NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Lipscomb high jumper Gemikal Prude has officially qualified for the NCAA I Indoor National Championships taking place March 15 in Albuquerque, N.M.
Only the top 16 in the nation can qualify for a chance to compete, and Prude made his way into that elite group of athletes.
Prude is the second Lipscomb athlete to ever qualify at the NCAA I National Championship Finals.
"This is another big step forward for our program,” said Bill Taylor, director of track and field. “Madi Talbert made that first step to nationals last year. Gemikal moved the bar up another notch already this year. Someone has to be first in each category and goal we have as a program. It opens the door for more.”
Prude is also the first men’s athlete at Lipscomb to qualify for the competition, as well as the first to qualify for the NCAA I Indoor National Championships.
"Gemikal is an amazing athlete," Taylor said. "He gives glory to God for his success and keeps very even about everything that he does and everything that happens. He wasn't far from qualifying last year in outdoor track. This is a huge accomplishment for him and very well deserved. The whole team is proud of him.
"As a program, we expect to qualify more and more to Nationals. Gemikal and Madi Talbert show that our athletes can be the best in the nation. Lipscomb can be the best in the nation. Gemikal is a 5-foot 7 tall guy, jumping over 7-feet 2-inches so far. He just believes. God is mighty and a motivated human that believes in the power God has given, can do mighty things.”
Prude currently holds the second-best men’s high jump in the Atlantic Sun Conference with a jump spanning 7-feet 2 1/2 inches.
"All these firsts, all these milestones, have been really fun for me in this process of building one of the top NCAA I programs in the nation here at Lipscomb,” Taylor said. “In less than seven years we have come so far and done so much. There is so much more to come though, tons more to do. The story is just getting started. This is true for Gemikal as an individual and for our program as a whole. It's a very exciting time to be a Bison."