Lady Bisons cross country runners earn postseason team honors
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Lady Bisons cross country runners earn postseason team honors
Several members of the Lipscomb University cross country team have been honored for their efforts during the 2008 season. Selections were made by voting of the coaches and the runners with each counting 50 percent.

MOST IMPROVED AWARD: Catherine Beals, a freshman from Barren County High School in Glasgow, Ky., was presented the “Most Improved Award”. This season Catherine improved her 5000m personal record from 20:30 to 19:03. She also moved up from seventh on the team in the early season meets to third on the team at the Atlantic Sun Conference Championships.

“Catherine showed an amazing amount of toughness and desire and kept fighting throughout the season to get better and better,” said coach Bill Taylor. “She had a terrific attitude and will continue to improve at Lipscomb.”

FIGHTING BISON AWARD: Carolyn Latham was honored with the “Fighting Bison Award” which is awarded to the person who demonstrates the most guts, mental toughness and physical toughness.

“Carolyn has been the No. 1 runner for the Lipscomb women for two years and has shown amazing toughness every time she races,” said Taylor. “This year her toughness was really put to the test. Carolyn was diagnosed with mono after the first meet of the season and had to sit for the next six weeks.

“In her first meet back, with less than two weeks of moderate training, Carolyn led the women’s team at the Evansville Invite running her fastest time ever on that course. Two weeks later she earned All-Atlantic Sun honors for the second year in a row, finishing sixth with a time of 18:22. She was an inspiration for the team and a perfect example of what can be done with desire, toughness and willpower. “

FOR THE TEAM AWARD: Jenny Randolph was presented the “For the Team Award” which is given to the person who is the best teammate and the person who is the most positive, motivating and caring. Jenny received an overwhelming number of votes for this award.

To quote her teammates; “She is always positive, no matter what the circumstance, and is always ready with some kind of inspirational speech, whether it is something serious, or something that has us in tears, laughing. She is completely and genuinely for the team!”

HEART OF GOLD AWARD: Paloma Floden received the “Heart of Gold Award”, also known as the high character award. It is given to the runner that demonstrates the highest character, who doesn’t compromise their beliefs and who does the right thing even when nobody is looking.

“Paloma is often thought of as the team mom,” said Taylor. “She always demonstrates the highest character and is a spiritual leader for the women’s team.”

TOTAL COMMITMENT AWARD: Caitlin Anderson received the “Total Commitment Award” as the person “that did it right, did it all and did all the little things.” Caitlin gave 100 percent all the time, doing all the big and little things and pushing to be the best she could be. As a result, she ran a cross country 5=K personal record of 18:36 and earned All-Conference honors at the Championship meet. Caitlin came to Lipscomb University with a high school 5K PR of 20:48 and has run 18:36 for cross country 5=K and 18:26 for track 5-K.

“Her work ethic and total commitment are a huge factor in her dramatic improvement. said Taylor.

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD: Ashley Lehman had an outstanding rookie season and rose up to lead the women’s team in two meets this year. She showed amazing fight and toughness during her freshman year.

“Ashley received votes in every award category from the team, which tells you a lot about the type of person she is,” said Taylor. “Although she struggled a bit physically at the end of the season after a bout of dehydration, she posted a new 5-K personal record of 18:58 (her old personal record was 19:30). Ashley is going to develop into a great runner.

ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD: Carolyn Latham Carolyn has been the No. 1 runner for Lipscomb’s women in every race she has run the past two years. This year she lost most of the season due to illness, yet returned in the last meet of the season to run a personal course best at Evansville. Two weeks later she earned her second consecutive All-Atlantic Sun honors with a sixth place Conference Championship finish with a time of 18:22, her all time cross country 5-K personal record. In 2007 she earned her first All-Atlantic Sun honors with a seventh place finish in 19:07. Carolyn is only the third All-Atlantic Sun runner in Lipscomb history, and the first ever to earn All A-Sun honors twice. Her performance led the Lipscomb women to a fourth place A-Sun finish, two places higher than the women have ever finished.

TEAM CAPTAINS: The team captains are Carolyn Latham, Jenny Randolph, Caitlin Anderson

WOMEN’S SEASON WRAP-UP: In 2008 the Lipscomb women finished a program best fourth place in the Atlantic Sun Championships. The previous best finish for Lipscomb was sixth. It was also the first time in program history that two women earned All-Atlantic Sun honors in the same season (Carolyn Latham and Caitlin Anderson). Carolyn was the first Lipscomb woman to earn All-Atlantic Sun honors twice, earning the honor in 2007 as well. Eight of the top nine 5-K times on the team this year were either all-time 5000m personal records or all-time cross country 5000m personal records. The women’s team broke all-time Lipscomb team-time records on every course they ran on this year (that a Lipscomb team had previously run on).

“ It was a terrific year as the women’s program marches forward,” said Taylor.

2008 Women’s Season Best 5-K Times:

Carolyn Latham 18:22 (xc PR)

Caitlin Anderson 18:35 (xc PR)

Erin Pyles 18:41 (PR!)

Ashley Lehman 18:58 (PR!)

Jenny Randolph 19:03 (two seconds from PR)

Catherine Beals 19:03 (PR)

Shannon Shoemake 19:13 (PR!

Paige Griffin 19:34 (PR)

Louisa Van Batavia 19:43 (PR)

Julie Alley 20:18

Paloma Floden 20:54

Laura Stewart 21:22

Valerie Winkler 21:22