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Monday, October 05, 2009For the second time in three weeks the Lipscomb Bisons cross country team is ranked 15th in the South Region by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross County Coaches Association.
“We are at the point in this program where anytime our name is out and showing we are pursuing excellence, moving up in the rankings and being recognized is all very good,” said Lipscomb cross country coach Bill Taylor. “But I don’t want to overstate it.
“It is just ranking. It means little in the scope of things, but we are one of the top 15 teams in some people’s opinion in the South Region. We are on the same list as Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and Auburn.”
Taylor stressed his team is moving in the right direction as the runners continue to develop, especially the freshmen.
“It means people are paying attention and our name is out there,” said Taylor. “If we are ranked 15th team in the region in every poll the rest of the season it will be a very positive thing. We have beaten several ranked teams this season already like Georgia State and the University of Mississippi.”
The Bisons finished 24th out of 38 teams in the Greater Louisville race Saturday. Ryan Chastain led the Bisons, but Taylor listed several runners as surprises in terms of their finishes.
“I thought the guys ran really hard,” said Taylor. “I think Ryan is starting to get back to where he was last year. He is taking it to the next level. I think he is going to improve dramatically during the rest of the season.
“It was an interesting jumble. I guess that is the value of having some depth, but it wasn’t our best effort yet. I thought Jeff Musick had his best race since he has been here. Ashton Fisher ran well. Mike Yang was up higher. And Trace Carlson probably had his best race ever for us.”
Taylor stressed that the polls don’t have an effect on the team in terms of preparation and performance.
“The rankings don’t determine how we train, how we race or how we look at things,” said Taylor. “I kind of wondered when we dropped out after the second week if that would be it for the year. I think it is really positive that people are still watching us.
“We were 24th in Louisville in a great race with a lot of good teams. But that is not where we want to be. We want to be better than that.”