Head Coach Bill Taylor announced the team awards and season honors for the 2012 Lipscomb Track & Field season.
“We have a tradition of awards that represent our core values within the cross country and track & field programs” said Taylor. “These are big honors for our athletes as it means they represent the best of what we are and lead the way in making our program one of the best in the nation in every way, which creates a very unique and special environment.”
Women – Kendra Lobley (Freshman – Poland, Maine)
Kendra not only improved incredibly this season, she put together the best distance season in women’s track team history. She improved her high school personal-best in the 5000m from 19:48 to 16:41. She also improved from 5:03 in the 1600m to 4:57 in the indoor mile, and 11:25 for 3200m to 10:40 for 3000m. She won two Atlantic Sun Outdoor titles, a very tough double of the 3000m Steeplechase and the 5000m. She had only run the steeplechase once in her life (earlier this season) before winning the gold. Her steeple time at A-Sun qualified her for the NCAA Division I National Championships Preliminary Round. She also earned A-Sun honors in indoor track for the mile and the distance medley relay. She broke school records in the indoor mile, the outdoor 3000m, 3000m steeplechase and 5000m. For her performances at the A-Sun Outdoor Championships she was voted Freshman of the Year, the first ever honor for Lipscomb in track & field. It was an inspiring season to watch and an example of what can be done by our athletes when they buy in to what we do and what they are truly capable of.
Men – Andrew Wolf (Freshman – Puyallup, Wash.)
This award could have gone to a lot of different men. In fact, four men were within one point of each other in the voting. Andrew Wolf wins the award this year. Andrew came out and worked hard. While his early season results were modest, he believed and he kept working to improve. At the A-Sun conference championships he brought his best performance of the year, earning All-Conference honors in the 400m hurdles with an all-time personal-best. The hurdles are a very difficult event for men to transition from high school. The hurdles are taller, and in most cases, high schoolers are used to the 300m hurdles instead of the 400m hurdles. Andrew kept working to improve, and adapted throughout the season. Andrew is a great athlete and has a very bright future!
Fightin’ Bison (the person who demonstrated the most guts, mental toughness and physical toughness):
Women – Dani Walker (Sophomore – Wichita, Kan.) and Kendra Lobley
Dani had to fight hard this season. Recovering from a snapped bone in her foot in cross country, Dani still came out early and ran better than last year. But you could tell it didn’t feel right for her. Then through the whole season she dealt with compensation injuries that really put her in pain. Yet she kept fighting throughout the season and it paid off big. She earned All-Conference honors in the 1500m and 4x400m relay, and then two weeks later broke the school record in the 5000m with a big new PR of 16:38. That time qualified Dani for the NCAA Division I National Championships Preliminary Round. Dani showed how important fight and perseverance are.
Kendra rightly deserves this honor. Her achievements this season have been noted already. You would have had to have seen her run and practice to understand how she improved so much. Kendra is a fighter. She was brave in races, pushed herself to the limits in practice, and earned every single thing she got this year. Her mental and physical performances day in and day out are a key example to our team of what it takes, and what will happen when you are all in.
Men – Matt Deery (Freshman – Phillipsburg, N.J.)
Matt attacked everything he did this year. As a young multi-event athlete as well as a stand-out hurdler and vaulter, Matt never complained and eagerly pursued anything asked of him. He was the guy that would do five or six events at a meet, preparing for the multi’s, then be asked at the last minute to run a leg of the 4x400 relay. He would not only do it with a terrific attitude, he would post a fast time. Every time Matt competed, the whole team could see that he held nothing back. He has the upmost respect from the coaches and his teammates for his fighting spirit, toughness and attitude.
For the Team (the best teammate, the most positive and caring):
Women – Tessa Hoefle (Sophomore – Winnebago, Ill.)
Tessa was voted ‘For the Team’ for the second time this year, after earning the same award for the cross country season. As a leader Tessa brings a terrific combination of high expectations, along with genuine care for her teammates. She strives with all her might to be the best she can be, yet it is very clear that she cares about her teammates and the team’s success even more. Tessa cares about her team, each individual, and the overall team’s success and enjoyment so much and it makes a huge positive impact on what we are. Tessa served as a team captain this 2012 track & field season.
Men – Geoff Musick (Junior – Nashville, Tenn.)
Everyone knows that Geoff wants the best for everyone. He works tirelessly to unite the team, take care of the team, inspire the team and to do whatever it takes to make everyone better. His heart for people is huge and his desire to be a part of the best program in the nation, in every way is apparent. He is helping make that more of a reality every day. Geoff has previously been voted Total Commitment (2011 track & field and 2010 cross country) and Heart of Gold (2011 cross country). Geoff served as a team captain this 2012 track & field season.
Heart of Gold (the person who demonstrates the highest character, who doesn’t compromise, who does the right thing every time, even when nobody is looking):
Women – Ashley Lehman (Senior – Harrisonburg, Va.) and Maggie Lawrence (Sinking Springs, Pa.)
