Director of Track and Field Bill Taylor announced the team awards and season honors for the 2013 Lipscomb Track & Field season.
“We have a tradition of awards that represent our core values within the cross country and track & field programs” Taylor said. “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.”
Katie Bunker (Junior – Cedarville, Ohio)
“Katie had a terrific season, setting huge PRs in the 800m and 1500,” Taylor said. “Her 2:09.38 800m was her first time under 2:10, a three-second PR, and more than five seconds faster than she ran last year. In the 1500m Katie improved by more than nine seconds, setting the school record in 4:24.57.
"More than the times, Katie showed great consistency and improved dramatically in race tactics.”
The Matt Deery Fightin’ Bison (the person who demonstrated the most guts, mental toughness and physical toughness):
Dani Walker (Junior – Wichita, Kan.) and Katie Collier (Nashville, Tenn.)
“This is the second year in a row Dani has won this award,” Taylor said. “She is known for her toughness and desire to win. She shows it in practice and in competition. Although Dani had an injury midway through the outdoor season, she put together one of the greatest indoor and early outdoor seasons in program history, having probably the greatest Indoor Track Championship in A-Sun history for a distance runner.
“She used her toughness and talent to win three indoor A-Sun titles, to be named A-Sun Indoor Athlete of the Year. She posted stellar marks in the 800m, 1500m, mile, 3000m, 3000m steeplechase and 5000m, along with a low-56 split in the 4x400m relay.
“During the indoor season she set school records for every distance race (800m, Mile, 3000m and 5000m) along with both relays (4x400, Distance Medley). She also set the A-Sun 3000m record and just missed the A-Sun mile and 5000m records.
“Katie Collier walked on to the program last year and started working with a variety of events. This season she transitioned to being a multi-event athlete, competing in the indoor pentathlon and outdoor heptathlon, both of which she set school records in. She was also a stand-out in the javelin.
“The big things about Katie are she always has a huge smile on her face, and you always know she is going to give her absolute best and gut everything out. She has been an inspiration to the team and a very positive example.”
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):
April Terry (Sophomore – Little Rock, Ark.)
“April is our top woman thrower and an incredibly positive force on the team," Taylor said. "It is not easy impacting everyone in a positive way when you are competing in an event that trains outside the track complex, and often competes at meets outside the track complex. That makes this award even more impressive for April.
"Despite the geographical challenges of her event, April has made an impact on everyone, showing care and concern and a desire for greatness for the whole team. April will also serve as a team captain for the 2013-14 seasons.”
For the Team (the best teammate, the most positive and caring):
Tessa Hoefle (Junior – Winnebago, Ill.)
“Tessa was voted ‘For the Team’ for the second time this year and the second year in a row for both Cross Country and Track & Field," Taylor said. "Tessa served as a team captain for the second year. She leads and takes care of the team in every way and has grown dramatically as a leader this year.
"The award speaks for itself, and to receive it in both sports two years in a row is no accident, especially on a team as caring and close as ours is. Academically Tessa continues to hold a 4.0 GPA, was named A-Sun Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row, and A-Sun Track & Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year as well.
“She earned All-A-Sun honors indoors in the 3000m and 5000m, and outdoors in the 3000m steeplechase and the 5000m, which she was conference champion in. It was another great season in every way for Tessa, and for the team with her leadership.”
Total Commitment (who did it right, did it all, did it all the time, and did all the little things):
Tessa Hoefle (Junior – Winnebago, Ill.) and Kaitlyn Llewellyn (Freshman – Perrysburg, Ohio)
“Tessa has actually won this award all six of her seasons at Lipscomb now (cross country 2010, track 2011, cross country 2011, track 2012, cross country 2012, and now track 2013),” Taylor said. “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 has now co-won this award for the second year in a row in track. She 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.
“This season Kaitlyn not only did everything she was supposed to do on and off the track. She spent extra time working on changing her biomechanics with some very painful and time consuming form workouts.
“In addition, she earned All-A-Sun Scholar-Athlete honors this outdoor season with a 4.0 cumulative GPA. Her desire to succeed in every way is as high as anyone on the team.”
Freshman of the Year:
Madi Talbert (Freshman – Charlotte, N.C.)
“There was no question about this," Taylor said. "And that was before Madi became the first athlete in Lipscomb University history to qualify for an NCAA I National Championship final.
"Madi had an incredible season, setting all kinds of freshman records. Although she earned All-A-Sun honors in the indoor mile and distance medley relay and the outdoor 5000m, her most notable performances came in the 3000m Steeplechase, in which she won the A-Sun title and set a new A-Sun record.
"Her time at the A-Sun Championships qualified her for the NCAA I National Championship Preliminary Round. Madi went into the preliminary round ranked 42nd in the East. She left it ranked 12th, with a huge school record and 20-second PR, earning her trip to the NCAA I National Championship Finals.
“She also qualified for the U.S. Junior National Championships in the 1500/Mile, 3000m, 5000m and 3000m Steeplechase. She will participate in the 3000m Steeplechase.”
Madi Talbert (Freshman – Charlotte, N.C.)
“There isn’t much left to be said that hasn’t already been said under Freshman of the Year," Taylor said. "Madi became the third different Lipscomb runner in a row to win the A-Sun Steeplechase, and made history for this program with her qualification for the NCAA I National Championship Finals.
"She has opened the psychological door for the entire team to understand that they too can qualify. Madi is an extremely talented athlete and has just scratched the surface of what she is capable of doing. She will do huge things for our program in the years to come.”