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MVP honors given to Walker for top female athlete
Saturday, February 23, 2013
By Ryan Hilgemann
MVP honors given to Walker for top female athlete

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The Lipscomb track and field squad closed out the Atlantic Sun Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships on a high note on Saturday with junior Dani Walker winning the MVP of the meet for the women, the first such award for Lipscomb.

Both squads finished fifth overall as the women accumulated 101 points, an all-time high, while the men accumulated 59.5 points. Jacksonville took the gold for the women with a total score of 173 points while Kennesaw State earned top-honors with 228.5 points on the men’s side.

Walker’s great meet started on Friday by winning the 3000m in record fashion and carried the momentum into Saturday winning two more events, both in school-record times. She won the mile run in 4:43.89, almost 10 seconds in front of second place Joane Pierre of Jacksonville. Proving she can also run the long distance events just as well, Walker won the 5000 meter run by nearly 23 seconds. A time of 16:59.00 gave Walker the Gold. Her 31.5 individual points was more than any competitor at the meet.

“Dani is at a whole different level,” Bill Taylor, director of cross country and track and field, said. “She had the best meet for a women’s distance runner in A-Sun Indoor Championship history.

“She won the 3000m in meet record time, the mile with the second-fastest time in A-Sun history and the 5000m with the third fastest time in A-Sun history. Thirty minutes after the 5000m, she anchors our 4X400 with a 56.3 split and leans at the line, coming from behind into a fourth place finish.”

The Lady Bisons finished strong in the 5000 with Tessa Hoefle, Madelin Talbert and Maggie Lawrence finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Talbert also finished third in the mile run in a time of 5:01.50 for all-conference honors.

“Our women’s distance runners really stepped up as a whole,” Taylor said. “We are rapidly moving to that elite team level. Tessa picked up two all-conference honors. Madi and Katie Bunker each got one.”

Katie Bunker earned all-conference in the 800 meter run as she finished in a time of 2:14.96 for the bronze medal.

Tucker Peabody defended his 200m dash title in a time of 21.27 seconds. Peabody who has dominated the event this season finished more than two-tenths of a second faster than Sadio Diallo of Kennesaw State.

“Tucker ran another fantastic 200,” Taylor said. “A very exciting defense of his 200 title.”

Gemikal Prude broke the school record in the high jump with a leap of 2.10 meters. His jump, earning the silver medal, broke a record that he co-held with a mark that dated back to 1977.

Brenna Thompson finished just off the medal stand as she finished fourth in the 400. Her time of 57.30 was just three-hundredths of a second out of third place.

The women’s 4X4 relay squad also finished just off the medal stand as the team consisting of Thompson, Sara Stephens, Bunker and Walker finished in a time of 3:54.87.

April Terry upped her school record in the weight throw with a toss of 16.09 meters. She finished sixth in a stout field of throwers.

Andrew Wolf ran a school-record 8.78 seconds in the 60 meter hurdles as he finished seventh.

“It was a great meet for us,” Taylor said. “It is a great setup for the outdoor season.”