Highlights included six new indoor school records, the highest team finish for the men, the highest team score in men’s team history and the first All-A-Sun honors for any men in program history.
“We had a really good meet in many areas and certainly took this program up another level from where it has ever been in the NCAA Division I era anyway,” said coach Bill Taylor. “The competition this year was much tougher than it has been previously too. Just from last year to this year I would say the depth and quality of the conference has at least doubled.
“We had some big PR’s over these two days and some of our athletes are really learning how to compete. We have a few that still need to treat each race as the same and not make a ‘championship’ race any different than any other race. I’m very happy with our overall performance though and know this is another big step forward as we make this program one of the best.”
Six school indoor records were broken during the two day championship meet.
Carolyn Latham ran 10:27.20 in the women’s 3000m to break Samantha Wood’s 2007 indoor school record of 10:30.64, finishing fifth. Clint Carter broke Ryan Chastain’s indoor school record in the 800m with a time of 1:56.46, finishing fourth. Kristin Ratzlaff broke her own school record in the weight throw.
The women’s 4x400m relay team of Valerie Winkler, Laura Stewart, Shannon Shoemake and Jenny Randolph broke an indoor school record set earlier this season with a time of 4:20.80 for seventh. The men’s DMR team of Andrew Jones, Chad Roberts, Clint Carter and Ryan Chastain broke the record of last years DMR team with a time of 10:33.18, finishing fourth.
The men’s 4x400m relay team of Michael Knox, Dustin Little, Brock Lutes and Chad Roberts broke the indoor school record set last year with a time of 3:24.74 for third place and the first All-ASUN honors in the men’s team history for indoor or outdoor track.
“School records are great,” said Taylor. “They show the rapid progression we are making and it’s a terrific honor for these athletes. I expect these and other records to be set and reset over the next few years. This is going to be a common occurrence.
Just to show how much more competitive the conference is getting, Samantha Wood earned All-ASun honors in 2007 with a third place finish. Carolyn broke her record by more than three seconds and finished fifth.
“Clint Carter ran a very exciting 800m,” said Taylor. “His time was an indoor PR and just barely off his all time 800m PR. He ran a very smart race and stayed strong at the finish. I am very proud of how Clint is racing this year. He has already taken his running to a whole new level this season.
“His teammate, freshman Andrew Jones finished with a time of 2:01.13 in his first collegiate championship race. His time was not reflective of his performance though. With about 250m to go Andrew surged around the front pack and into the lead. He looked smooth and strong and I thought ‘he’s going to win this thing!’ Unfortunately he hit the wall badly with about 100m to go and the field passed him. He ran 2:01.13 and could barely go faster than a walk the final 20m. He’s been battling a back injury the past two to three weeks which severely limited his training. I think if he had the training he would have been able to hold on. He certainly sent a message and I’m proud of him for taking an intelligent chance. It didn’t work out this time, but it will in the future.”
The men’s 4x400m relay of Michael Knox, Dustin Little, Brock Lutes and Chad Roberts earned the first All-ASUN honors in men’s team history with their third place finish.
“I’m so happy for these guys,” said Taylor. “It’s a great story! Chad Roberts is a fifth year senior who had one last season of eligibility. He walked onto the team last year, came close to getting All-A Sun honors with the relay during the outdoor season, and decided to use his final season of eligibility to get a medal. He’s got one now and expects to go after a few more in the outdoor season.
“What’s more amazing is that three of the four guys on this 4x400m relay are walk-ons. Two of them had never done track before joining our program! It’s a really great story and I think it’s wonderful that the first All-A Sun honors go to four guys instead of just one.”
Another top finish was Ryan Chastain’s seventh place effort in the mile in a time of 4:21.76, just .05 off his all time PR. Ryan had been out for the last month and some time before that with a knee issue. He entered the mile with only a half of one quality workout and yet battled well and nearly PR’d.
“Ryan really proved something to himself in the mile,” said Taylor. “To be able to almost PR after a month of cross training is pretty incredible. He’s a very talented athlete and this should boost his confidence a ton.”
And in the men’s high jump Steven Lindsey battled through a severe heal bruise injury he incurred when he jumped 6-8 at TSU to finish fourth with a jump of 6-2. Steven hadn’t practiced for three weeks and still had problems with his heal during the competition.
