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More Lipscomb records fall in first day at VU Invite
Brittany Duerk
Brittany Duerk

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Lipscomb opened day one of the Vanderbilt Invite with strong performances and several new school records.

Brittany Duerk and Taylor Mason finished 1-2 in the women's javelin. On her last throw Taylor moved to the lead with a toss of 127-5, a new Lipscomb school record. The record lasted about 30 seconds, until Brittany launched her final throw 134-3 to recapture her school record.

"That was fun," coach Bill Taylor said. "Brittany and Taylor are pushing each other to bigger performances and they are having a great time. They have a terrific friendly rivalry developing that is making them both better. Any given day and any given throw anything is possible for either of them."

In the men's javelin Austin Ray finished second overall with a throw of 165-6. Alex Jerkins finished third in the shot with a toss of 48-10. Xavier Conley was 8th with a jump of 21-3, while Burton Elrod was 10th in 19-11 in the men's long jump. Burton also ran a new PR in the 200m of 22.68.

On the track Lipscomb runners set two new school records as well. Freshman Amanda Twigg established a new school record in the women's 1500m with a time of 4:39.45, surpassing the record of 4:40.10, set by Elizabeth Schall in 2005. Three more freshmen followed Amanda. Priya Pappu ran 4:52.07 for 10th, Shelby Marvel set a new PR finishing 12th in 4:54.29 and Emily Longden finished 16th in 4:56.34. Senior Laura Stewart ran a season best 5:13.00 for 20th.

Freshman Ashton Fisher set a new school record in the men's 3000m Steeplechase, finishing second in 9:41.36. Ashton broke fellow freshman Isaiah Greer's record of 9:48.56, set earlier this season. Jonathan WIlliams ran a new PR of 9:47.73 for second place, while freshman Ben Wright also ran a new PR of 10:00.00, finishing third.

Isaiah Greer and Cormac Carolan weathered a scorching early pace to hang on for strong performances in the men's 1500m. Isaiah finished third in 4:02.21. Cormac ran a new PR of 4:03.60 for 7th.

In the men's 5000m Ryan Chastain finished second in 14:58.91. A pair of freshmen, Jeff Musick and Tim Muller, ran big PR's finishing 7th and 12th in 15:17.32 and 15:30.98. Jared Carlson set a new PR finishing 12th in 15:39.49 and Hunter Hethcoat ran a PR of 16:05.26, finishing 21st.

Six Lipscomb women broke 19 minutes in the 5000m. Sophomore Louisa Van Batavia led the way with a new PR of 18:25.79. Fellow sophomore Catherine Beals ran her new PR of 18:34.60. Junior Caitlin Anderson finished in a season best 18:45.01. Freshman Meredith McFarlin ran a big new PR of 18:52.75. Jenny Randolph ran a season best 18:53.99 and Ashley Lehman ran a new PR of 18:54.82.

"I think having six women break 19 in one race is a nice step for this program." Taylor said. "We are making giant steps forward as a program. The records, the PR's, and the new levels of achievement are all part of the process of developing a top program nationally. It truly is a process and we celebrate every milestone we hit as we continue to move the bar up.

"My expectations have never changed. I've had a vision of where I am taking Lipscomb Cross Country and Track & Field since I arrived. We will be one of the top programs in the nation. It doesn't happen overnight though, and that's a good thing. It is a story with all the twists and turns you would expect. It's an experience and it is a lot of fun to be part of the process of change. It's exciting to write each chapter. “

In the very near future Taylor plans to be talking about six women breaking 18 minutes in one race.

“Then we will be talking about how many broke 17 in one race,” Taylor said. “It's going to be like that in every event, and this year’s success is proof of that. We've been watching Ryan Chastain take down records in nearly all the men's distance events. His records will fall too. Look how fast our freshmen are running!

"I'm realy proud of the effort and competitiveness of our athletes this year. From the consecutive school records on the final throws in the javelin to our distance races. Our athletes are fighting hard. In particular I am happy with the development of our women's distance runners this season. I've been clear that in the past we were too passive. That has changed this season. The women are figuring it out and it's changing the competitive environment within their team.”

Taylor thins his teams are close to unlocking that next level.

“And they are having fun!,” Taylor said. "It's going to be a fun final month of our season!"

Lipscomb competes in day two of the Vanderbilt Invite on Saturday. Field events start at 12 p.m. Running events for Lipscomb start at 12:55 p.m.