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Track and Field closes UAB Invite with best season start ever

Saturday, January 11, 2014
by Mark McGee

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – After a slow start Saturday the Lipscomb track and field teams rallied to put together some solid performances in the highly-competitive UAB Blazer Invite.

“Day two pretty much followed the form of day one for the Bisons,” Lipscomb assistant coach Luke Syverson said. “We struggled some in the early events and I was hoping for some better marks in the field events.”

Freshman Sarah Wagner's 1.54-meter effort in the high jump (27th place) and junior Colin Dempster’s third place finish in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:54.87 gave the Lipscomb teams a boost at the Birmingham Crossplex Arena.

One of the more enjoyable events for the team was the competition between freshmen Wayne Newman and Brian Gentry in the 400 meter. Newman finished with a time of 50.64 (26th) and Gentry was 28th with a time of 50.81.

“It was fun for the team to watch them compete for every tenth of a second in that race,” Syverson said. “They battled to a 1-2 finish in their heat of the 400 both turning in solid early season times.”

Senior Tucker Peabody finished seventh in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.91 after finishing eighth in the preliminaries with a 6.89 on Friday.

But Saturday Peabody had some bad luck in the 200-meters with officials ruling he had stepped on the lane line.

“Tucker ran a good 200 meters but was later disqualified so that took some wind out of the sails a bit,” Syverson said. “It still gives us a good indication that this will be another strong season for him.”

After finishing 10th Friday in the weight throw junior April Terry was 17th Saturday in the shot put out of 64 competitors with a 12.89-meter effort.

“April is still on a fairly sharp learning curve in the throw so she owes some of her consistency to that,” Syverson said. “Even when she has an off day, she always seems to be able to pull out a throw near her best.

“She is also a very even-keeled competitor. She never gets too worked up or excited. Sometimes it almost drives me nuts. She has her own internal barometer for energy and excitement. That works in her favor much of the time.”

Freshman Del McSpadden finished 30th in the weight throw with a 13.15 meter attempt.

“Del had a good first meet,” Syverson said. “His first attempt at the weight throw has him sitting with the fourth best mark in the Atlantic Sun right now so we are pleased with that.”

In Friday’s results freshman Abby McMurray set a new school record in the 60-meter dash with a time of 8.16 seconds, finishing 39th.

The Bisons and Lady Bisons return to Birmingham Jan. 26 for the Emory Invite.

“I am definitely pleased overall,” Syverson said. “In looking at the big picture, even though I thought we would have had a few more strong performances, this is the strongest we have ever started the season.

“We are looking forward to what this team can continue to accomplish, especially when the distance group folds into the mix.”