Track and field opens outdoor season at Rhodes Invite
Sunday, March 19, 2017
By Logan Butts
Track and field opens outdoor season at Rhodes Invite

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Lipscomb track and field team got out to a successful start for the outdoor season as the Bisons travelled to Memphis to take part in the Rhodes College Invitational.

"It was a good outdoor opener for the teams,” Lipscomb Director of Track and Field Bill Taylor said. “We felt very good about our effort and competitiveness.”

The women’s distance runners were missing several regulars who are still out due to sickness, but freshman Courtney Brenner picked up a fifth place finish in the 5000m with personal record time of 17:17.96. Sophomores Clare Losito and Katie Sperry placed eighth and tenth with times of 17:30.75 and 17:54.53, respectively, in the same event.

"We are still missing many of our women distance runners as they come back from being sick<” Taylor said. “We had some big improvements in the 5000m, though. Courtney Brenner ran about a 30-second PR of 17:17, and Clare Losito dropped 1-minute 34-seconds off her PR, going from 19:04 to 17:30.  Our other 5000m girls ran really well too.”

In the same event for the men, sophomore Chase Hampton (15:10.57) and Brent Leber (15:12.17) and freshmen John Green (15:15.22) and William Kachman (15:25.20) placed sixth, seventh, eighth, and tenth, respectively.

In the women’s mile run, sophomore Sam Woodford took sixth with a time of 5:15.87, sophomores Kyle Johnson (4:22.60) and Psalm Ocampo (4:26.47) placed fifth and tenth, respectively.

"Sam Woodford showed big improvement on the indoor season, winning her heat of the mile,” Taylor said. “Later in the 800m she looked like she might win, but got tangled up and fell.  Strong effort in both races by Sam though.”

In the men’s 800m, sophomore Andrew Ayers ran a time of 1:56.02 to finish third, while fellow sophomore Austin Chitwood took fifth with a 1:59.46 mark.

The Bisons took second in the men’s 4x800m relay with a squad of Ayers, Daniel Lenart, Austin Ray, and Nathan Morgan.

"Men's distance saw an exciting 4x800m relay,” Taylor said. “That's an event we rarely get to compete in. The men came close to the school record.”

In the sprints, senior Abby Newby finished fifth in the 100m hurdles with a time of 15.81 seconds. Freshman Ahmed Ammar placed seventh and fifth in the 100m (10.75 seconds) and 200m (21.95 seconds), respectively. Freshman Randolph Wilkerson finished sixth and second in the 110m hurdles (15.63 seconds) and 400m hurdles (55.63 seconds).

"Abby Newby broke our school record in the 100m hurdles,” Taylor said. “Ahmed had a very strong debut in the 100m and the outdoor 200m.  Fellow freshman Randolph Wilkerson also had a very strong debut in both hurdle races. “

Senior Wayne Newman also competed this weekend, but instead of the Rhodes Invite it was in his home state at the University of Arizona Willie Williams Invite.

"Although not with the team in Memphis, Wayne Newman had a stellar debut for the team in his hometown of Tucson, competing in the University of Arizona Willie Williams Invite,” Taylor said. “He won the 110m high hurdles and finished third in the 400m hurdles, running both races faster than he ever has to start a season.”

Taylor feels it was a strong start to the outdoor campaign, and feels the team is set to build on the success heading forward for outdoor.

"I'm happy with what we saw, especially coming off three weeks off, and competing at the end of our Spring Break,” Taylor said. “We are looking forward to building on this in the meets to come."