Cross country teams continue to improve
Saturday, September 29, 2007

Sept. 29, 2007

The Lipscomb men's and women's Cross Country teams had strong showings Saturday at the Auburn Invitational in Auburn, Ala.

Against a very strong field of teams, the Lady Bison's finished 10th out of 22, while the men finished seventh out of 16. The University of Florida won both races, with Iowa the runner-up in the women's race and LSU the runner-up in the men's race.

"I felt we made more progress this week," said head coach Bill Taylor. "I'm sure I sound like a broken record when I say we did great, made improvement, but still have a lot of room for improvement.

"Both teams are certainly on the right track though and I am very pleased with our progress. Once again, they should be very happy with the steps they are taking, though not content."

The women were led by sophomore Carolyn Latham, who covered the 5-K course in 18:26, a 30-second all-time PR. Junior Erin Pyles ran a full minute faster than she has ever run a 5-K, finishing as the second Lipscomb runner in a time of 18:56. Freshmen Jenny Randolph and Caitlin Anderson followed with times of 19:01 and 19:07, a 1 minute 15 second PR for Jenny and a 1 minute 35 second PR for Caitlin. Sophomore Shannon Shoemake rounded out the Lady Bison top five with another all-time PR of 19:19. Sophomores Paloma Floden (20:18), Julie Alley (20:28) and freshman Valerie Winkler (21:20) completed the Lipscomb contingent.

The Lady Bison's finished one spot ahead of conference rival Kennesaw State, who is currently ranked second in the Atlantic-Sun conference. Kennesaw ran without their number one runner who was injured.

"Again, our women really took another step forward. It was nice to get ahead of Kennesaw State, though they ran without their number one runner. They would have beaten us with her in there, but we are definitely closing the gap on the top conference teams. Carolyn has been steady all season, getting better each meet. I really can't say enough about our top five this week. They are learning and growing each week. Today I was especially impressed with Caitlin Anderson. I felt that she competed very hard and really took several steps forward as a runner."

The men were led by a stellar performance by sophomore Ryan Chastain, who finished the 8-K race in a time of 25:13, finishing 21st in a very tough field. Junior Jordan Wilson continued to be rock solid consistent for the Bison men with a time of 25:51. Sophomores David Wolfe (26:17), Andrew Shankles (26:32) and Jared Carlson (27:15) rounded out the top five. Other finishers for the Lipscomb men were: Jeff Hoover (27:20), Clint Carter (27:28), Jonathan Williams (27:37), Ryan Bell (28:17), Paul Wright (28:57) and Tim Cotton (29:45).

The roles were reversed for the men who finished just behind conference rival Kennesaw State by 23 points. Kennesaw is ranked third in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

"Ryan Chastain took a gigantic step forward today, moving toward that elite level.," Taylor said. "He raced smooth and fearlessly with the guys from the University of Florida, Auburn, LSU and Florida State. That's were he should be, and he proved it.

"Jordan Wilson has been racing great and he put together another strong performance, while David and Andrew were strong as well. We got hurt with our number five runner being 32 places behind our number four. Fortunately, we have four guys all close together there right now, but we must have one or more step up for this team right away."

The Lipscomb men and women will be in action again next Saturday at the Memphis Twilight meet which takes place at 8:15 p.m. at the Mike Rose Complex in Memphis,