NASHVILLE – With only a few more weeks left before the postseason starts up, Lipscomb track and field will take on the Oregon State University High Performance Meet and the Tennessee Challenge this weekend.
The Bisons will compete in the OSU Meet on Friday, and at the Tennessee Challenge on Saturday.
"We have a split squad this week,” Lipscomb Director of Cross Country and track and Field Bill Taylor said. “We are taking some of our top long distance runners out to Oregon State University for a solid meet there. We were hoping the meet would really take off.
“It looks like the competition won't be as good as we were hoping, especially since our goal is to put up National Prelim qualification marks. We are probably going to have to do it mostly by ourselves in this one. However, the facility is great, the weather is perfect and we have multiple athletes on our own team that work really well together.”
Several Bisons will be competing in the 5000m at the OSU Meet, including Christian Freeman and Sally Larson who will be running in the event for the first time during this outdoor season.
"Juan Gonzalez, Christian Freeman, Jared Wingerter and Daniel Gardner will compete in the men’s 5000m,” Taylor said. “Juan and Christian in particular are going for a sub-14:10 5000m.
“Sally Larson, Paige Stoner and Barbara Lee Ball will compete in the women’s 5000m going after something in the 16:20's or better. Katie Bianchini will also compete in the 5000m, looking for a personal record.”
Kayla Montgomery and Avery Franklin will break the 5000m mold however, by competing in the 10,000m.
“Kayla Montgomery hopes to get into the 34's for the 10,000m,” Taylor said.
Taylor believes that his athletes have the ability to make it to the East Region National Championship Preliminaries, and this meet will provide the runners with a chance to qualify.
"They all have the ability and the training supports that,” Taylor said. “The training has been awesome the past two-to-three weeks. It's just a matter of relaxing, believing, and most of all, wanting it when it gets tough.
“They can do it, and we can have a large number of athletes at the National Prelims. They just have to take advantage of the opportunities they get.”
The rest of the Lipscomb athletes will stay close to home for the Tennessee Challenge.
"A lot of our team will also be at the University of Tennessee on Saturday at the Tennessee Challenge,” Taylor said. “Some will be missing for graduation or rest.
“The group that competes will get a great opportunity to improve upon their marks and try to move up the conference rankings for better seeding at the conference championships in two weeks.”
The field athletes and sprinters will lead the way in Knoxville, with a couple of Atlantic Sun Track Athletes of the Week heading the charge.
"Karly Hibbard and Gemikal Prude will highlight the Lipscomb contingent at Tennessee,” Taylor said. “Wayne Newman has a slight injury, so we are resting him up to prepare for the post-season meets at 100% health.
“Hopefully we get another breakthrough or two to highlight that meet. Finals just finished. I think the whole team will rise to an even higher level in the final few weeks of the season."