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Taylor set to unleash distance runners on Sunday

Saturday, January 25, 2014
by Mark McGee

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – It isn’t exactly the calm before the storm, but the Emory Crossplex Invitational will be an opportunity for the Lipscomb track and field teams to do some more fine-tuning before a series of more challenging meets.

“Emory will be a good lower key meet for us,” Lipscomb coach Bill Taylor said. “It will be a great meet for our sprinters, jumpers, hurdlers, vaulters and throwers to build on a terrific start two weeks ago.

“We will run some of our distance and middle distance runners for the first time this season.  I think it is a good environment to get them going, though we haven't done any quality training yet to prepare them.  It will be a good bench mark to see where we are before we begin our regular training schedule, starting next week.”

The meet marks a return to the Birmingham Crossplex for the Bisons who opened the indoor track and field season there two weeks ago in the UAB Blazer Invite. The meet will be held Sunday with field events starting at 9:30 a.m. and track events beginning at 11.

Also competing in the meet are Alabama-Huntsville, Bethel, Brenau, Claflin, Clayton State, Georgia State, Harding, Limestone, North Alabama, Queens (N.C.), Rhodes, Tennessee Wesleyan, West Georgia, Winston-Salem State, Furman, Rust, Oglethorpe, Birmingham-Southern, Montevallo, Reinhardt, Lee, West Georgia, and Spartanburg Methodist. Several athletes will also compete as independents.

“We hope to come out of the Emory meet with improved performances across the board,” Taylor said. “And, hopefully, a bunch more school records will fall in the process,” Taylor said.

Taylor is expecting high jumper Gemikal Prude and sprinter Tucker Peabody to build on their strong efforts two weeks ago.

“As usual, Gemikal Prude and Tucker Peabody are top guys to watch,” Taylor said. “Both consistently perform at the top of every meet.

“Gemikal is coming off a second place high jump finish at UAB.  Tucker won the 300 meters at UAB.”

Colin Dempster has added a new event after a strong performance at UAB.

“Colin really impressed with his school record 800 meters,” Taylor said. “Though he has been a 400-meter specialist, and has big expectations in that event as well this season, he will again compete at 800 meters this weekend.”

Freshman Wayne Newman leads the Atlantic Sun Conference with his school record 60 meter high hurdles performance at UAB. Taylor expects him to improve on that effort.

The distance runners did not compete at UAB.

“Our young distance crew members will test themselves this weekend,” Taylor said. “Freshman Christian Freeman and sophomores Daniel Gardner, Andrew Bosket and Jared Wingerter will be leading the way.”

On the women’s side the jumps were the highlight at UAB with new school records set in the triple jump (Ki’ana Christy), high jump (Sarah Wagner) and pole vault (Sarah Browning and Sydney Sloan).  

The women will also be making their first appearances in the distance events.

“While a lot of the distance girls will not compete, distance standouts Tessa Hoefle and Sally Larson highlight an always strong group,” Taylor said.

April Terry is expected to make her presence known in the weight throw and the shot put.

“April has set and reset her own school records in both events more times than I can count in both throws,” Taylor said. “It seems she reset one or both in every meet last year, and started this year the same way with a new record in the shot at UAB two weeks ago.”