TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-Dani Walker became the first ever Lipscomb runner to be named to the All-South Region team as the Lady Bisons finished seventh Friday morning at the NCAA South Region at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, Fla.
The host team, Florida State, remained unbeaten with the win placing five runners in the top 10, including the top three finishes for 24 points. Florida State entered the meet as the No. 1 team in the nation.
The Lady Bisons finished behind five Southeastern Conference teams – Vanderbilt, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama. The Lady Bisons had 271 points, 13 behind sixth place Alabama.
"I am ecstatic about how the women ran,” Lipscomb coach Bill Taylor said. “We didn't care what place we finished, we just wanted to take a chance for something big and learn how to race up front.
“We accomplished all of those goals. The girls had a perfect start, and were in terrific position through almost half the race. When we did fade a bit, we didn't fade bad and showed courage and guts. “
Walker was the top finisher for the Lady Bisons in 18th place. She covered the 6-K course in 20:35. Florida State’s Violah Lagat was first with a time of 20:06.8.
"Dani ran amazing,” Taylor said. “She broke the 6-K school record and earned the first ever All-Region Cross Country honors in Lipscomb history.
“She was smooth and fast and took herself to a whole new level. It was really exciting seeing her there in second place overall more than halfway through the race. She knows what she needs to do to stay longer and is excited to continue her progress.”
Tessa Hoefle placed 48th for the Lady Bisons with a run of 21:15.
Madelin Talbert and Maggie Lawrence finished 66th and 67th respectively. Talbert’s time was 21:36.6 and Lawrence’s time was 21:37.3. Minna Fields was 79th with a time of 21:48.1
Rounding out the finishers for Lipscomb were Kendra Lobley (96th, 22:00.8) and Missy Dowd (124th, 22:34.8).
"We were an elite team,” Taylor said. “For a while we were one of the best teams in the nation. The girls tasted success...they were in the right race, and this is a big huge day moving this program forward. It is gigantic preparation for the success we will see in the near future.”
Taylor was even more pleased that his runners performed well despite some challenges.
"It's funny, we actually faced a bit of adversity this week,” Taylor said. “Three of our top six are recovering from sinus infections. They ran tough.
“And Maggie tripped over a fallen runner, fell hard, tore her leg up bad, got up and finished as our No. 4 runner. Amazing. There are just so many victories for us in this performance…things we will build on this track season.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations for Athletics.