TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – In one of the first outdoor meets of the season, the Lipscomb track and field squad put together a solid performance over the weekend at the Alabama Relays in Tuscaloosa.
Madi Talbert stood tall among a group of great Bison performances with a win in the 3000m Steeplechase. Talbert put together a blazing time of 10:35.25. The time is ranked number one in the A-Sun, the East Region and the nation for the event.
"We entered Madi Talbert in the 3000m Steeplechase to just work on form and technique,” Lipscomb track and field head coach Bill Taylor said, “I told her I didn't care about the time or the place. She is running the steeple at the Stanford Invitational in two weeks, and we felt it would be good to get some actual race work in before she competes in one of the top distance meets in the nation.”
Talbert is a two-time A-Sun champion in the event, as well as a two-time NCAA Division 1 National Championship qualifier. Her time this weekend put her in a good position to qualify for those events again this season.
"She looked really smooth and her water jumps got better and better through the race,” Taylor said, “She put up a solid early season time and winning the race was a bonus. She's so talented, and she absolutely loves the steeple. It was a nice way to start the season.”
Wayne Newman also had a successful day on the track by finishing second in the 110m high hurdles with a time of 14.27. The time breaks his own school record and ranks number one in the A-Sun, number nine in the East Region and number 15 in the nation.
"Wayne continued an impressive debut from last week by crushing his times in both hurdle races this week,” Taylor said, “He looked very strong in both races and is an exciting competitor. He's just getting things started and is showing he is going to be someone to watch nationally.”
Newman also finished 6th in the 400m Hurdles with a time of 53.46, a new personal record. That time is also first in the A-Sun, giving Newman two top times in the conference.
Paige Stoner joined the sub-17 club in the 5000m, the fourth female runner to do so for Lipscomb this season. She finished 4th in the meet, set a new personal record and now ranks number one in the A-Sun in the event. She also ranks second in the East Region and sixth in the nation.
"It was a big personal record for Paige, and a tough race,” Taylor said, “Breaking 17 is a significant barrier. Once you get under 17, you have a whole new world of possibilities.
"We now have four women under 17 this season already. I am hoping we get six or seven under, and four to five well under 16:30.”
For men’s distance Juan Gonzalez, Christian Freeman and Jared Wingerter all ran fast times in the 1500m. Gonzalez's time of 3:53.50 ranks first in the A-Sun, 19th in the East Region and 80th in the nation.
"The distance guys showed well too,” Taylor said, “Juan Gonzalez, Christian Freeman and Jared Wingerter had strong 1500m races. We are looking forward to Juan and Jared running in the 5000m, and Christian will make his debut in the steeplechase next weekend.”
In the field events, Karly Hibbard finished second in the javelin with a throw of 134-0. It was a personal record for Hibbard, and propelled her to top of the event in the A-Sun. She also ranks 41st in the East Region and 72nd in the nation.
" Karly Hibbard had a terrific sequence of throws Thursday night in the women's javelin,” Taylor said, “Her longest throw was an all-time personal record by more than a foot, and only 3-inches from our school record. I think her performance generated excitement for the whole team and set the tone for the weekend.”
After such a successful weekend, the Bisons are looking forward to a pair of meets coming up next weekend, the Raleigh Relays and the Vanderbilt Black and Gold Invite.
"I was happy with the effort and competitiveness of our team at Alabama,’ Taylor said, “This meet served its purpose very well. Although we competed last week, this meet was the normal collegiate outdoor meet, with big fields and a lot of depth in every event. As a team we responded very well.
"As I've said, the season will go fast. So it was nice to see a lot of people taking full advantage of the opportunities they had this weekend. We had a strong showing, while discovering what it will take to get even better."