NASHVILLE – The Lipscomb track and field squad kicked off their 2018 indoor campaign with a successful performance across town at the Commodore Invite hosted by Vanderbilt Invite on Friday and Saturday.
"We had a really strong season opener at Vanderbilt,” Lipscomb Director of Track and Field Bill Taylor said. “You never know what to expect in the first meet of the year. The coaching staff was very pleased with what we saw, especially in terms of effort and competitiveness.
“We had strong performances in every event area. I would say men's middle distance led the way.”
Freshman Jonathan Schwind came up big in his first track meet as a Bison, taking first place in the mile with an indoor program-record time of 4:11.01.
“It was great seeing Schwind out there,” Taylor said. He ran a terrific mile and just pulled away in the last two laps.”
Junior Ryan Speer also turned in a top performance for men’s distance, placing fourth in the 800m with a 1:50.34, breaking his own school indoor record in the process.
“Ryan also ran great in the 800m,” Taylor said. “He and Jonathan really led the way for the whole team.”
Sophomore Ahmed Amaar placed fifth in both of his events: the 60m and the 200m, posting times of 6.96 seconds and 22.04 seconds, respectively.
"Ahmed ran great in both sprints,” Taylor said. “He is ready for a big season. Grant Mason had a very good freshman debut in the sprints as well.”
Mason ran times of 7.03 seconds and 22.41 seconds in the same two events as Amaar, finishing sixth and ninth, respectively.
In the women’s 3000m, junior Julia Fritz placed second overall in her Bison debut with a time of 9:48.89, which was good enough to win her heat.
"Julia Fritz led the way for the women,” Taylor said. “She won her heat of the 3000m and finished second overall with a terrific season opening time. Katie Sperry also ran a strong 3000m.”
Sperry, a senior, finished 15th with a 10:19.08 mark.
Freshman Lauren Flynt made her Bison track debut in the mile, placing 17th with a time of 5:05.48.
"Lauren Flynt ran a great mile for the team as well,” Taylor said. “She ran very smart and put up a very solid season opening time.”
Next up for Lipscomb is the Samford Invitational on Friday, and the Samford Open on Saturday, where they will look to continue on a solid start to the season.
“Seeing our athletes compete hard is the best judgement of a meet this early, since we aren't in shape,” Taylor said. “The distance athletes in particular are still in their base phase, so putting up some solid times really is a bonus.