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Sunday, January 11, 2009Lipscomb’s Alex Jerkins earned a men’s shot put first place finish in his first ever collegiate meet, highlighting a very encouraging first track & field meet of the 2009 season at the Ed Temple Invite at Tennessee State Sunday.
“This is a very young team,” said coach Bill Taylor. “We only had one senior competing today. We have a long way to go of course, but the competitiveness and team camaraderie I saw today is going to pay off big in raising our performance and in having fun being a team.”
Jerkins, a freshman from Nashville, put the shot 45 feet, 3.75 inches for the victory. It was Alex’s first collegiate meet, and his first competition ever using the heavier men’s collegiate shot. Later in the day he finished sixth in his first ever weight throw competition with a toss of 36 feet 2.25 inches.
Kristin Ratzlaff, also a freshman, finished 11th in the weight throw with a toss of 27 feet, 10 inches and 13th in the shot put with a toss of feet 6 inches. Ratzlaff is a javelin thrower for Lipscomb in the outdoor season and is just learning to throw the shot and weight throw for the indoor season since the javelin is not contested indoors.
Another freshman, Steven Lindsey, finished second overall in the high jump, and first among collegiate competitors, clearing a height of 6 feet 6 inches in his first college competition. His jump is just an inch from his all time personal record.
“Obviously our field events really led the way,” said Taylor. “Alex did great in the shot and Steven Lindsey is going to clear some big heights in the high jump this year. He almost had 6-8. I’m happy that our program is slowly filling out with other events.”
Lipscomb also found success in the relay events. The women’s distance medley relay of Jenny Randolph, Valerie Winkler, Shannon Shoemake and Caitlin Anderson finished second overall with a time of 13 minutes 16.27 seconds.
For the men, the Lipscomb A relay of Hunter Hethcoat, Brock Lutes, Clint Carter and Nathan Brame finished second overall, while the Lipscomb B relay of Trace Carlson, Ben Fennell, Paul Wright and Tyler Youngs finished third overall. Rounding out the relays, the men’s 4x400 team of Michael Knox, Clint Carter, Dustin Little and Brock Lutes finished third overall with a time of 3:30.38.
“The relays were equally impressive,” said Taylor. “The times were pretty good, but the way people fought for each other was very impressive. This really sets a tone for our program.
“I was very happy with our performances. It’s less about the times and marks and more about the way we competed. Our distance runners haven’t done a single day of quality training yet…it’s been all aerobic base work. Yet, they came out and competed and did quite well for this early in the season.”
The performance was even more impressive due to the number of competitors for Lipscomb’s teams being reduced for a variety of reasons.
“We’ve had a few injuries, a few people got sick and others just weren’t able to return from the winter break in time to compete,” said Taylor. “In fact, I had to do some scrambling with our relay lineups, and three out of the four guys on the distance medley were alternates.
“The subs stepped in and competed very well. Our top distance runners for the men and women, Ryan Chastain and Carolyn Latham, didn’t compete, but should be going next weekend at Southern Illinois.”
Other finishes for the Bisons and Lady Bisons:
Men’s 1 mile run: Hunter Hethcoat 4th 4:44.70, Chad Martin 5th 4:48.27, Cormac Carolan-Tolbert 6th 4:48.35
Women’s 400m: Sequina Caro 29th 1:14.15
Men’s 400m: Josh Baker 23rd 1:01.63
Men’s 55m dash: Michael Knox 17th 6.75
Women’s 800m: Laura Stewart 9th 2:33.35, Paloma Floden 15th 2:41.82
Men’s 800m: Jonathan Williams 11th 2:03.50, Jeff Hoover 14th 2:06.04
Women’s 200m: Sequina Caro 33rd 29.17
Men’s 200m: Dustin Little 31st 24.64, Joey Lever 34th 25.83
Men’s 3000m: David Wolfe 2nd 8:37.11* (*race was accidentally stopped one 208m lap short of 3000m)