Track & Field led by big races from Stoner, Larson
Sunday, May 3, 2015
By Logan Butts
Track & Field led by big races from Stoner, Larson

Lipscomb track and field had another successful weekend as the Bisons took on the Oregon State University High Performance Meet and the Tennessee Challenge.

The weekend kicked off on Friday with several distance runners competing in Corvallis at the OSU Meet.

“We had a good meet here at Oregon State,” Lipscomb Director of Cross Country and Track and Field Bill Taylor said. “The highlight was definitely Paige Stoner and Sally Larson running 16:26.17 and 16:27.07 for 5000m. 

“Those are big personal records and those times have qualified for the NCAA Division I National Championship Prelims every year. We also now have three women on the team this year under 16:30 for the 5k.”

Stoner and Larson took second and third respectively in the field of 25 runners.

"The girls ran so well,” Taylor said. “They put themselves in position and ran great laps for most of the race. They fell off a bit late in the race and had to work really hard in the last few laps to get their times. They definitely used all they had tonight.”

Two more Bisons, Katie Bianchini and Barbara Lee Ball, also ran in the women’s 5000m giving Lipscomb a quartet of runners in the race.

"In the same race Katie Bianchini ran her all-time 5000m personal record as well,” Taylor said. “I'm really proud of Katie. She worked hard coming back from an injury this season. We didn't know if she would compete at all, much less get a personal record this season.

"Barbara Lee Ball fought very hard, but was not where she normally is. The effort was there, but some days are tougher than others.”

The men’s 5000m also saw several Bisons in the field. Juan Gonzalez (14:27.28) and Christian Freeman (14:28.19) took third and fifth, while Jared Wingerter finished 16th (14:59.47).

"It was the same for the guys in the 5000m,” Taylor said. ”They just didn't look right tonight. Something was off.”

Avery Franklin and Kayla Montgomery took to the track in the 10,000m at OSU.

"Avery Franklin ran a very solid and consistent 10,000m,” Taylor said. “It sets her up well to drop time at conference. 

“Kayla Montgomery started strong. She fell off her goal pace later in the race, so I pulled her. The 10K is a tough race, and I decided it is best to save her for conference.”

The meet was a successful one overall for Lipscomb. Taylor was impressed not only by his team’s performance, but the meet itself.

"We really enjoyed this meet,” Taylor said. “The atmosphere was great, and the meet had a different feel than most collegiate meets. It's a growing meet that is only going to get stronger every year. We look forward to trying to get back here again next year."

On Saturday, the rest of the Purple and Gold competed at the Tennessee Challenge.

“Tennessee Challenge was a great chance to see how our young athletes stacked up against some tough competition,” assistant coach for sprints and hurdles Marcus Evans said. “Competing against ACC, Big Ten, and SEC schools, our underclassmen showed some great promise for the weeks to come.”

With a number of Bisons competing in the Challenge, several top marks were reached.

“Grayson Webber's mark in the discus ranks him highest in the conference, and we had personal records from Katie Sperry (4:49.66) and Kinzie Icayan (4:53.23) in the 1500m,” Evans said. “Danny Marsh dropped another second off his 800m time (1:53.86), and Derek Peterson bad a big personal best (4:05.57) in the 1500m.”

Webber’s discus throw of 49.66m placed him ninth in the event.

Karly Hibbard took sixth place in both the shot put (10.92m) and the javelin (42.54m) on the women’s side.

As the Atlantic Sun Conference Championships approach, the Bisons keep piling up great performances.  

“With our performances from our upperclassmen steady all year we are looking to put together a strong team effort at Conference in Jacksonville,” Evans said.