Lipscomb’s men and women’s cross country teams will be back in Nashville, Saturday, to compete at the Vanderbilt Commodore Invitational, beginning at 8:45 a.m. with the men’s eight-kilometer race; the women’s five-kilometer is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m.
The race will be held at Percy Warner Park’s Vaughn’s Gap course, the second of three races in which the Lipscomb teams will compete at on that course this year. Lipscomb opened the season on the course at the Belmont Opener (the women finished second as a team, while the men finished fourth) and will also compete in the Atlantic Sun Championships on this course on Oct. 29.
More than 20 teams from around the south will be at this weekend’s competition, including SEC schools Alabama and Vanderbilt and Lipscomb’s Atlantic Sun foes Belmont and Florida Gulf Coast.
The Lipscomb women’s team suffered a blow at last weekend’s Powerade Invite in Chattanooga, despite winning the overall team title and placing seven runners in the top-10. Sophomore and consensus top-five Atlantic Sun runner Dani Walker broke a bone in her foot during the latter portions of the race and will miss the remainder of cross country season.
Without Walker, Lipscomb will be led by a talented contingent featuring sophomores Tessa Hoefle and Alex Newby, seniors Ashley Lehman and Louisa Van Batavia and freshmen Maggie Lawrence and Minna Fields.
Last season, the Lipscomb women were runner-up to host Vanderbilt at this meet. Newby led the way for the Lady Bisons with an eighth-place, 18:30s personal-best five-kilometer run. Hoefle (10th, 18:34s) and Lehman (11th, 18:37) also had strong runs at Vaughn’s Gap last September.
The men’s squad was led last weekend by junior Isaiah Greer, who turned in his second consecutive top-10 finish with a 15:24s run in the 5K. Junior Geoff Musick almost joined him in the top-10, finishing 11th at 15:50s and shaving nearly 40 seconds off his previous weekends time.
Greer has finished an average of 14 seconds better than his teammates in the season’s first two races, and coach Bill Taylor is looking for his men’s squad to close the gap on the team’s top runner this weekend.
In 2010, Tim Muller led the Bisons at the Commodore Invitational, finishing 18th with a Lipscomb-record 26:13s mark on the Vaughn’s Gap course. The Bisons were fifth as a team, behind Tennessee, Chattanooga, Belmont and Southeast Missouri.
Next weekend, the Lipscomb squads will be spread all over the country. The top 7-10 female runners will head to Palo Alto, Calif., for the Stanford Invite while the top 5-8 men will go to Spokane, Wash., for the Erik Anderson Invite. The rest of the Lipscomb runners will head back to Chattanooga for the Chattanooga Cross Country Festival. All three meets will be held on Saturday, Sep. 24.
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