Women Second, Men Fourth at Belmont Opener
Friday, September 2, 2011
By Colby Wilson
Women Second, Men Fourth at Belmont Opener

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb University cross country teams had strong season-opening team showings at Friday night’s Belmont Opener, which was run at Percy Warner Park on the Vaughn’s Gap course. The women’s squad put up a second-place finish, while the men turned in a respectable fourth against top competition.

The women’s squads runner-up was paced by sophomore Dani Walker, who finished sixth with a 14:23.80s mark. She was the first runner across the line from a school other than Vanderbilt, who earned the first five positions.

Joining Walker in the top-10 for Lipscomb was sophomore Tessa Hoefle, who was 10th with a 14:31.17s run. Walker and Hoefle both set personal-bests in the four-kilometer race.

2010 All-Atlantic Sun honoree Ashley Lehman got her senior campaign off to a strong start, placing 14th after a 14:46.08s run.

A pair of freshmen rounded out the top five finishers for the Lady Bison, with Minna Fields (14:56.43s, 17th) and Maggie Lawrence (15:00.68s, 20th) placing highly in their first collegiate race.

Freshman Kendra Lobley (15:09.68s, 22nd) and sophomore Missy Dowd (15:15.11s, 26th) placed well for the Lady Bison in the season’s first race.

As a squad, the Lady Bison were runner-up only to Vanderbilt, the third-ranked team in the South Region. The Lady Bison defeated SEC foe Kentucky, as well as host Belmont and fellow A-Sun squad Kennesaw State.

A trio of junior’s led the way for the men’s side, with Isaiah Greer (15:38.63s, sixth), Tim Muller (15:39.46s, seventh) and Ashton Fisher (15:47.61s, 10th) all earning top-10 marks for the fourth-place finishers.

Junior and 2010 all-conference honoree Geoff Musick finished 34th in the 2011 opener, with a 16:28.30s in the five-kilometer run.

A freshman rounded out the scoring for the Bison, with Ryan Gadsey turning in a 16:29.84s for his 38th-place spot.

Just 31 points separated Lipscomb (93) from Kentucky (62), with the Wildcats taking home the win. In between were host Belmont (78 points) and Tennessee (84). The men’s squad did defeat Vanderbilt, as well as A-Sun rival Kennesaw State.

The cross country teams have a week of training before them prior to next weekend’s Chattanooga Powerade Invitational, on the Moccasin Bend course. The meet begins Friday at 5:45 p.m. (ET).