NEW ORLEANS -The Lipscomb Lady Bisons moved up three spots in the South Region rankings of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Saturday the Lady Bisons won their second consecutive Atlantic Sun Conference Cross Country Championship. They enter this week ranked sixth in the USTFCCCA poll. Their second highest ranking this season was fifth the week of Sept. 10.
“I always say that rankings don’t matter and that is still true,” said Lipscomb coach Bill Taylor who was named A-Sun Coach of the Year for Women’s Cross Country. “But we love the P.R. we can get for it.
“I’m glad we are ranked up there. It sends a good message to those following us and to recruits. But we don’t want to just be sixth.”
Florida State, the host for the NCAA Southeast Regionals, is ranked first in the region followed by Florida, Vanderbilt, Mississippi and Georgia. The Bisons are ahead of four Southeastern Conference schools _ Mississippi State, Alabama, Tennessee and Auburn as well as Georgia Tech from the Atlantic Coast Conference and Belmont from the Ohio Valley.
“We are certainly right in there with the SEC teams,” Taylor said. “It sends the message that we are an upper tier team based on the group we are in. Our ultimate goal is to beat all of those teams.”
Dani Walker and Tessa Hoefle, third and fifth respectively, were named All A-Sun First Team for their efforts in the conference meet. Kendra Lobley, Madelin Talbert, Maggie Lawrence and Minna Fields earned Second Team All-Conference honors.
Taylor doesn’t talk about polls and rankings with his runners. He doubts if any of them know where the team has been ranked this season.
His decision not to talk about rankings with his runners goes back to his days at Northwest University in Kirkland, Wash., when his teams had to learn to cope with a couple of national No. 1 rankings.
“It is more of an external thing than an internal thing for us,” Taylor said. “If we are ranked low we don’t get upset. If we are ranked high we don’t get prideful.
“The rankings have nothing to do with our getting ready for the regional. We will just keep marching on with our goals in mind.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.