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Track & Field performs well at in-state meets
Sunday, April 12, 2015
By Logan Butts
Track & Field performs well at in-state meets

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Lipscomb track and field stayed in Tennessee for the weekend as the Bisons took part in the Boston-Moon Classic in Nashville and the Tennessee Relays in Knoxville.

The field athletes stepped up over the weekend, posting several personal records.

"We had a great weekend in some events,” Lipscomb Director of Cross Country and Track and Field Bill Taylor said. “Gemikal Prude had a season breakthrough and looks ready to clear even bigger heights in the next few weeks.  Men's throws, with Grayson Webber and Kade Hinkle leading the way at Boston-Moon, were strong.”

Prude jumped a season best 2.17m, which still makes him first in the Atlantic Sun in the event. Grayson Webber and Kade Hinkle took the top two spots in the discus at the Boston-Moon, both with personal records of 45.49m (149 feet-3 inches) for Webber and 40.55m (133 feet) for Hinkle respectively.  Webber increased his lead in the event in the A-Sun.

Webber performed well in his myriad of events at Boston-Moon. In addition to his discus win, he also finished second in the shot put with a personal record of 12.92m (42-feet, 4.75 inches), third in the hammer throw and ninth in the javelin.

Ravyn Rowlett earned a new personal record of 1.58m (5 feet 2.25 inches) in the high jump, placing her fourth in the A-Sun.

"It's really fun to see Ravyn Rowlett break through in the high jump this weekend,” Taylor said. “She's been working really hard and has been kind of stalled out. It's a nice reward for her to move the bar up.”

On the track, Jalen Thompson broke 11 seconds (10.95) in the 100m for the first time in his career. Danny Marsh set his personal record in the 800m with a time of 1:55.98. Wayne Newman also earned a new personal record (53.44) in the 400m Hurdles.

The men's 4x400m relay team, consisting of Alex Berry, Kenny Smith, Marsh and Newman, came up big, running a season best time of 3:14.88.

"A big highlight for me was watching the men's 4x400m relay,” Taylor said. “Those guys fought hard to win their heat and to drop about eight seconds off their season best I think. When you get four guys racing for each other like that, the 4x400 is the best event at the track. I look forward to seeing them go after it again soon.”

In the distance events, Juan Gonzalez set a personal record in the 1500m with a time of 3:49.66, the second best mark in the event in school history.

"Juan Gonzalez ran a perfect race in the 1500m,” Taylor said. “On that day he couldn't have run it any better. He's just a second away from the school record set by Ryan Chastain.”

Katie Sperry and Kinzie Icayan swept the top two spots in the 1500m at Boston-Moon with times of 4:55.91 and 5:01.89 respectively.

"Katie Sperry won the 1500m at Boston-Moon as she comes back from an injury,” Taylor said. “Katie Bianchini, who hasn't run a 5000m on the track for over a year, had a nice rust-breaking 5000m running 17:52. It's nice to get those two girls back and on a plan to be fast in cross country. Whatever we get out of this track season from them is a bonus.”

Several of the women’s distance runners took the weekend off in preparation for next week’s big meet.

"We sat most of our other top distance girls,” Taylor said. “Sally Larson rested in preparation for the 10,000m at Mt. Sac. Barbara Lee Ball did the same in prep for the 5000m at Mt. Sac. We were going to race Paige Stoner this weekend, who is also going to Mt. Sac for the 5000m, but she got very sick Saturday morning.”

However, despite many of the distance runners resting and being sick herself, Madi Talbert raced over the weekend.

"Madi Talbert ran the 1500m, and while she ran a 4:33 which is equivalent to about a 4:54 1600m, she was still off,” Taylor said. “We've had a lot of sickness going through both teams, and it's taking her a bit longer to recover from whatever she had last week.”

With a pair of important meets coming up next weekend, Taylor believes these meets will help the team prepare for the postseason meets.

"This next weekend we split between two meets,” Taylor said. “A few of our top athletes will go to Mt. Sac out in California, one of the biggest and best meets in the nation. The rest will compete at a new meet, the Austin Peay invite in Clarksville.  It will be the last competitions before finals, and we will take the next weekend off for finals.”

“The opportunities to make the A-Sun roster, get personal records and qualify to the NCAA Division I National Prelims are coming down to the wire. It's hard to focus through a full indoor and outdoor season. Yet, to get the goals we have, we must. So we are hoping and expecting that we continue to build this next weekend, then focus on finals, before hopefully having a big finish once finals and classes are done.”