Strong start for Lipscomb track and field at UNF Spring Break
Friday, March 1, 2013
By Ryan Hilgemann
Strong start for Lipscomb track and field at UNF Spring Break

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Lipscomb track and field squads got off to a strong start Friday at the North Florida Spring Break Invite in Jacksonville. The Bisons and Lady Bisons claimed two gold medals, four silver and three bronze on the opening day.  

On the heels of being named the Atlantic Sun Conference Most Outstanding Track Performer, unior Dani Walker picked up right where she left off in the indoor season as she won the 800m run. Her school-record run was clocked in at 2:08.33.

“Dani continues her impressive season with a fifth school-record in the past eight days,” Bill Taylor, director of cross country and track and field, said. “It was a good way to start the outdoor season.

Katie Bunker finished with the bronze in a time of 2:15.74 in the event. Lipscomb also placed runners in the 8-12 positions with Madelin Talber, Brenna Thompson, Tess Hoefle and Kendra Lobley.

“We loaded up the 800 today,” Taylor said. “Most of our distance runners dropped down, our long sprinters moved up and joined our middle distance runners. I think two-thirds of our team was warming up for the 800. We had a lot of great performances. Katie Bunker was real strong and Brenna Thompson, a 200 and 400 runner, ran a very impressive 2:18 today.

The 5000m proved to be a strong-hold for the Lady Bisons with a podium sweep led by Alex Newby’s winning time of 17:39.81. Minna Fields and Renee Menzie finished second and third, respectively.

“It was a great end to the day with a 1-2-3 finish in the women’s 5000,” Taylor said. “We didn’t enter many, but we continue to send a message about our strength and depth in distance.”

The first time out with the javelin throwers, Lipscomb had a pair of second place finishes. John Clevenger finished second with a toss of 50.33 meters on the men’s side. Taylor Mason, an all-conference performer last season, finished second in the women’s bracket with a throw of 36.41 meters.

Sophomore Houston Ward picked up a pair of silver medals in the discus and shot put. A toss of 45.56 meters in the discus earned him second place in his first time in the discus this year. A throw of 15.10 meters garnered second place honors in the shot.

“Houston started the season right with two second place finishes,” Taylor said. “It was a very strong start to the outdoor season with our throws as Taylor and John each picked up second place as well.”

Junior Tucker Peabody was the top collegiate finisher in the 400 meter dash. He finished in a time of 49.85 seconds for a fourth overall finish. The three runners in front of him were all running unattached in the meet.

Day two of the meet gets underway at 8 a.m. on Saturday with both running events and field events.