NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb women’s cross country squad finished in second place Saturday morning at the Vanderbilt Invite at Percy Warner Park.
The Lady Bisons scored 65 points, finishing solidly in second place ahead of ranked South Region schools Ole Miss and Mississippi State, who received 83 and 100 points, respectively. Amongst the three other A-Sun schools in attendance, ETSU finished ninth, Northern Kentucky 13th and Mercer 14th.
“Today was a learning experience for our women,” Taylor said. “It was very positive on one side as we had five women run faster than our Lipscomb school record for this course.
“Vanderbilt is really good. I think they are underrated at No. 20. To me, they look every bit as good as their team that finished sixth in the nation two years ago. They smacked us around in the middle of the race.”
Freshman Sally Larson paced the Lady Bisons just as she did at the Belmont Opener. She crossed the finish line in fourth place and a time of 17:22.53.
“Sally is amazing,” Taylor said. “She has unlimited potential and runs fearless. She was the best racer on the team today and just made great decisions.
“She ran the fastest cross country 5K in school history today and has nearly taken a minute off her high school 5K personal record.”
Katie Bianchini crossed the line in 10th place. The freshman finished in 17:36.55. Sophomore Madi Talbert and senior Dani Walker finished in 14th and 15th place, respectively. Talbert’s time was 17:39.59 and Walker’s was 17:42.22.
“Katie is another amazing freshman,” Taylor said. “I think she will be with Sally soon. She is going to do huge things in her college career.
“Madi, Dani and Tessa (Hoefle) took a step forward today. I really expect those three to be with Sally and Katie. We are definitely one of the top teams in the nation if they will commit to that.”
The top seven for the Lady Bisons rounded out with Tessa Hoefle in 22nd, Hannah Feiten in 30th and Barbara Lee Ball in 37th.
Taylor thinks the Lady Bisons can use today as a learning experience to help reach the goals of the squad, especially from Vanderbilt.
“I think they had a plan for us, and it worked,” Taylor said. “I think we are a top 30 team nationally. Time will tell.
“We raced them well and they taught us a few lessons. Now we will see if we learned our lesson. It will be that simple.
In the only back-to-back weekend of the year, Lipscomb travels to Spokane, Wash., for the Eric Anderson Invite on Saturday, Sept. 21.