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Track team members set school records at Niswonger

Monday, February 07, 2011

Three Lipscomb school records were broken Friday and Saturday at the ETSU Niswonger Invite in Johnson City, Tenn.

For the men, freshman Tucker Peabody broke his own indoor 200m record with a mark of 22.16. Freshman teammate Nasheed Burgess ran a season best 22.90.

Logan Ray led the way in the field events with a new PR in the triple jump of 46 feet, 4 inches.

Meanwhile freshman Dani Walker took down sophomore teammate Amanda Twigg’s school records in the indoor 800m and mile. Dani’s mark of 2:15.62 broke Amanda’s record of 2:16.79 on Friday night. On Saturday night Dani posted a mile time of 5:08.97 to eclipse Amanda’s record of 5:10.29.

“Tucker keeps improving,” Lipscomb coach Bill Taylor said. “He’s run three indoor 200s, and he’s broken the indoor 200m school record each time. He’s got a couple more chances to drop it down even more.

“This is fun for him and the team. It’s always good to see the bar continue to rise. Tucker is just a freshman too. “

Taylor expects bigger challenges for Peabody in the outdoor season.

“He’s going to have his hands full in the outdoor season,” Taylor said. “Robert Smith’s 200m outdoor record of 21.54, set in 1976, will be a big challenge. I’m sure Tucker will give it his best shot every race.

“It’s also great to see Logan continue to improve in the triple jump. He is stronger this year mentally and physically and it’s paying off.”

Walker, the Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year in cross country, is also stepping forward in indoor track competition.

“Dani is just a very gutsy and talented runner,” Taylor said. “And both of these races were good, but not great yet. She had a small lapse at a key point of the mile that made a huge difference. So it’s very positive and exciting that she is running fast and yet has so much room to grow and to learn still.

“I’m really happy with our whole middle distance women’s group though. They’ve been a very hardworking and hard-charging group so far this year. It’s a young group that has talent. Our goals are long term and we are right where I planned for us to be.”

In other middle distance action, freshman Katie Bunker won her heat of the 800m Friday with a time of 2:17.77 (she ran 2:15.5 Saturday in the Distance Medley Relay); Amanda Twigg ran 2:19.37. And while Alyssa Miller struggled a bit in the 800m Friday night with a 2:24.25, she bounced back big Saturday night with a 5:13.59 mile, faster than her 1600m all-time PR.

The Lipscomb long distance runners got their first taste of racing on Saturday. Shelby Marvel led the way with an all-time best 10:30.02 for 3000m, winning her race.

“All the mid-distance girls are working hard and running well,” Taylor said. “Freshmen Dani, Katie and Alyssa, along with sophomore Amanda stand out as the leaders in this young group. I was really proud of Alyssa for coming back so strong in the mile Saturday.

“But I’m just as impressed with freshmen Jaimie McFarland and Lacey Printz, along with sophomore Priya Pappu. The whole group is pushing their limits out.”

Taylor was equally impressed by the performance of Marvel.

“Shelby ran an amazing 3000m race for the long distance women,” Taylor said. “She looked smooth and relaxed and she made the exact right moves at the right moments over and over again. It was very fun to see her win the race.

“ Catherine Beals ran tough too. It might have been the best race I’ve ever seen her run. I really felt Missy Dowd ran gutsy this weekend too. She is really improving.”

“But Taylor also stressed that some of his runners need to elevate their performances to another level.

“To be honest though, for the most part I was a little disappointed with the performances of the rest of our long distance women,” Taylor said. “Granted, they are a young group and this was their first race of the season, but I expected more and they are capable of far better. Practices alone show that.

“To be an elite program, you have to be ready to race and be confident every time you go out there. You have to be willing to get yourself in position, to give yourself a chance, and to stay there when the going gets tough. “

It is still very early in the season and Taylor expects all of his runners will become mentally tougher as the season progresses.

“It’s a way of thinking, it’s a statement and an expectation,” Taylor said. “For us, at this point in our progress, it’s that final transformation we need to go through. I can describe the moment it happened when I was at Northwest. It was when winning a National Championship became more than just a dream or a hope, it became a reality. And it happened.

“I’m sure they will learn a ton from this first race of the season, and will be much better next time.”

Lipscomb next competes Friday and Saturday at the Indiana University Hoosier Hills Invite.