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Track team opens indoor season at Niswonger

Monday, January 21, 2008

Jan. 21, 2008

The Lipscomb University Men's Track team opened the 2008 Indoor season Friday at the ETSU Niswonger Invitational in Johnson City, Tenn. Despite only doing three speed workouts so far this season, the Bisons started the season very well.

Ryan Chastain led the way by finishing second in the Invitational section of the mile with a solid early season time of 4:23.27, a time that will likely lead the conference standings for the mile. Ryan was doubling back after running a great 1200m opening leg of the Distance Medley Relay 2.5 hours earlier.

Jordan Wilson also ran a great early season distance race, finishing 2nd in his heat of the unseeded 3000m in a time of 9:04.14. Jordan came back to anchor the Distance Medley Relay later in the day, posting a 4:35.1 mile leg.

Chad Roberts was a pleasant surprise. A senior, Chad is turning out for track for the first time since high school. Despite the time gap since last competing, he picked things up quickly, posting a 54.66 open 400m to finish second in his heat on Friday, dropping a second Friday night with a 53.5 4x400m relay split, then dropping yet another second Saturday in the 400m leg of the Distance Medley Relay with a 52.6.

Andrew Shankles won his heat of the unseeded mile in a time of 4:37.96. He was followed by teammate Jared Carlson in 3rd place with a time of 4:46.31.

Clint Carter posted a time of 52.97 in the 400m and 2:02.69, while also running a leg of the 4x400 relay and an 800m leg of the Distance Medley Relay.

Freshmen Tylar Peoples and Michael Knox got things going for the sprinters. Michael, who hasn't run track since middle school, won his heat of the 60m dash in 7.32. Tylar finished second in his heat with a time of 7.24. In the 200m, Tylar won his heat in a time of 23.49, with Michael right behind him in 23.64.

Other competitors for the Bisons:

Paul Wright: 3rd in both his heat of the 400m, 55.62 and his heat of the 800m, 2:05.34 Jonathan Williams: 6th in both his heat of the 400m, 56.54 and his heat of the 800m, 2:06.51 Jeff Nelson: 4th in his heat of the 400m, 57.48 Ryan Bell: 5th in his heat of the 400m, 58.19, 10th in his heat of the 800m, 2:09.99

"My expectations were very minimal," said head coach Bill Taylor. "We don't focus on the indoor season...we train through it to peak in the outdoor season and we've only done three speed workouts since the season started, so this meet was really just an indicator of where each person is so they know where they need to go.

"Despite the lack of training, I was really impressed with the competitiveness both teams showed. That's really what I was looking for most. Competitiveness will pay off later when the training catches up. And we had terrific performances by a bunch of the guys. Ryan Chastain's second place finish in the Invitational mile was a motivating way to end the meet. The distance and middle distance guys are going to have great track seasons.

"I was also impressed with the ability shown my Tylar and Michael, our two sprinters. It's obvious both have a lot of talent, they just need to do the work necessary to become true collegiate level sprinters. They can get there if they want to.

"It was a great trip that really served its purpose for us."