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Wednesday, June 11, 2014
EUGENE, Oregon – Madi Talbert earned Second Team All-American honors in the 3000-meter steeplechase Wednesday night after her performance at the NCAA Nationals.
Talbert competed among the nation’s best in the event finishing seventh in her heat recording a time of 10:13.70. However, her time was not enough to advance her to the finals on Friday.
"Madi ran a strong race,” said Bill Taylor, director of track and field. “She put herself in position from the start and ran five laps with the leaders.
“Unfortunately she lost a bit of ground at the end and just couldn't make it up. I'm proud of her effort and progress.”
Talbert qualified for nationals last year in the 3000-meter steeplechase finishing 23rd overall with a time of 10:41.98.
The sophomore distance runner saw huge improvements this year, finishing the race almost half a minute quicker.
"The really good things are that she was not intimidated at all this year,” Taylor said. “She really made a huge leap mentally and knew she belongs here.
“Her toughness is improving as well. And tactically she is racing smarter.”
While Talbert made significant progress at this year’s competition, Taylor feels there are still improvements to be made to her technique.
“The biggest one in terms of the steeple is her water barrier,” Taylor said. “Her technique was the worst of any of the top girls.
“She lost time and energy every lap and had to sprint to rejoin the lead pack after every water.”
Talbert’s mental preparedness seems to be progressing as well.
“She has also come a long way mentally, yet there is another level of belief and toughness and fight she can get to still,” Taylor said. “A final level.”
Once Talbert mends her weaknesses, Taylor feels she will be a powerful contender.
"We will fix her water barrier technique,” Taylor said. “When she takes the final mental step too, she will be top 10 in the nation for cross country and will contend for the national championship in the steeplechase.
“It's right there for her. She just needs to make the decision. I expect she will."
Gemikal Prude will take his turn representing Lipscomb on Friday as he competes in the finals of the high jump.
The men’s high jump will be shown on ESPNU.