NASHVILLE, Tenn. - For some the season is winding down. For others the season is going strong as the Lipscomb Bisons compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference Track and Field Championships. The meet is set to begin Friday and concluding Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla.
Lipscomb took the weekend off two weeks ago and attended a single-day meet in Indiana last Friday in preparation for the championships.
“We are just excited,” Bill Taylor, director of cross country and track and field, said. “We had a break for finals and broke the rust off at Indiana. We are excited to get down to Florida with some warmer weather and let it go. For a good chunk of the team, this is what we have been looking for all season.”
As a team, Lipscomb has strong participation in every event but Taylor is unsure where that will place the Bisons.
“Every year we try to score more points than the previous year,” Taylor said. “I am not sure where we stand this year. We have some great individuals in a variety of events to help us gain points.
“The top-three are all-conference and sometimes we get too focused on that. The top-eight places receive points. You look for a commitment for the person to reach for the extra second or extra place along with the team rallying behind with support.”
Individually Lipscomb has several top performers in the conference this season including the defending 200-meter champion Tucker Peabody, who ranks first in the A-Sun this season. He clocked in at 20.69 seconds at the Vanderbilt Invitational. He also ranks second in the league in the 100-meter dash as he finished in 10.49 seconds at the Billy Hayes Invite. He was all-conference in the 100-meter dash a year ago.
“Tucker is in a great position to repeat in the 200,” Taylor said. “He has the fastest time in the conference by a significant amount and I think he is just getting faster. He is the favorite going in but that doesn’t guarantee a win.”
Also at the top of the A-Sun rankings is Houston Ward. In the shot put, Ward has the top throw of 15.48 meters that he set at the Sun Angel Classic. Ward also ranks fourth in the discus and fifth in the hammer throw.
Gemikal Prude has a leap of 2.15 meters that he achieved at the Sun Angel Classic. The jump places him second in the high jump category. Teammate Adam Austin is ranked fourth with a jump of 1.95 meters.
Ranked third overall, John Clevenger enters the meet with a toss of 50.33 meters in the javelin.
Returning all-conference performer Andrew Wolf is ranked third in the 400-meter hurdles and is joined in the top five by teammates Nelson Scot and Ryan Whitley who are ranked second and fourth, respectively. All three ran their top times at the Vanderbilt Invite.
Although it would be ideal to have the best performances of the season at the conference meet, Taylor finds that unlikely but not a hindrance.
“In theory, we would like the best performances of the season but that isn’t the case,” Taylor said. “In reality it doesn’t take the best performance of the season because a lot of people won’t have their best performance. It takes being competitive and valuing everyone.”
Events begin Friday at 8 a.m. with the women’s heptathlon. The final event on Friday is at 7:55 p.m. with the men’s 10,000-meter run. Saturday kicks off at 8 .m. with the men’s decathlon and finishes up at 8:45 p.m. with the women’s 4X400 relay.