Former Lipscomb three-time All-American Madi Talbert will look to continue her storybook track and field career after earning a spot in the upcoming U.S. Olympic Team Trials. She will join 23 of the best runners in the country in the 3000m steeplechase which will run at 6:03 CST on Monday July 4 in Eugene, Oregon at historic Hayward Field.
"Qualifying for the Olympic Trials is obviously a huge accomplishment,” Bill Taylor, Lipscomb Director of Cross Country and Track and Field Bill, said. “It puts her among the best in the world. It's a big statement for Madi and for Lipscomb. I'm happy she will get this opportunity. She has a chance to qualify for the Olympic Games. That is so cool.”
Talbert won the Atlantic Sun Conference 3000m steeplechase title all four years at Lipscomb and is the first Bison to ever compete in the Olympic Trials.
The trials will run from July 1-10 with NBC Sports providing coverage throughout the week.
Talbert will need to get through the first round and then post a top-3 time in the steeplechase final on Thursday July 7 in order to secure her spot on Team USA for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from August 5-21.
"Madi has achieved things that are very important both for the cross country and track programs and for Lipscomb Athletics as a whole,” Taylor said. “She is proof that Lipscomb can develop world class athletes and that we can do anything.”
Talbert qualified for the trials by running a personal best 9:50.57 in the 2015 NCAA Division I East Region Prelims, which was the fourth best time in the nation from the East Region and West Region Prelims combined.
“Wow. That’s basically what we were all saying about Madi’s race,” Taylor said following her run. “Not that it was surprising she could do that, but it was exciting that she went out and did it.
"Madi's accomplishments have been very important for us. They have helped move our program into the national and international picture. Most of all, her accomplishments and development show what is possible here."
Taylor believes Talbert is just the tip of the iceberg for Lipscomb athletes on the Olympic stage.
"Madi is outrageously talented, there is no doubt about that,” Taylor said. “She has developed amazingly in our program and has accomplished so many great things.
“There are many athletes in our program now, and more that will come, that can reach the same levels as Madi. I really hope she is the example for others that they can get there too. I expect to see many Lipscomb athletes in the Olympic Trials and the Olympic Games in the future.”
Between track and cross country, the Charlotte, North Carolina native finished her prolific Lipscomb career as one of the most accomplished student-athletes in the school’s history with four National Championship appearances, 10 Atlantic Sun titles, 20 All-Conference honors and 13 ASUN Runner of the Week nods.