CARBONDALE, Ill. – The Lipscomb track and field squad’s trip up north to the Southern Illinois Invite was a successful one. The Bisons earned wins both on the track and in the field over the weekend.
"SIU was a solid meet for us,” Lipscomb head coach Bill Taylor said. “I am happy with the steady progress we are making and the competitiveness we are showing.”
Gemikal Prude took home another first place finish with his best leap of the season so far. Out on the track, Juan Gonzalez also grabbed a first place slot in the mile run.
"Prude and Gonzalez had to be the highlights of the day,” Taylor said, “Gemikal won the high jump with a season best 7-foot 1.75-inch leap, ranking him 10th in the nation. Juan won the mile in a time of 4:12.00, which converts to 4:08.83 and leads the Atlantic Sun.”
Taylor explains that during the indoor season results sometimes have to be converted due to differing track sizes.
"That may be confusing for some people,” Taylor said. “Because indoor tracks come in all shapes and sizes, some give an advantage for times and some a disadvantage. So for ranking purposes, a flat 200m track gets a conversion so it is not a disadvantage as compared to a banked track or an oversized indoor track. It's a way of trying to make the qualifying times equal to each other no matter what track you run on. It's a unique aspect of indoor track.”
Christian Freeman posted one of the top times in the mile run as well, finishing two spots behind Gonzalez
"In that same mile race Christian Freeman finished third in a solid time of 4:16.86,” Taylor said. “That time also converts down to 4:13.63 and ranks him fourth in the A-Sun.”
With several of the top female distance runners resting up for a big meet in Washington next weekend, other runners were able to step up and run season best times at the meet.
"We rested our top distance girls this meet,” Taylor said. “It was really fun to see our depth of talent on the women's side step up with some terrific personal records and season bests. The racing intelligence and courage is just growing and it was apparent in performances by Taylor Romine, Kelsey Ibarra, Alex Tate, Avery Franklin, Hannah Munyan and Katie Grace. Romine and Ibarra were especially impressive this weekend.”
In another solid meet, Wayne Newman placed second in the 400m while also competing in two other events.
"Wayne Newman posted a second place finish in the open 400m, with a track time of 50.41, which converts to 49.62,” Taylor said. “He also ran a great leg of the 4x400m relay and ran well in the 60m hurdles."
Abby Newby and Devon Wade made their season debuts in the pentathlon and the heptathlon respectively.
“Newby and Wade both finished fourth in their season multi debuts,” assistant coach Luke Syverson said. “I'm proud of the way they competed.”
Syverson was impressed with the performace of the field competitors, but knows that there are things that need to be improved before the Atlantic Sun Championships.
"Grayson had good personal records in both the shot and weight throw and is ranked in the top five in conference right now in both,” Syverson said. “I saw some good things out of several of the field eventers this weekend and also some areas of glaring weakness that we need to correct before the A-Sun championships. I’m glad to see some improvement and glad to have the next few weeks to make those corrections that need to be made."
After a successful weekend, Taylor and the rest of the team are looking forward to the two upcoming meets that precede the A-Sun Championships.
"We have our final indoor meet before the Atlantic Sun Championships next weekend,” Taylor said. “We are taking some of our top distance runners out to the University of Washington to compete in the 5000m in one of the best indoor distance meets in the nation. Most of the rest of the team will travel to Indiana University for the Hoosier Hills Invite, a meet that is usually our best of the indoor season. So the final week of the regular indoor season should be a great one before we prepare to compete at the ASUN Championships."
The Bisons will be split into two events next weekend. The Husky Classic will take place on Friday and Saturday in Washington, while the Hoosier Invite will take place on Saturday in Indiana.