JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Five Lipscomb records fell on the first day of the 2012 Atlantic Sun Championships, hosted by North Florida, including one in a gold medal-winning performance.
Freshman Kendra Lobley stamped her name into the Atlantic Sun record books by winning gold in the 3000m steeplechase. Her 10:32.97s mark bettered the previous conference best by nearly five seconds and broke the Lipscomb record by more than 30 seconds – giving her three school outdoor records in her first season of competition.
This is the fifth season in a row a Lady Bison has earned all-conference honors in the steeple, and the second year in a row a Lipscomb athlete earned the title.
"Kendra dominated the 3000m steeple," said Lipscomb head coach Bill Taylor. "Her time has a very good chance of qualifying her for the preliminary round of the NCAA Championships. And she can go faster -- she took a bad fall about halfway through the race."
Junior Ashton Fisher shone brightly in the men’s 3000m steeple, earning a runner-up finish thanks a 9:20.99s mark. He earned bronze and a third-team all-conference honor last year.
"Ashton ran tough for second place," Taylor said. "He let (Kennesaw State's Ryan) Burruss go just a bit too far late, then came back and made up about 60 meters to catch him at the line. It was an exctiing finish and nearly a win."
Minna Fields (seventh, 11:31.02s) and Catherine Beals (eighth, 11:38.14s) earned points for the Lady Bisons through the steeplechase, while junior Ben Wright (fifth, 9:37.47s) and freshman Dan Coleman (eighth, 9:59.78s) scored in the men’s event.
In the women’s 10,000m run, senior Ashley Lehman earned silver with a 36:09.71s mark. That obliterated the previous school record by nearly two minutes and is 47th-best in the East Regional based on marks entering today’s competition. Not bad for her first-ever 10K competition.
"Ashley crushed the school record," Taylor said. "She ran super strong and made really smart moves during the race."
In addition to Lehman, sophomore Tessa Hoefle (fifth, 37:15.08s) and senior Louisa Van Batavia (eighth, 38:03.71s) earned points for Lipscomb in the 10K.
In the throws, freshman Houston Ward placed sixth in the shot put with a 14.37m (47’ 1.75”) toss. He would go on to add a sixth-place hammer throw finish, turning in a personal-best 41.31m (135’ 6”) throw on his way to earning the Bisons six points toward the Day One score.
Fellow frosh April Terry finished seventh in the women’s hammer throw with a school-record 44.27m (145’ 3”) toss. She would follow that up with a fifth-place shot put, becoming the first Lady Bison athlete to break the 40-foot mark with a 41’ 2.25” (12.55m) toss.
A pair of vaulters earned points toward Lipscomb’s team score. Freshman Kevin Floyd finished fifth with a 4.46m (14’ 7.50”) mark, while junior Dillon Seigenthaler was seventh at 4.31m (14’ 1.75”). Anna Belner finished eighth in the women’s event at 2.81m (9’ 2.50”).
Three Bisons qualified for Saturday’s 110m hurdle final. Freshman Matthew Deery’s school-record 14.86s mark was the third-fastest qualifying time; he will be joined by classmate Andrew Wolf and sophomore Ryan Whitley.
Sophomore Tucker Peabody was a top qualifier in the 100m dash, entering tomorrow’s final in third following a 10.99s mark.
"Our hurdles group ran great today," Taylor said. "Tucker Peabody is also set up really well for the finals."
Multi-event specialist Dillon Seigenthaler is in prime position for a second consecutive medal in the decathlon at the A-Sun Outdoor Championships. He's currently third with 3,359 points, just five points behind the Kennesaw State's Brian Graham. Seigenthaler won the 100m dash portion of the decathlon and was second in the shot put.
At the end of the first day’s competition, the Lady Bisons are third in the team standings with 33 total points. The men’s squad is fourth with 25 points.
Action picks up again tomorrow morning in Jacksonville.