JAKCSONVILLE – The Lipscomb track and field squad closed out the Atlantic Sun Outdoor Championships on Saturday on a high note as the Purple and Gold grabbed multiple wins and all-conference positions.
The Bisons also compiled the program’s highest championship point total for both the men’s and women’s squad in school history.
Overall each side finished in third, with the women's team compiling 128 points and the men's team earned 120.
“We definitely ended the season with a bang at the conference championships,” said Lipscomb assistant coach Marcus Evans. “We had strong performances and our team stepped up big to score more points than we ever had at the meet.”
Junior Wayne Newman earned two conference championships, broke two school records, and set one conference record on a busy Saturday. In the 110m hurdle, he won with a time of 14.09 seconds. He broke the conference record for the 400m hurdle with a mark of 51.59 seconds.
“Wayne Newman broke two school records this weekend with gold medals in both the 400m hurdles and the 110m Hurdles,” Evans said. “He has set himself up for a great run on the way to Eugene for the NCAA championships.”
The women’s side swept the 5K podium, with senior Madi Talbert taking first with a time of 16:50.02, her second win of the weekend. Junior Katie Bianchini (16:53.18) and freshman Brooke Kingma (16:53.98) took second and third, respectively.
“It was awesome to see Maddie win the 5K and steeple,” Lipscomb assistant coach Benton Reed said. “She is such a tough competitor. It was a tough double, but she was up for the challenge. Madi has had an incredible season, and we are very proud of her.
“Brooke and Katie also ran great to complete the sweep of the podium in the 5K. These ladies ran patiently and knew exactly when to push. It was a fun race.”
Junior Jake Poyner earned two all-conference spots on Saturday, with a second place finish in the 1500m (3:52.10) and a third place finish in the 5K (15:16.64).
“We were happy Jake got third,” Reed said. “He had a tough double with little time between 1500 and 5k. But he made no excuses and ran well!
The men's 1500 was an exciting race. Four of the five ran personal best. Jake was the only one who didn't PR, but took a smart risk and ended up in second. He really opened up the race. It was fun to watch.”
Senior Daniel Gardner took fifth in the 5K with a career-best time of 15:23.62, while fellow senior Jared Wingerter grabbed fourth in the 1500m with a career-best mark of 3:54.12.
“Jared Wingerter also made a strong move and just missed a podium finish, but he got a PR. We are so proud of the senior for taking a big risk and leaving it all out there,” Reed said.
In the women’s 1500m, Lipscomb grabbed three of the top five spots. Bianchini (4:27.93) earned the second place all-conference nod, while freshman Sam Woodford (4:40.69) and sophomore Kacey Kemper (4:42.16) came in fourth and fifth, respectively.
“In the women's 1500 Katie ran a huge PR,” Reed said. “She was on a mission and challenged the leader. She kicked to an impressive second place finish. Sam and Kacey ran well and scored some nice points for us.”
In the 800m, Woodford placed second on the women’s side (2:10.52), while freshman Ryan Speer won the men’s conference title (1:52.60). Senior Andrew Bosket (1:54.48) and sophomore Sam Remington (1:54.95) placed fifth and sixth, respectively.
“The men's 800 was my favorite race of the weekend on the distance side,” Reed said. “Ryan won with his awesome kick over the last 100 meters. He ran smart and earned that victory. Andrew Bosket also had a great kick to get fifth spot. We were excited to see our senior go out with an awesome race. Also, a big shout out goes to Sam Remington for scoring from the first heat. It's tough to do especially, as deep as the 800 was for the conference. He ran a PR and snuck into sixth to get a point.
“In the women's 800, Sam ran awesome. She was so patient and attacked the second half with a lot of grit. She finished second and earned a PR.”
Senior Gemikal Prude earned third place in the high jump with a leap of 2.11m.
“Gemikal once again jumped over 2.11 meters,” Evans said. “It wasn't the prettiest competition, but he put himself in the hunt for the championship and placed third behind two guys who have also qualified for the Preliminary Round of the NCAA’s.”
Junior Devon Wade place third in the decathlon pole vault with a 4.31m mark, while he earned 5516 points overall.
“Devon Wade finished his career with a great performance in the Decathlon,” Evans said. “He matched or broke a personal record in seven events and topped his previous best score by almost 500 points.”
Freshman Stephen Gibson earned a second all-conference nod with a second place finish in the discus throw with a toss of 42.86m.
As several of the seniors’ careers came to an end over the weekend, Evans and the rest of the staff were proud of not only how they competed in the meet, but how they have competed over the past years with the program.
“I want to say thanks to our seniors,” Evans said. “In talking with the coaches, we are incredibly thankful for the past four or five years you all have given us. We have a class that changed the track and field culture here. The success we are having now is a direct result of leg work put in when all of these team members stepped on campus. We wish them luck moving forward.”
Reed echoed Evans’ sentiment, and added onto how well all of the athletes performed over the weekend.
“The coaches are so proud of these athletes, and the fight they brought,” Reed said. “Conference is a long couple of days and our athletes came prepared. We love the PR’s and the toughness they brought this weekend. It's been an awesome season.”
As for the next round of competition, five Bisons are potentially set to move on to the NCAA Division I East Region Preliminaries.
“We are optimistic that five athletes will compete at the preliminary round of nationals in a couple weeks,” Reed said. “Sally Larson and Barbara Lee Ball in the 10K, Madi Talbert in the 3K steeplechase, Gemikal Prude in the high jump, and Wayne Newman in the 110 hurdles and 400 hurdles. We are excited for the opportunity and look forward to continue our season.”