JACKSONVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb track and field squads hit the halfway point at the Atlantic Sun Outdoor Championships, closing out the day with solid performances.
"We had a really strong first day!” said Bill Taylor, director of track and field. “I am very pleased with the effort, toughness and competitiveness of our team today.”
Madi Talbert proved the 3000-meter steeplechase is her race. Talbert not only snagged first with her time of 10:28.76, but also secured the A-Sun outdoor record in the event.
"Madi led the steeplechase from the gun,” Taylor said. “She led every step, and against the strongest competition the conference has seen, she defended her title. It was a very impressive performance."
Winning this event has become tradition for the Lady Bisons the past four years.
"We have a strong history in the 3000-meter steeplechase. Madi's win is the fourth in a row for Lipscomb in this event (Catherine Beals in 2011, Kendra Lobley in 2012, and Madi in 2013 and 2014).
“We have had at least one All-A-Sun honor in the steeplechase all seven years I've been at Lipscomb.”
Sally Larson also enjoyed a victory during day one. Larson picked up her win in the 10,000 meters with a time of 36:36.22.
"Sally also led every step of her race,” Taylor said. “The 10,000 meters is a long and grueling race. It was fun to watch her attack and build that 300-meter lead.
“It's even more impressive that she is just a freshman. It's a tough race for anyone, but especially for freshmen. In fact, I rarely run freshmen in the 10,000 meters, but Sally is a special runner.”
April Terry finished third in the hammer throw with a launch of 50.29 meters as well as the shot put with a throw of 13.10 meters.
"April had a great day, picking up All-A-Sun honors with third place finishes in the shot put and hammer throw,” Taylor said.
Kevin Floyd also had a third-place finish in the pole vault clearing 4.63 meters.
“Kevin earned his second consecutive All-A-Sun honors and Aaron (Beckwith) just missed the podium with a strong fourth place finish.”
Beckwith cleared the bar at 4.48 meters.
Colin Dempster and Jalen Thompson advanced to the finals in the 100 meters while Daniel Gardner put on an impressive showing in the 10,000 meters.
"Daniel ran a great first ever 10,000 meters Friday as well. It was a tactical race and he made a lot of good decisions.”
After day one of competition, the Lady Bisons currently hold second place in the points category with 41 while the men sit at fourth with 21.5 points.
"We were very happy with the effort from everyone and looking forward to another great day Saturday,” Taylor said.
The Bisons will finish up the last leg of the conference championships Saturday beginning with the men's decathlon at 9 a.m.