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Track and field start off outdoor season strong at Vanderbilt
Sunday, March 24, 2019
By Logan Butts
Track and field start off outdoor season strong at Vanderbilt

NASHVILLE – The Lipscomb track and field squad opened up the 2019 outdoor campaign over the weekend with a strong performance across town at the Black and Gold Invitational hosted by Vanderbilt.

"It was a very strong outdoor opener for us against great competition,” Lipscomb Director of Track and Field Bill Taylor said. “The weather was really good too.”

Sophomore Grace Lahey grabbed a win for the Bisons, taking first place in the 5000m with a time of 17:17.81.

"Women's distance had a really good opener in the 3000m and the 5000m,” Taylor said. “Grace Lahey won the 5000m almost a full minute PR over her previous best track 5k (18:12.21).”

Senior Hannah Owens came in third with a time of 17:30.09, while sophomore Lindsey Marriot finished fifth with a personal record time of 17:54.89.

In the 3000m, senior Courtney Brenner finished second with a 9:29.71 mark, setting a new program outdoor record in the event.

"Courtney Brenner ran a nice PR in the 3000m,” Taylor said. “All four women in the 3000m today ran their all-time PR's. 

“Lauren Flynt dropped 10 seconds off her PR, running a 9:57.82. Kayla Rudie lowered her PR by 2 seconds, running 10:06.60, and Grace Oetting dropped 14 seconds off her PR, posting a 10:14.74.”

Junior Jonathan Schwind won the 800m with a personal record time of 1:49.86.

"Jonathan Schwind picked up where he left off from indoor track,” Taylor said. “At the time of the race, his mark was the second fastest 800m time in the nation at the NCAA Division level. 

“His time has also always qualified for the NCAA I National Championship East Preliminary Round. Nathan Morgan (1:55.37) and Ryan Bush (1:55.50) also ran well in the 800m.”

Junior Randolph Wilkerson notched personal records in both the 110m high hurdles (15.59 seconds) and the 400m hurdles (54.22 seconds). Jacob Snyder also tied his all-time PR in the 110m high hurdles at 15.53 seconds.

Sophomore Patrick Smith set a new personal record in the 5000m, finishing seventh in 15:11.15. 

Junior Ryan Speer finished third in his section of the 1500m with a time of 3:55.49.

“Ryan ran a great 1500m,” Taylor said. “Zach Israel was battling for the win in the same heat, when he lost his balance just short of the finish line and crashed. 

“He got up an finished in 4:03.99, but ran a great race and would have posted a 3:53 or 3:54 if he had not fallen, which would have been a PR.”

Senior Clare Losito finished second in her section and fourth overall in the 2000m steeplechase with a time of 7:19.97.

"Across the board we really felt the team did a great job of competing,” Taylor said.

“Next week we take a lot of our top distance women and men to NC State to run in the Raleigh Relays, while our top sprinters and hurdlers, along with Ryan Speer in the 800m, head to the University of Florida's Florida Relays. We will also have some great opportunities for our athletes to improve at the Southeast Missouri Joey Haines Invitational."