m a trio of freshman Lipscomb entries set new all-time 5-K personal records. Trace Carlson finished sixth in a time of 16:03.08, Chad Roberts went 16:24.97 and Cormac Carolan-Tolbert went 16:44.51.
“Wow!,” said Taylor. “Seriously, I would prefer not to have anyone running the 5000 meters in January. TSU limits entries in every event, so we had to fill out the 5-K for the men. These three freshman ran amazing for this time of the season.
“Trace set the tone up front, Chad kinda let go for a bit in the middle, then responded with a huge charge forward during the second half of the race that should boost his self-confidence, and Cormac is actually training as a 1500-meter runner this season, yet he ran the event strong and also set a PR. I was absolutely thrilled with their efforts and feel like all three can break 15 this outdoor season.”
The men’s sprint core also continued to improve, with Joey Lever posting a time of 7.54 in the 60m and 24.25 in the 200m (both season and lifetime bests). Sophomore Mike Knox posted the fastest 60m time on the day with a 7.32, then ran 52.22 in the open 400m. Freshman Brock Lutes ran 52.11 in the open 400m as well. Steven Mason posted a 200m time of 25.04 in his first track meet since middle school and off of just two weeks of training. Chad Roberts ran a 50-second 400m split on the DMR.
“All these guys are 400-meter runners and are using these meets to work on speed,” said Taylor. “ So our 60m times are for fun, yet they are improving every meet. I train the 400m crew for their workouts, and Buford works on their starts and helps with technique.
“The combination is working and I am so happy with the way the whole group is attacking workouts and fighting through the tough days. I’ve made them pretty sore, yet they talk about how much faster they are going to be and how bad they want to be on the 4x400 relay.”
The members of the 400-meter relay team are all highly competitive with each other, but they also support each other. “They are tight teammates who motivate and congratulate each other as well,” said Taylor. “It’s exactly as it should be.
“Then you have someone like Steven Mason walk on two weeks ago, get hammered in workouts catching up with the rest of the group, and come out and put it all on the line posting a solid time given the circumstances. That toughness inspires the group. The 400m crew’s effort and attitude has made an impact on the entire program and will set the tone for our future success across the board.”
Jenny Randolph 5:12.08, Caitlin Anderson 5:31.88, Carolyn Latham 5:33.44
Nathan Brame 4:32.04, Tyler Youngs 4:38.90, Hunter Hethcoat 4:47.74
Mike Knox 7.32, Joey Lever 7.54, Dustin Little 7.67
Joey Lever 24.25, Steven Mason 25.04, Josh Baker 27.59
Valerie Winkler 64.08
Brock Lutes 52.11, Mike Knox 52.22, Jacob Nelson 53.54
Shannon Shoemake 2:31.66, Meagan Hoar 2:38.30, Laura Stewart 2:38.31
Andrew Jones 1:57.88, Jonathan Williams 2:00
Trace Carlson 16:03.08, Chad Martin 16:24.97, Cormac Carolan-Tolbert 16:44.51
B team: Clint Carter, Jacob Nelson, Andrew Jones, Paul Wright, 3:32
Distance Medley Relay:
A team: Caitlin Anderson, Valerie Winkler, Laura Stewart, Jenny Randolph 12:59.29
B team: Carolyn Latham, Paloma Floden, Louisa Van Batavia, Shannon Shoemake 13:19.46
A team: Nathan Brame, Chad Roberts, Clint Carter, David Wolfe 10:41.62
B team: Paul Wright, Aaron Todd, Tyler Youngs, Jeff Nelson 11:00.00
Steven Lindsey 6-8
Kristin Ratzlaff 8.78m, Jessi Marshall 7.39m
Alex Jerkins 10.55m
Kristin Ratzlaff 9.19m, Jessi Marshall 7.40m
Alex Jerkins 44-11