Second-year head coach Bill Taylor has announced the signing of five more women for the 2008-09 school year. This brings the total women signed for the upcoming season to seven.
"I was hired very late last summer and was an interim coach for the first three weeks." said Taylor, "I got a very late start on recruiting for 2008-09.
"My first focus was on our existing team, so I had limited time to really hit recruiting hard, and I am also just starting to learn about recruiting in the South. I am very happy to add seven women in such a short time. It is an indication of where this program is going and what the potential is here. These women are extremely nice and have a ton of potential."
The five new women are:
Catherine Beals (Barren County High School - Glasgow, Ky.): Catherine has "diamond in the rough" written all over her. She has a 5k PR of 20:31 and a 1600m time of 5:36 off of very low mileage and while spending a large portion of the year playing basketball. She was a leader on her teams and was a Wendy's High School Heisman nominee.
"Catherine has a terrific personality and is going to fit great here," Taylor said. "She has not been able to devote her full attention to distance running because she was a great basketball player for her high school.
"She is also one of the lower mileage recruits I've ever signed. I am pretty amazed at her times given her training background. With time, patience, running year round and increasing mileage Catherine has the opportunity to be incredible."
Rebekah Shoup (Dublin High School - Dublin, Ga.): Rebekah has a 5K PR of 20:23 despite only participating in Cross Country the past two years. This was also her first year of track.
"Rebekah has high character and is a perfect fit with our program," Taylor said. "She has very limited experience in running, yet has posted respectable marks. Like Catherine her mileage background is low. She has the opportunity here to grow and run really fast."
Louisa Van Batavia (Burns High School - Burns, Ore.): Louisa has posted a solid 5-k PR of 19:48, a 1500m PR of 5:21 and a 3000m PR of 11:26. She has also been a team captain for her cross country and track teams and was valedictorian of her high school.
"First of all, I love getting a fellow Northwesterner out here to Lipscomb!," said Taylor who is from the Seattle, Wash., area) I hope we attract more Northwesterners and West Coasters in the future.
"Louisa is super nice and will fit incredibly here. I am excited for her to get the `Nashville' experience and look forward to watching her develop as a distance runner."
Sequina Caro (Martin Luther King High School / Nashville School of the Arts - Nashville, Tenn.): Sequina has primarily been a sprinter both at MLK and in the club system. She has run 2:29 for 800m, but hadn't worked on that event since 2004. At Lipscomb she will focus on the 400m and 800m and will run her first ever season of Cross Country.
"Sequina is very nice and will fit great," Taylor said. "She was very willing to run cross country this year, even though she has never run more than 2 miles at a time. Our main goal is to develop her strength and base as we transition her to middle distance running."
Kristin Ratzlaff (Blue Valley West High School - Spring Hill, Kan.): Kristin has performed very well in the javelin with a personal best throw of 114 feet, despite only starting the event midway through last track season. She also has a discus PB of 95 feet and has thrown the shot 28 feet. Javelin is her strongest event and will be her primary focus at Lipscomb.
"Kristin is a terrific addition to our track program," Taylor said. `Her personal best javelin throw would already have placed at our Conference Championships.
"My goal is to build the full men's and women's track programs and Kristin is a great start towards that goal. Hopefully we will put a bunch of other throwers around her the next two years. She is a great fit with our program and I look forward to watching the javelin fly."
Lipscomb University is an NCAA Division I member of the Atlantic Sun Conference, located in Nashville, Tenn.