NASHVILLE – In their second and final appearance in Nashville for the 2017 season, the Lipscomb cross country squad earned a pair of top-five finishes on Saturday morning at the Commodore Classic.
The Bisons started out the day strong, taking third overall in the men’s race with 92 points. Lipscomb only finished behind nationally-ranked Middle Tennessee and regionally-ranked Butler, and ahead of fellow regionally-ranked squads Belmont, Marshall, Missouri, Miami (Ohio), and Ohio State.
“I didn’t feel like we were very intimidated by the tough competition,” Lipscomb Director of Cross Country Bill Taylor said. “It seemed like we ran our race.
“The way we have things set up, we’re just trying to have both teams get better and better as the season goes on and be at our best at Conference and Regionals. I think today was a step in the right direction.”
On the women’s side, Lipscomb placed fifth overall with 127 points. They finished behind top-30 squads in Missouri and Eastern Michigan, as well as regionally-ranked Vanderbilt and the winners in Ohio State. The Lady Bisons beat out Butler and Belmont, both of which are ranked in the region.
For the men, seniors Jacob Poyner (25:12.1) and Juan Gonzalez (25:13.4) led the way in their first race of the season. Each finished in the top-10, taking seventh and ninth.
“I thought the guy’s did great,” Taylor said. “It was the first time we’ve had Jake and Juan out there. They certainly set the pace for the team. Some of our younger guys stepped up, too.”
Freshman Silas Griffith was not far behind in 14th with a time of 25:26.6.
Sophomores William Kachman (25:54.0), Owen Glogovsky (26:03.3), and Zach Israel (26:09.7) placed 28th, 39th, and 45th.
Freshman Patrick Smith (26:39.3), and sophomores John Green (26:43.6) and Chase Hampton (26:43.7) were in the next cluster at 65th, 70th, and 71st.
Sophomore Courtney Brenner once again led the pack for the women with a time of 17:35.3 to finish fourth overall.
“The women did really well,” Taylor said. “Courtney, of course, ran amazing again, and we’re starting to build that pack behind her. We were missing one of our top girls today who had an injury, but once we get her in I think we are going to be pretty solid.”
Senior Kacey Kemper was next for the Bisons at 18th with a time of 17:56.4.
Freshmen Lauren Flynt (18:06.8) and Jacie Legois (18:21.3) and senior Katie Sperry (18:32.8) closed out Lipscomb’s top five in 27th, 38th, and 52nd.
Junior Bridgette Doucet (18:44.1), freshman Kayla Rudie (19:03.3), and junior Clare Losito (19:22.7) each finished in the top-100 at 65th, 80th, and 93rd.
Missouri senior Karissa Schweizer won the women’s individual race with a course-record time of 16:25.4, while Butler sophomore Euan Makepeace won the men's race with a time of 24:39.8.
The Bisons will hit the ground running again on Sept. 30 at the Louisville Classic.