The race at Vaughn’s Gap in Percy Warner Park was won by host Vanderbilt University. Lipscomb finished ahead of Tennessee and UT-Chattanooga, who are ranked No. 6 and No. 14 respectively in the South Region. Vanderbilt is ranked No. 3 in the South Region and No. 39 in the nation.
It was the second week in a row that the Lipscomb women beat regionally -ranked teams.
Freshman Alex Newby (Knoxville, Tenn.) led the way for Lipscomb, finishing the challenging Vaughn’s Gap 5000-m course in a time of 18:30 for an eighth place finish overall. This is the second meet in a row in which Newby has led the Lady Bisons, and is also her second PR in a row, dropping her personal best time from 18:56 a week ago.
Newby was followed closely by a pack of Lipscomb women in 10th through 13th places. Tessa Hoefle (FR – Winnebago, Ill.) finished 10th in 18:34, Ashley Lehman (JR – Harrisonburg, Va.) was 11th in 18:37, Dani Walker (FR – Wichita, Kan.) was 12th in 18:48 and Shelby Marvel (SO – Ashland City, Tenn.) rounded out the top five in 13th in 18:55.
The sixth and seventh finishers for Lipscomb were Jenny Randolph (SR – Knoxville, Tenn.) in 19th in 19:00 and Louisa Van Batavia (JR – Burns, Ore.) in 20th in 19:01.
Cortney Thomas (FR – Lacey, Wash.) finished eighth for Lipscomb, 27th overall, in 19:21 and Ali Keith (FR – Mililani, Hawaii) was ninth for the Lady Bisons, and 31st overall, in a time of 19:29.
The top nine women for Lipscomb all ran either their all-time 5-K PR, or their all-time XC 5-K PR.
The Lipscomb women also dropped their all time best team time on this course by more than four minutes. The team average dropped 51 seconds. The Lady Bisons also broke course records for 1-5 gap and 1-7 gap.
The top four women broke the Lipscomb school record for best time on the Vaughn’s Gap course. Newby set a new Lipscomb freshman record for the course. Shelby Marvel set a new Lipscomb sophomore record for the course. Ashley Lehman posted a new record for Lipscomb juniors on this course.
Nine Lipscomb women posted a faster time this year than the top Lipscomb finisher last year. Seventeen women ran faster times that the fifth Lipscomb finisher last year.
“We are really good,” Lady Bisons coach Bill Taylor said. “I think the women have kind of felt that over the first part of the season, but today really opened their eyes to what is possible. We beat two ranked teams. And although I was told Tennessee did not run their top two women, it doesn’t look like it would have made a difference in the team results today.
“Vandy is ranked 39th in the nation and No. 3 in our region, and I think it surprised our women how close we really were. This is a young and motivated team that is having so much fun and is discovering how good we can be.”
Taylor stressed that the team records set in the race need to be put in perspective.
“This is our home course,” Taylor said. “Lipscomb has always trained out here and usually has two to three meets out here each year. And to drop a team time best by one minute is huge, to drop it more than four minutes is gigantic!
“I’ve been working to build this type of team…this type of program since I arrived at Lipscomb three years ago. I had a plan when I was hired and the experience back at Northwest to understand how it is done. It’s so exciting to see it coming together this year. And it’s not going to stop. This is the type of program we are now and we are just going to get better and better. We will be a national force here for years to come.”
Other finishers for the Lipscomb women:
Catherine Beals 19:46, Caitlin Anderson 19:53, Amanda Twigg 19:57, Lacey Printz 19:58, Miranda Klein 19:59, Katie Bunker 20:02, Missy Dowd 20:05, Anna Belner 20:06, Priya Pappu 20:18, Jaimie McFarland 20:44, Alyssa Miller 20:51, Laura Stewart 21:05, Reba Francisco 21:49, Emily Wilson 22:42.
“I’m really happy with how all the women ran,” Taylor said. “They ran tough from first to twenty-third. That’s all you can ask. They put it on the line on a tough course and fought hard."