JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Lipscomb track and field team kicked off the 2013 Atlantic Sun Conference Outdoor Championships on Friday claiming a first place finish and three silver medals in Jacksonville, Fla.
“It was a really incredible first day for us,” Bill Taylor, director of cross country and track and field, said. “We had so many PR’s and big performances, it is hard to keep track of them all.”
The Lipscomb women enter day two in third place with 49 points. Kennesaw State leads with 60 points. The Lipscomb men’s squad enters Saturday in fourth place with 29 points. Kennesaw State is the leader with 86 points.
The women’s steeplechase provided Lipscomb with a big boost as Madi Talbert claimed first place honors and Tessa Hoefle earned all-conference in second place. Also earning team points for the Lady Bisons were Minna Fields, Kaitlyn Llewellyn and Emily Longden finishing fourth, fifth and seventh, respectively.
Talbert ran away with the victory finishing in 10:31.12, which is an A-Sun Championships and Lipscomb school record. Hoefle clocked in at 10:47.29.
“It was an impressive race,” Taylor said. “Made and Tessa ran together almost the whole race in the lead. Made just pulled away in the last lap and a half and got the win. Madi broke the conference record set by Kendra Lobley last year and most likely qualified for the NCAA National Championships Preliminary Round with her time.
“She is the third different Lady Bisons runner to win the A-Sun steeplechase in the last three years along with the sixth straight year with at least one all-conference performer. We have really built a tradition in this event.”
Kevin Floyd earned the silver medal in the pole vault in school-record fashion. The all-conference performer vaulted 4.77 meters, which was also a personal record.
“Kevin Floyd set the school record and nearly cleared 16-1 on his final two attempts,” Taylor said.
In the shot put, Houston Ward garnered all-conference honors with a toss of 15.32 meters. Ward finished second to Kenneth Sugishita of USC Upstate who had a winning toss of 16.15 meters.
In her first outdoor championship, Nora Coenen earned all-conference honors by finishing third in the 10,000-meter run. Coenen finished in 38:16.74. Teammate Alex Newby finished fourth to garner five team points for the Lady Bisons. Newby clocked in with a time of 39:01.42.
“The 10k runners ran really tough, Taylor said. “Nora led for most of the race before falling a bit to third.
“On the men’s side Geoff Musick led the way with a gutsy race. He had the kick of his life and literally flung his body across the line trying to get fourth place.”
Musick finished in fifth place in 32:07.59. Fourth place finisher Ross Oden of USC Upstate timed in at 32:07.58.
In the preliminary round of the 110-meter hurdles Andrew Wolf qualified third in 14.95 seconds, missing out on a heat victory by one-hundredth of a second. Ryan Whitley qualified fourth finishing in 15.02 seconds. They will both compete in the finals on Saturday.
“Our 110-meter hurdlers had a terrific day,” Taylor said. “They finished much higher than their rankings and both ran personal-record times.”
Tucker Peabody won his heat of the 100-meter dash qualifying second overall. Peabody finished in 10.4 seconds, which is a new Lipscomb school record. Ifrish Alberg of ETSU qualified first overall in 10.34 seconds.
“Tucker looked awesome in the prelims,” Taylor said. “He ran a big PR without a great start. He is so strong right now.”
April Terry snagged three points for the Lady Bisons in the hammer throw with a sixth place finish. She threw a school-record 49.28 meters.
“April PR’d and set new school record in three of her six attempts,” Taylor said.
Lipscomb continues the A-Sun Championships on Saturday with the first events scheduled for 8 a.m.
“What we liked the most was the effort and attitude displayed today,” Taylor said. “Everyone fought for every inch and every point. Grant Stromberg fought from tenth place to finish 8th to snag a point as an example. It was really impressive and we showed what we are about. Going out, having fun, giving your all and letting the rest take care of itself.
“If we keep this up tomorrow, we will leave this championship very happy and very satisfied.”