BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Five Lipscomb athletes picked up victories, including two wins from one individual, at the Birmingham Southern Invitational, Saturday.
Freshman Houston Ward won both the shot put and the discus, and was dominant in the process. His 48’ 3.50” (14.72m) shot put won the event by more than two feet, while his personal-best discus mark of 155’ 2” (47.29m) bettered his next closes competitor by more than 11 feet.
“We are really happy with Houston’s development,” said Lipscomb head coach Bill Taylor. “He was terrific in his double win.”
Lipscomb runners won three of four heats in the women’s 1500m run, with sophomore Dani Walker taking top overall honors with a 4:38.99s mark. Sophomore Tessa Hoefle (third, 4:41.75s), freshman Kendra Lobley (fourth, personal-best 4:43.75s) and senior Ashley Lehman (fifth, personal-best 4:45.29s) gave Lipscomb four of the top five overall finishers.
“Between the steeplechase last night and this, our distance runners looked great,” Taylor said.
Sophomore Tucker Peabody picked up a victory in his outdoor debut, winning the 400m dash with a 49.44s sprint. It was Peabody’s first-ever open 400m dash competition.
In the men’s 800m run, freshman Colin Dempster picked up a win with a personal-best 1:55.20s mark. He was one of several long sprint runners to try his hand at the middle distances this weekend.
Senior Anna Bowers made a big return to the track. After spending the winter on the hardwood for the Lipscomb basketball team, Bowers won the 100m dash with a 12.29s mark. She also placed fifth in the long jump with a 5.27m (17’ 3.50”) leap.
Sophomore O’Neisha Smith – a teammate of Bowers on the hardwood and with the Lady Bison track and field team – was runner-up in her first high jump of 2012. She posted a 1.62m (5’ 3.75”) mark.
Senior Brittany Duerk put up a third-place javelin throw in her first action of the spring since rejoining the Lady Bison track and field team after basketball season. She tossed the javelin 37.46m (122’ 11”).
“The basketball girls looked strong in their first meet,” Taylor said. “We really enjoy having them join us and they are a great help for the women’s team. It was fun for Anna to pick up the 100m win in her first meet.”
The Lady Bison took six of the top 10 spots in the 800m run, with sophomore Katie Bunker earning a runner-up spot with a 2:17.04s mark. Walker (fourth, 2:21.22s) and freshman Brenna Thompson (fifth, 2:21.34s) joined her in the top five. It was Thompson's first-ever 800m attempt.
Freshman Matthew Deery finished third in the long jump with a 6.76m (22’ 2.75”) leap; he was one of three competitors to break the meet record. He also finished sixth in the 110m hurdles (15.68s) and fourth in the pole vault (4.40m; 14’ 5.25”). His long jump and hurdle marks were personal-bests.
Senior Adam Austin hit a benchmark in the high jump, equaling his career-best 2.00m (6’ 6.75”) mark to finish second.
Senior Austin Ray finished fifth with a 48.52m (159’ 2”) javelin throw.
Junior Ashton Fisher posted a sixth-place finish in the 5000m run with a personal-best 15:35.95s mark. He shaved nearly 18 seconds off his previous career-best.
“This was a great second outdoor meet for us,” Taylor said. “We had lots of event and heat victories, as well as some great personal-bests. Overall, we got just about everything we wanted out of it.”
The Lipscomb track and field teams will be in Memphis next weekend for the Rhodes Open.
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