This is the fourth time Ashley has been voted for this award in cross country or track (2009 track, 2011 track, 2011 cross country). Ashley is an emotional and spiritual leader on the team. She cares deeply for her teammates, and served as the Director of our Discipleship and Outreach Commission this year. The D.O.C. is our spiritual growth component for the team. They lead the team in planning and having team devotions, doing service projects in the community and doing a mission trip each year. Ashley has a huge heart for people and wants to help them grow spiritually. She has served that role incredibly and has always been there for all her teammates. Ashley has also been voted Freshman of the Year (2008 cross country) and Most Improved (2009 cross country).
Maggie is just one of those people that bring light into the room when she arrives. She truly has a heart of gold, has a smile on her face almost all the time, and an attitude and personality that lifts other people up. She wants to help all people and wants this team to be amazing in every way. She inspires and makes people laugh, while getting them to be their best. This is a well-deserved award for an up-and-coming leader in our program.
Men – Isaiah Greer (Junior – Johnson City, Tenn.)
This is the second year in a row that Isaiah has been voted Heart of Gold. Isaiah serves as a team captain and is a terrific example of doing it right. He works hard, inspires others and shows he cares. He is an essential part of our success and strives to learn and lead better all the time. He is also a guy the other guys can come talk to about their running or their life. Isaiah has previously been voted for many awards, including Fightin’ Bison (2009 cross country, 2010 Track, 2010 cross country, 2011 cross country), Freshman of the Year (2010 Track), and MVP (2011 cross country).
Total Commitment (who did it right, did it all, did it all the time, and did all the little things):
Women – Tessa Hoefle and Kaitlyn Llewellyn (Freshman – Perrysburg, Ohio)
Tessa has actually won this award all four of her seasons at Lipscomb now (cross country 2010, Track 2011, cross country 2011). I think that is exactly what you want from one of your team captains. Although she leads verbally as well, it is easy for the team to listen to Tessa because she walks her talk. She leads by example and does everything in her power to be the best she can possibly be, both for herself and for her team.
Kaitlyn is willing to do anything and everything she can to be great. She listens, she works super hard and does all the little things that ultimately make the big differences. What is most impressive to me about Kaitlyn is that she didn’t have the year she expected or wanted this past year athletically. Yet, that didn’t demotivate her or take anything away from her commitment to the team or her desire to succeed. She just keeps working. And it will pay off big in the near future.
Men – Kenny Smith (Freshman – Etowah, Tenn.)
Kenny is a friend to everyone on the team and one of the hardest workers on the team. As we were putting together projected 4x400m relay teams during the season, Kenny was never in the top four. I’m sure he got kind of irritated that he was usually listed at 5 or 6, but he just kept working, gave everything he had, and when his opportunities came, he made them pay off big. Kenny’s hard work got him on the varsity 4x400m indoor and outdoor teams at the A-Sun Championships. The result? Both teams earned All-Conference honors, with the Outdoor 4x400m relay team winning the A-Sun Championship. He also earned all-A-Sun honors on the 4x100m relay, and helped set school records in all three relays.
Freshman of the Year:
Women – Kendra Lobley
This was an easy vote. Kendra won this award overwhelmingly and rightly so. If you are voted A-Sun Freshman of the Year, you are probably also going to be Lipscomb Track Freshman of the Year. She had a freshman track season to remember, and has not only shown what a freshman can do, she has motivated our whole team.
Men – Matt Deery
Matt put together terrific indoor and outdoor seasons. He earned A-Sun honors in the indoor heptathlon and the pole vault, and the outdoor 110m hurdles. He set school indoor records in the 60m hurdles, the pole vault and the heptathlon, and outdoor school records in the 110m hurdles and pole vault. He competed in so many different events and competed fully in each. He’s a great guy, with a positive attitude and a huge desire to succeed. Matt has an incredibly bright future.”
Women – Kendra Lobley
There isn’t much left to be said about Kendra. On an incredibly talented and motivated team, Kendra was voted Most Improved, Fightin Bison, Freshman of the Year and MVP. She made a gigantic mark on our program this year, and I am excited to watch her get better and better, as she helps lead this team to bigger goals yet.
Men – Tucker Peabody (Sophomore – Memphis, Tenn.)
Tucker built upon his excellent freshman season last year, by breaking school records in the 55m, 60m and 200m indoors, and the 200m, 4x100m and 4x400m outdoors. He also tied Robert Smith’s 100m school record set in 1976. Tucker won the conference championships in the indoor and outdoor 200m. He also led off the A-Sun Champion 4x400m Relay team. I am especially proud of him for that, as he has been reluctant to run the 400m. So when he did, he gave his best and was rewarded with another conference title. Tucker also earned A-Sun honors this year in the indoor 60m, the outdoor 100m and the outdoor 4x100m relay. His time in the 200m this season (21.14) qualified him to the NCAA Division I National Championship Preliminary Round. It was another terrific season for Tucker, and a season in which he grew a ton. We look forward to his next two years in the sprints!
