Monday, April 20, 2009Ryan Chastain highlighted a solid Memphis Invitational Track meet for Lipscomb University on Saturday. Chastain dropped his own Lipscomb school record for 3000m by a dramatic 26 seconds, winning the event in a time of 8:32.38.
“Ryan ran a terrific race,” said head coach Bill Taylor. “He was smooth and in control the entire race. It was by far the best race I’ve seen from anyone here at Lipscomb since I arrived last year.
“I’ve been waiting for Ryan to go to the next level. He’s got so much talent and he’s a great person. It was wonderful to see him figure it out."
Every milestone is important to the track programs. “Each of these big performance, race wins, and PR’s this season make it easier for the next athlete on our team to believe," said Taylor. " It’s why this season has been getting better and better and it is essential to our progress. We’ve had so many 20+ second PR’s this year. It spreads like a positive virus.”
Kristin Ratzlaff was the biggest standout performer for the women’s team. Kristin finished third in her specialty event, the javelin, with a season best throw of 108-3, and set all time PR’s in the Discus (96-1) and shot put (33-3).
“Kristin had a really great day today.” said Taylor. “To get a personal record or season best in all three events is tough to do. We continue to get stronger across the board in Track & Field this year.”
Also of note was freshman Catherine Beals performance in the 1500m. Her fifth place finish in a time of 4:58.96 was her all time PR. She is also the fifth woman on the team this year to break five minutes.
“In our progress as a team having five women break five is very important," said Taylor. "Last year we didn’t have a single woman get under five minutes for the open 1500m. So, I consider that dramatic improvement. Next year we will take yet another big step in all our events. This is how you build a program. It gets a lot better each year for a few years, then ‘suddenly’ you’re an elite program.”
The Lipscomb Men’s and Women’s Track & Field teams will next compete Saturday (April 25th) at the Western Kentucky Invite in Bowling Green, Ky.
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