Athens, Ga. – In the team’s final regular season meet, Lipscomb track and field earned several wins at the Georgia Invite. The performance was exactly what the Bisons wanted to accomplish in the days leading up to the Atlantic Sun Outdoor Championships.
"We are happy with the performances today,” Lipscomb Director of Cross Country and Track and Field Bill Taylor said. “The team competed hard. It was a strong tune-up for the Atlantic Sun Championships next weekend.”
Freshman Paige Stoner came out strong in Georgia, taking first place in the 3000m and second in the 1500m.
"Paige had a great day,” Taylor said. “She won the 3000m with a strong time of 9:41.20. The conditions were hot and pretty humid. She then came back just an hour later and finished second in the 1500m, running 4:32 and breaking the freshman school record.”
Stoner led a Lipscomb sweep of the top three spots in the 3000m. Fellow Bisons Barbara Lee Ball and Minna Fields took second and third with times of 9:54.64 and 10:16.87 respectively.
Joining Stoner in the 1500m were Katie Bianchini, who ran a personal record 4:37.53, and Sally Larson, who notched a time of 4:37.61, to finish in fifth and sixth place. For Stoner and Larson, it was their first time competing in the 1500m.
In the men’s 3000m steeplechase, Christian Freeman grabbed first place with a time of 9:13.09. He is still ranked first in the A-Sun in the event.
"Christian ran strong early,” Taylor said. “He pulled away late. Unfortunately he slowed a bit in the second half. We were after a National Prelim qualifier. Hopefully that will happen next week at the A-Sun."
Gemikal Prude notched a third win for Lipscomb has he took home the top spot in the high jump with a leap of 2.18m. Prude is in first place in the A-Sun for the event.
"Gemikal is ready for conference,” Taylor said. “How many meets has he won the high jump? I lose count. He's a great competitor and will be fun to watch next week."
Karly Hibbard, the A-Sun’s leader in the javelin throw, finished sixth in both the javelin (43.82m) and the shot put (11.54m).
Alex Berry led the way in the men's 400m with a time of 48.95, good enough for a top ten finish.
Juan Gonzalez ran a personal record time of 1:53.87 to finish third in the 800m.
With the postseason quickly approaching, Taylor acknowledges that his team has had a successful season, but their focus is on the upcoming championship season.
"The regular season is over,” Taylor said. “It flew by. Now we reset and prepare for the Atlantic Sun Championships next week. That will be the last
competition to qualify for the NCAA Division I National Championship Prelims, and we will learn soon after that meet who is qualified to continue.
“It's been a terrific regular season. We are excited about where we are, and how we will perform in the championship season."