The Lady Bisons put an exclamation point on the day one performances at the Atlantic Sun Indoor Track & Field Championships in Johnson City with a thrilling Distance Medley Relay victory by one-one-hundredth of a second over defending champion and favorite Jacksonville.
Amanda Twigg (SO – Cumberland, Md.) led the relay off with a 1200m leg of 3:40.8. She handed off in second, just behind Jacksonville, as those two teams separated themselves from the rest of the field. Sara Stephens (SO – Dickson, Tenn.) split 57.8 for the 400m leg, handing off to Katie Bunker (FR – Cedarville, Ohio) in a close second. Katie took over the lead and built a few seconds of cushion in the last lap of her 800m leg, running a split of 2:14.0. Dani Walker, a freshman from Wichita, Kans., then ran a perfect mile, going out with a lead strong and settling in for the long haul.
About 500 meters later Jacksonville’s standout, Joane Pierre, caught Dani. The two ran side by side for the next 800 meters. With about 250m to go, Dani put in a surge. Pierre immediately matched it, passed and pulled slightly ahead. Dani stuck right to her though, setting up a big finish kick off the final corner.
The two sprinted as hard as they could off the final corner, side-by-side all the way to the finish line. In a photo finish, Lipscomb emerged as conference champion with a time of 11:52.93; just .01 ahead of Jacksonville’s 11:52.94. That time took more than 9 seconds off the A-Sun record, and more than 24 seconds off the Lipscomb school record. Dani’s mile time was 5:00.0.
“Wow, it was one of the best races I have ever seen!” said Lipscomb coach Bill Taylor. “Last year’s men’s race was one of the best I had ever seen, and this topped it.
“It was just awesome how our women worked together, poured it all out there for each other, and fought with everything they had. When the race finished I just thought, it doesn’t matter if we won or not, that was so incredible and I’m so proud of them. It was a bonus that we won too.
“I think this was a statement race for our program too. We are capable of anything. We are going to be absolutely incredible. This is still just the beginning of where we are headed. But it was a message that we are united and committed to doing it all.”
Taylor categorized the race as perfect.
“It truly was,” Taylor said. “It was the perfect race, and those are rare. I know they really enjoyed it. I hope they continue to enjoy it. But we do have more races to be ready for tomorrow.
In other day one action, 10 personal bests were set, and three other school records were broken.
Tessa Hoefle (FR – Winnebago, Ill.) ran a new personal best and broke her own school record (set last week) in the 3000m with a time of 10:14.81, good enough for fifth place. Catherine Beals (JR – Glasgow, Ky.) finished 11th overall in 10:30.16, Shelby Marvel (SO – Ashland, Tenn.) was 12th in 10:30.40, Emily Longden (SO – Jacksonville, Fla.) ran an all-time PR of 10:34.46 for 13th and Ashley Lehman (JR – Harrisburg, Va.) ran 10:34.48 for 14th.
Tim Muller (SO – Denver, Colo.) led the men’s distance with a new PR of 8:37.06 in the 3000m, placing 5th overall. Geoff Musick (SO – Nashville, Tenn.) also ran a new PR, finishing 12th in 8:54.98. Benton Reed (JR – Scottsboro, Ala.), Trace Carlson (JR – Oregon, Ill.) and Ben Wright (SO – Vincinnes, Ind.) ran times of 9:11.74, 9:24.85 and 9:41.84 respectively. Tucker Peabody (FR – Memphis, Tenn.) continued his excellent freshman sprinting campaign, running a PR of 7.00 in the 60m Dash, qualifying in the fifth positions for Saturday’s finals.
Dillon Seigenthaller (SO – Franklin, Tenn.) sits in fourth in the men’s heptathlon. He will finish the event with the 60m hurdles, pole vault and 1000m run Saturday morning.
Natalie Stewart (FR – Nashville, Tenn.) finished her first ever pentathlon, finishing 11th with new PR’s in the 60m Hurdles, Long Jump and High Jump. Her high jump was also a new school record.
Taylor Mason (SO – Inman, S.C.) posted a new PR and took down the final school record of the day with a 10.56m throw in the shot put.
Alex Jerkins (JR – Nashville, Tenn.) finished sixth in the men’s shot put in 14.61.
Logan Ray (SO – Louisville, Ky.) just missed a PR in the long jump, with a leap of 20-5, good enough for 11th.
In the women’s 60m Hurdles, Sadie Stone (FR – Louisville, Ky.) finished 14th in 9.95, Julia Shrewsbury (FR – Lake Placid, Fla.) finished 16h in 10:39 and Natalie Stewart finished 19th in 10:98.
The men’s distance medley relay of Isaiah Greer (SO – Johnson City, Tenn.), Bobby Bassett (SO – League City, Texas), Andrew Jones (JR - Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) and Ashton Fisher (SO – Ellsworth, Mich.) finished fourth in the Distance Medley Relay in 10:28.48, the final event of the day.