MACON, Ga. – Lipscomb freshman distance runner Kendra Lobley has been named the Atlantic Sun Female Most Outstanding Freshman Performer for the 2012 outdoor campaign, the conference office announced Thursday.
Lobley earned two A-Sun titles at last weekend’s Outdoor Championships. She broke the school 3000m steeplechase record on the first day of the event, earning gold with a 10:32.79s run that broke the previous conference-best by nearly five seconds and the school record by more than 30 seconds. She was the only freshman in the top-10 in the steeple.
The Poland, Maine native won gold again on the second day of competition, dusting the 5000m run field by nearly 13 seconds with a 17:16.69s mark.
“She’s had an amazing freshman campaign in every way,” said Lipscomb head coach Bill Taylor. “I was hoping she would get that honor; I felt like she deserved it. Apparently, the other coaches in the conference felt that way too.
“That was a pretty extraordinary double for her at conference. She’s had a freshman of the year-type season and we’re very proud of her.”
Lobley owns three school-records after just one spring of competition for the Lady Bisons. In addition to the steeplechase mark, she owns the 5K record (16:41.84s) and the 3000m run (9:40.80s).
Lobley ranks second in the A-Sun in the 5K and first in the steeple based on times. Her steeplechase mark is nearly 20 seconds better than any other time posted by an A-Sun athlete this season.
Lobley’s marks are reflected in the regional standings and give her aspirations of reaching the NCAA East Regional and beyond. She ranks 67th in the East Region in the 5K and 37th in the steeplechase; the top 48 athletes qualify for regional competition.
Among freshmen, Lobley is third in the East in the steeple and eighth in the 5000m run.
On the national scene, she ranks 64th in the steeplechase and fifth among freshmen.
“She’s by far the most advanced freshman I’ve ever coached,” Taylor said. “She’s got a load of talent. We take the credit for the system, the coaching and the team but Kendra has figured things out as far as maturity and race tactics. She deserves a load of credit for developing herself mentally.”
Jacksonville’s Akeela Bravo was named Most Outstanding Field Athlete of the Year, while North Florida’s Brianna Frazier took the track honor. Jacksonville’s Ron Grigg took home Coach of the Year honors.
Lobley and a number of her Lipscomb teammates will be at the Oxy Invite in Los Angeles next weekend, looking to improve their marks in hopes of reaching the May 24 regional round.