2011 Track & Field Team Captains:
Women – Tessa Hoefle, Catherine Beals, Dani Walker, Taylor Mason
Men – Isaiah Greer, Geoff Musick, Benton Reed
All A-Sun First Team
Women – Kendra Lobley (3000m steeplechase), Kendra Lobley (5000m Outdoor)
Men – Tucker Peabody (200m Indoor), Tucker Peabody (200m Outdoor), Tucker Peabody (4x400 Outdoor), Kenny Smith (4x400 Outdoor), Bobby Bassett (4x400 Outdoor), Colin Dempster (4x400 Outdoor)
All A-Sun Second Team
Women – Kendra Lobley (Mile Indoor), Dani Walker (1500m), Ashley Lehman (10,000m), Valerie Winkler (4x400 Outdoor), Dani Walker (4x400 Outdoor), Brenna Thompson (4x400 Outdoor), Sara Stephens (4x400 Outdoor)
Men – Matt Deery (Pole Vault Indoor), Ryan Whitley (4x400 Indoor), Kenny Smith (4x400 Indoor), Bobby Bassett (4x400 Indoor), Colin Dempster (4x400 Indoor), Colin Dempster (400m Outdoor), Matt Deery (110m Hurdles), Ashton Fisher (3000m Steeplechase)
All A-Sun Third Team
Women – Dani Walker (Mile Indoor), Kendra Lobley (DMR), Brenna Thompson (DMR), Katie Bunker (DMR), Dani Walker (DMR), Taylor Mason (Javelin)
Men – Tucker Peabody (60m), Matt Deery (Heptathlon), Houston Ward (Shot Put Indoor), Colin Dempster (400m Indoor), Isaiah Greer (5000m Indoor), Andrew Wolf (400m hurdles), Tucker Peabody (100m), Colin Dempster (4x100m), Bobby Bassett (4x100m), Kenny Smith (4x100m), Tucker Peabody (4x100m).
A-Sun Outdoor Track & Field Women’s Freshman of the Year: Kendra Lobley
A-Sun Track & Field Scholar-Athlete Team
Women – INDOOR: Tessa Hoefle, Katie Bunker OUTDOOR: Tessa Hoefle, Ashley Lehman, Brittany Duerk, Katie Bunker
Men – INDOOR: Geoff Musick, Isaiah Greer, Logan Ray, Tucker Peabody OUTDOOR: Austin Ray, Isaiah Greer, Geoff Musick, Ben Wright, Tucker Peabody
A-Sun Track & Field All-Academic Honors Spring Semester (Must have a 3.0 GPA) (* = 4.0 Spring semester GPA)
Louisa Van Batavia
A-Sun Athlete of the Week Honors:
May 9 – Dani Walker
April 18 – Katie Bunker
April 18 – April Terry
April 18 – Houston Ward
March 28 – Kendra Lobley
March 21 – Kendra Lobley
Feb. 15 – Tucker Peabody
Feb. 15 – April Terry
Jan. 18 – Tucker Peabody
Coach Taylor’s Post-Season comments:
“This was another incredible year for our program. The stats and press releases speak for themselves. 2012 was the best track & field season in women’s history, and the best men’s season in the NCAA I era for sure.
“Thirty-four different school records were set this year. We qualified the first men and women in Lipscomb history to the NCAA Division I National Championships Preliminary Round. We had our first woman win two A-Sun titles in the same meet, and repeated as A-Sun champ in the women’s 3000m steeplechase. Tucker won indoor and outdoor 200m titles.
“We had the most ASUN honors in school history, more ASUN athlete of the week honors than ever before, scored the most points in school history and posted the highest team finishes for the ASUN Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Championships and the Men’s Indoor Championships.
“Kendra Lobley became the first ever Lipscomb A-Sun Freshman of the Year honoree.
“We continue to produce among the best in the nation academically, with fifteen earning a spot on the A-Sun Track & Field Scholar-Athlete Team, and almost the entire rosters earning All-Academic honors.
“And there is more to tell. But more than all that, we have the most incredible team environment and people on our teams.
“Yes, we excel athletically and we get dramatically better every single year. And yes, we are always one of the top academic programs in the nation. We do these things because our student-athletes are incredible people.
“The attitude, character and personality of our teams are second to none. We enjoy being around each other. We support each other and motivate each other to succeed. We care about each other.
“So at the end of the day, I see the points and the times and the honors as a product of what type of people we have, and what type of program we build at the foundational level. And what I am most proud of is who these athletes are as people, and what we (coaches) can do to help them become even better in every way.
“Congratulations 2012 Lipscomb University Track & Field for an incredible and historic season! Let’s take it to yet another level in 2012!”
All quotes used in this article were provided by head coach Bill Taylor.