NASHVILLE, Tenn. - With Bisons competing in both the Big Blue Classic in Illinois and the Stanford Invitational in California, Lipscomb track and field had a successful weekend across the nation.
Junior Madi Talbert competed in the 3000m steeplechase at the Stanford Invite with hopes of qualifying for the NCAA Division I East Region preliminaries.
"We had a solid weekend at both meets,” Lipscomb Director of Cross Country and Track and Field Bill Taylor said. “Madi Talbert put up a good time in the 3000m steeplechase. 10:16 is the fastest she has run early in a season.”
Despite being under the weather, Talbert accomplished her qualification goals and now has her sights set on an even quicker time.
“She didn't look very good and faded pretty bad mid-race,” Taylor said. “I knew she had been sick last weekend. After the race she said she felt horrible, and had been drained of energy all week. She said after lap two she had nothing.
“So, on the one side, it is a little bit disappointing that she wasn't able to take full advantage of a great race. On the other side, she ran 10:16 while sick and with no energy, and she is set to be in the NCAA Division I prelims. So mission accomplished. She is ready to go under 10 minutes though. We will have to figure out when she runs this race next.”
At the Big Blue Classic, the women’s distance runners dominated the 10,000m taking the top three spots and six of the top 10.
"I was very excited about the women's 10,000m at the Big Blue Classic,” Taylor said. “We put seven women in the race, the most we've ever raced in one 10k race. It was actually the largest number of girls we've ever run in the 10k across a season.”
Sally Larson, Barbara Lee Ball and Kayla Montgomery finished first, second and third respectively in the event.
"They ran terrific, even in windy conditions,” Taylor said. “Sally Larson (35:18), Barbara Lee Ball (35:21) and Kayla Montgomery (35:49) broke 36 minutes. All three broke the previous Lipscomb school record. Sally broke the meet record. It was a huge personal record for Sally and a great debut 10,000m for Barbara Lee and Kayla.”
Avery Franklin, Hannah Munyan and Katie Grace Dean were the next trio of Bisons to finish, taking sixth, seventh and eighth.
"Our other girls ran great in the 10k as well. Avery had a big debut with a 38:12. Hannah Munyan ran over a minute faster than her previous personal record. Katie Grace also ran solid.
Elsewhere in women’s distance, a pair of Katie’s (Bianchini and Sperry) continued to complete their injury recoveries.
"I'm also happy with Katie Bianchini and Katie Sperry,” Taylor said. “Both are working their way back from an injury and we didn't really expect them to compete at all this season. Yet, here they are, competing hard and actually putting up solid times for where they are. It's exciting to see them getting back and getting fast.”
In the women’s field events, both Abby Newby and Karly Hibbard set new school records.
"Abby Newby did a great job competing against a smaller field in the heptathlon and against the weather the first two days of the meet,” Lipscomb assistant coach Luke Syverson said. “While her individual event marks were a little below what we were going after, she still came away with the win and an improved school record total. We are still working on all of her events and know she will improve even more at conference in May.”
Newby came away with the victory in the heptathlon, while Hibbard finished second in the javelin.
“Karly once again came out and improved her personal record in the Javelin,” Syverson said. “She has been dealing with a sore back all week, so to come out and get one out past the 140' mark is a good sign. The 42.95m throw also is a qualifying mark for the USATF Junior National Championships in July.”
Freshman Kade Hinkle stepped up and set personal records in the shot put, hammer throw and discuss throw.
“Kade Hinkle put together his best meet of the year with new personal records in all three of his throwing events,” Syverson said. “He has been working hard and it was good to see him put some stuff together this weekend and have it pay off."
Gemikal Prude took fifth in the high jump with a leap of 6-10.75. Wayne Newman took the same spot in the 110m hurdles with a time of 14.24. He also took third in the 400m hurdles after a blazing 53.94 mark.
With more and more success coming each week, Taylor till feels the best is ahead for the Bisons.
"Every week school records are broken, personals are being set and NCAA Division I National Championship preliminary marks are being achieved,” Taylor said. “That's what we want. Even though this was a great weekend, I feel like we are ready and due for a huge breakout meet soon. Our top performers continue to excel. I hope a few people we haven't highlighted yet this season will step up soon.”
Only a few meets stand between Lipscomb and the postseason meets.
"We really are on a good path though,” Taylor said. “It's been an exciting season, and we are looking forward to the final few meets before the championship season."