The Belmont Opener at Percy Warner Park in Nashville has traditionally been the first meet of the season for Lipscomb for years. On Friday night the 2010 Lady Bison’s broke every team record previously set at the meet.
Dani Walker (FR-Wichita, Kan.) led the way for Lipscomb, finishing 12th overall in a time of 14:49 for the 4000-meter course. Her time was the fastest 4-K ever run for Lipscomb and her 12th place finish was the highest ever Lipscomb finish in this meet.
Seven other Lipscomb women ran faster times than the previous Lipscomb best at this meet. Tessa Hoefle (FR-Winnebago, Ill.), Ashley Lehman (JR-Harrisburg, Va.) and Alex Newby (FR-Knoxville, Tenn.) also posted top-20 finishes in 16th, 18th and 19th, which were also better than the previous top Lipscomb finish of 21stt. Their times were 14:53, 14:55 and 14:56 respectively.
Also under the previous school record were Louisa Van Batavia (JR-Burns, Ore.) 27th in 15:20, Amanda Twigg (SO-Cumberland, Md.) 30th in 15:22, Caitlin Anderson (SR-Franklin, Tenn.) 31st in 15:24 and Shelby Marvel (SO-Ashland City, Tenn.) 32nd in 15:24.
All class records were also set, with Walker taking down the freshman record, Twigg setting the sophomore record, Lehman rewriting the junior record, and Anderson setting the senior record.
As a team the Lady Bison’s finished fourth out of 12 teams, the highest ever Lipscomb finish in this meet (seventh was the previous best). Vanderbilt won the meet with 27 points (Vandy is ranked third in the South region and 37th in the nation).
Western Kentucky finished second with 59 points (ranked 13th in the Southeast Region). Alabama was third with 65 points (No. 6 in the South Region).
Lipscomb finished fourth with 87 points. Belmont and Middle Tennessee tied for fifth with 139 points each, Tennessee was seventh with 201 points, Memphis eighth with 245, Austin Peay ninth with 268 and UT-Martin was 10th with 297 followed by Bethel in 11th with 350 and Trevecca Nazarene in 12th place with 384 points.
The Lady Bisons also set Lipscomb records for team time at 1:14:55, more than three minutes faster than ever before, average time (14:59), 1-5 gap (31 seconds) and 1-7 gap (35 seconds).
“It’s a pretty great day when your top eight women run faster than any Lipscomb woman has ever run this 4000m course before.” coach Bill Taylor said. “Lipscomb has run a lot of meets here and I believe we have participated in this meet since it first started many years ago. So this is a great start.
“I think we competed well against regional powers in Vanderbilt, Alabama, WKU and Tennessee too. We aren’t quite at their level yet, but we are close and we have a very young team with a ton of room to improve. “
Taylor thinks this meet is only a hint of what is ahead for the Lady Bisons.
“And though I am thrilled with our start, the women know we aren’t close to what we are capable of this year,” Taylor said. “This was a great beginning, but it was just a beginning and we can see many opportunities to improve individually and as a team.
“The best part is that we are having so much fun! I think this team is very close to understanding the freedom of letting the results take care of themselves. I also see these women fighting for each other because they love each other. It’s a very special team.”
Other finishers for the Lady Bisons: Jenny Randolph (SR-Knoxville, Tenn.) 15:30, Cortney Thomas (FR-Lacey, Wash.) 15:36, Lacey Printz (FR-Kent, Wash.) 15:43, Ali Keith (FR-Mililani, Hawaii) 15:55, Katie Bunker (FR-Cedarville, Ohio) 15:56, Miranda Klein (FR-Nashville, Tenn.) 15:57, Priya Pappu (FR-Santa Clara, Calif.) 16:02, Jaimie McFarland (FR-Fife, Wash.) 16:04, Missy Dowd (FR-Duvall, Wash.) 16:07, Catherine Beals (JR-Glasgow, Ky.) 16:10, Anna Belner (FR-Johnston, Iowa) 16:12, Alyssa Miller (FR-Cheyenne, Wyo.) 16:21, Meredith McFarlin (FR-Memphis, Tenn.) 16:55, Laura Stewart (SR-Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) 17:22, Reba Francisco (FR-Chinly, Ariz.) 17:44, Muriel Epling (FR-Matthews, N.C.) 17:48, and Emily Wilson (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) 18:03.