WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Day one of the Atlantic Sun Indoor Championships are in the books for the Lipscomb track team, and the results did not quite match the high expectations the Bisons had going into the weekend.
"Today was very mixed,” Lipscomb head coach Bill Taylor said, “Overall I would say the teams were flat. We were expecting better results than we got.”
Despite a mixed bag of results, Taylor expects tomorrow to bring a better performance from the team.
"Though it sounds cliche, that's life,” Taylor said, “Some days don't go the way you want, for whatever reason. Tomorrow is a new day. Things can change quickly. I believe the team will be very ready to compete and step it up tomorrow.”
Although the squad’s performance as a whole was not up to the lofty standards set by their previous performances, several individuals had successful days.
"One of the highlights from today was Annika Backlund and Sydney Sloan in the women's pole vault,” Taylor said. “Bakland came back from a shoulder injury that has caused her to miss most of the season. The injury isn't fully healed, and she still earned All-Conference honors.”
Bakland finished third in the event with a leap of 3.53m. Sloan set a new personal record in route to a 3.23m mark and an eighth place finish.
Another area of success for the Bisons was the men’s 3000m race, an event that had several team members competing against each other.
"In the men's 3000m the first four finishers all broke the previous A-Sun Championship record,” Taylor said, “Two of those finishers were ours, with Christian Freeman and Juan Gonzalez earning All-Conference honors. Freeman in particular ran an amazing race, and really took a huge step forward.”
Freeman and Gonzalez took second and third in the race with times of 8:15.71 and 8:17.31 respectively.
The women’s 3000m yielded similar results, and a first place finish was almost in the cards for Lipscomb.
"The women's 3000m was a learning experience, especially for Madi Talbert,” Taylor said. “She ran a pretty good race. She led the first two-thirds or so of the race, and looked terrific.
“North Florida's girls ran smart and had a clear plan. They used some smart tactics on us, and it worked. On the one hand it's too bad we didn't react properly. On the other hand, North Florida is helping us become a smarter and better team. We learn from each race, adapt and grow. “
In the field events, Gemikal Prude finished third in the high jump with a leap of 2.06m, and April Terry’s 13.46m throw earned her fourth in the shot put.
Jalen Thompson qualified for the 60m dash finals with a time of 7.11 seconds.
Taylor says that the Bisons have been through a tough bout with illnesses, but should be ready to go for day two of the meet.
"Unfortunately we've also been dealing with illness down here,” Taylor said. “We've had three athletes go down with a severe stomach illness already. I hope we are through it all now. It hasn't been pleasant and it has affected some of our team and our relays.
"No matter what, tomorrow we take what we have, and give it all our best."
The final day of competition will pick back up Sunday morning.
Here is a link to the A-Sun’s Facebook photo gallery for the weekend's events. Make sure to check back there tomorrow for more photos.