MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – The Lipscomb track and field squads proved that they are not afraid of a challenge.
The teams went into a demanding competition and came out with their heads held high in confidence.
"We had a solid third day of competition here in Myrtle Beach,” said Bill Taylor, director of track and field. “It was a very successful meet and the team had a good time. We performed well, and we got some invaluable team bonding.”
The women’s distance runners put forth fantastic effort in the final day of competition. Dani Walker, Sally Larson, and Madi Talbert finished strong in their respective events.
“We won three of the five distance races we entered, the 10,000 meters (Sally Larson), 3000 meter-steeplechase (Madi Talbert) and Dani Walker added a win in the mile,” Taylor said.
Walker’s first-place finish in the mile run was earned with a time of 4:55.53. She also made a great impact in the 800 meters shortly after the mile.
“She came back to finish second in the 800 meters a bit more than an hour later, running 2:10.36, which was faster than the meet record,” Taylor said.
Jared Wingerter pulled off an exciting victory in the 3000 meters today as well.
"Not to be outdone, Jared Wingerter ran a brilliant 3000-meter race for the men, winning the race in a new personal best and school record of 8:29.50,” Taylor said. “It's really impressive how quickly Jared has developed and how he has improved so much in both race relaxation and tactical intelligence.”
Junior Minna Fields added extra power to her attempt in the 3000 meter, which would throw her in the top three.
"Minna Fields challenged for the win in the 3000 meters, finishing third in 10:01.63,” Taylor said. “She ran a terrific race and really put herself in great position.”
Christian Freeman and Andrew Bosket both saw positive results from their performances today as well.
"Christian Freeman finished fourth in the men's mile, and Andrew Bosket finished fourth in the 800 meters,” Taylor said. “Both were strong performances.”
As has been tradition in the meet, more personal records were reset Saturday.
“I was really happy with Kayla Droessler running a big personal best in the mile (5:01.68),” Taylor said. “Barbara Lee Ball also added a personal record in the women's 3000 meters (10:05.81).”
The field athletes also made their mark in today’s clash with several high-ranking finishes and a broken record.
“Kevin Floyd had a season best vault of 4.75 meters (15’ 7”) in the pole vault,” Taylor said. “Ki'Ana Christy broke the school record in the triple jump with a leap of 11.30 meters (37’ 1”).
“Aaron Beckwith earned a second-place finish in the B section of the pole vault with a leap of 14’ 7.25”. And Jalen Thompson finished fourth in the B section of the long jump with 21’ 2.5”.”
With this meet officially in the books, the teams are ready to really start preparing for the competitions yet to come throughout the rest of the outdoor season.
"In many ways, this meet feels like the end of the pre-season for outdoor,” Taylor said. “Even though it all counts, we know that when we get home, we have to focus and dig in for the stretch to A-Sun.
“We have one likely NCAA I National Championships preliminary qualifier from this weekend (Madi Talbert in the 3000 meter-steeplechase). Our goal is to have fifteen, so we have a lot of work to do in a lot of events still.
“We broke some school records this weekend, but we are greedy and used to breaking most of the school records each season,” Taylor said. “The bar is high, but we want to push it so much higher.”
While Lipscomb did not shut out the competition, the Bisons still stuck together and finished out the three-day competition with poise.
"So we come away from this meet happy, but not satisfied,” Taylor said. “I am excited to see what the next few meets have in store for us."
The next stop on the agenda for track and field will be close to home as they compete in the Vanderbilt Black and Gold meet March 28 and 29.