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Track and field closes out regular season on strong note
Sunday, May 7, 2017
By Logan Butts
Track and field  closes out regular season on strong note

NASHVILLE – The Lipscomb track and field squad closed out the regular season on Saturday with a successful day at a pair of meets. The majority of the Bisons who were competing took part in the Kentucky Relays, while a pair of men’s distance runners were entered in the Ole Miss Classic.

"We had a solid tune-up meet before conference next weekend,” Lipscomb Director of Track and Field Bill Taylor said. “Our squads were smaller than normal, with a bunch of seniors walking in graduation this weekend. However, the athletes we traveled competed hard. With finals over and after a mini rust-buster competition, we are ready to do very well at ASUN.”

Junior Kacey Kemper led the way at the Kentucky Relays. She finished second in the 1500m with a time of 4:28.29 and third in the 800m with a 2:12.18 mark. She leads the ASUN in the 1500m and the 3000m Steeplechase and is second in the 800m heading into the Championships.

"Kacey Kemper had a great day,” Taylor said. “She ran a PR in the 1500m and came back with a great effort in the 800m.”

The Lady Bisons took six of the top 10 spots in the 5000m with sophomore Clare Losito finishing second in 17:17.53. Sophomore Grace Oetting (17:29.82), junior Katie Sperry (17:49.62), sophomore Hannah Owens (17:58.39), junior Avery Franklin (18:14.55), and sophomore Bridgette Doucet (18:23.83) placed fifth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth, respectively.

"We also had some great performances in the women's 5000m,” Taylor said. “Clare Losito ran a nice PR, as did Katie Sperry. Grace Oetting, who redshirted the track season, came up and got a 20-second PR in the 5000m as well. Our young runners have been stepping up all season and it has been really fun seeing all the PR's they have been setting.”

In the men’s 1500m, freshman Kaleb Kunes (4:00.18), junior Jacob Poyner (4:00.35), and sophomore Andrew Ayers (4:01.58) placed consecutively in second, third, and fourth.

In the sprints, sophomore Austin Ray earned a victory in the 400m with a time of 50.71 seconds. Freshman Randolph Wilkerson finished third in the 400m hurdles with a 54.79-second mark, while Ahmed Amaar finished fifth with a time of 10.91 seconds.

At the Ole Miss Classic, sophomore Ryan Speer finished fifth in the 800m with a time of 1:50.96.

“Ryan Speer set a new PR and a new school record at the Ole Miss meet,” Taylor said. “He keeps chipping away at his time in that race.”

With the regular season in the books, Taylor and the Bisons are looking ahead to next weekend’s ASUN Championship meet in Jacksonville, Florida, where the Purple and Gold are hoping to make an impact on the medal stand.

"I feel really good about where we are at with the men and the women,” Taylor said. “It's been an interesting season for us, with tons of illness and other challenges. 

There has been a changing of the guard, so to speak, on our women's distance squad. We are amping up our sprints and hurdles and have young talent there. We've done a lot of great things this year despite the challenges. We are ready for a great conference championship meet, and we are setting up an even bigger future."