All Results for Lipscomb:
5000m – Chad Martin 16:06 17th place, Tyler Youngs 16:21.45 19th place, Trace Carlson 16:42.73 20th place, Cormac Carolan-Tolbert 16:58.44 23rd place, David Wolfe DNF
3000m – Jeff Hoover 9:11.21 14th place, Nathan Brame 9:13.32 15th place, David Wolfe 9:15.90 16th place, Cormac Carolan-Tolbert 9:33.19 19th place, Trace Carlson 9:41.84 20th place.
Mile – Ryan Chastain 4:21.76 7th , Nathan Brame 4:31.79 12th, Tyler Youngs 4:35.13 14th, Hunter Hethcoat 4:44.66 18th, Paul Wright 4:50.24 19th
800m – Clint Carter 1:56.46 4th, Andrew Jones 2:01.13 11th, Aaron Todd 2:01.76 12th, Jonathan Williams 2:02.02 13th, Ben Fennell 2:03.03 14th
400m – Jacob Nelson 53.24 15th, Josh Baker 1:00.94 18th
200m – Joey Lever 24.15 14th, Steven Mason 24.62 15th
60m – Joey Lever 7.69 15th, Steven Mason 7.74 16th
DMR – Andrew Jones, Chad Roberts, Clint Carter, Ryan Chastain 10:33.18 4th
4x400 – Michael Knox, Dustin Little, Brock Lutes, Chad Roberts 3:24.74 3rd
HJ – Steven Lindsey 6-2 4th
WT – Alex Jerkins 34-00 12th
SP – Alex Jerkins 44-00 9th
5000m – Carolyn Latham 18:18.67 7th, Caitlin Anderson 18:40.54 10th
3000m – Carolyn Latham 10:27.20 5th, Jenny Randolph 10:33.90 7th, Caitlin Anderson 10:33.92 8th, Catherine Beals 11:06.26 14th, Meagan Hoar 11:25.98 18th
Mile – Jenny Randolph 5:15.69 7th, Louisa Van Batavia 5:27.95 16th, Shannon Shoemake 5:33.55 19th, Meagan Hoar 5:37.99 20th, Laura Stewart 5:52.33 22nd
800m – Valerie Winkler 2:31.79 14th, Paloma Floden 2:35.43 16th, Catherine Beals 2:38.87 17th
200m – Sequina Caro 28.82 19th
60m – Sequina Caro 8.41 12th
DMR – Louisa Van Batavia, Valerie Winkler, Laura Stewart, Shannon Shoemake 13:04.10 5th
4x400 – Valerie Winkler, Laura Stewart, Shannon Shoemake, Jenny Randolph 4:20.80 7th
WT – Kristin Ratzlaff 35-8 9th, Jessi Marshall 28-6 12th
SP – Kristin Ratzlaff 28-3 11th, Jessi Marshall 26-1 12th
The men’s team finished a best ever of sixth in the team competition with a program best of 18 points, which is 15 points more than ever before. The women’s team finished eighth in the team competition with four points.
“We are a very young program that is learning how to compete and win,” said Taylor. “Winning has to be learned and expected. We are getting closer to that. This indoor season has been exciting and a lot of really important progress has been made.
“At the same time we are still a program that is developing. My athletes are starting to figure it out and starting to believe. We are setting huge new PR’s now and breaking records. We are finishing higher than ever before. Yet we have a long way to go as a program, physically and psychologically. This is the beginning of something amazing and they should all be very proud.”
There is little time for rest. The track and field programs move directly into outdoor competition.
“I am excited now for the upcoming outdoor season,” said Taylor. “We don’t train to compete well during the indoor season. The success we have had is a bonus. And we still have a good month of training before we start to see the true results of our efforts in the outdoor season. This should be a great outdoor season and a lot of fun. I know we will continue to see dramatically changes in individuals and the team as a whole.
“It is also important that we continue to have the fun and excitement that has been shown this indoor season. More than the performances, I have been impressed with the motivation and support the team has given each other. We must continue that throughout the outdoor season. It is the foundation for the success we will have.”
The Bisons and Lady Bison’s march right into the outdoor season, traveling to Savannah, Georgia to compete in the Savannah State Eye Opener Feb. 28th, before taking a weekend off.