NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For the second-straight weekend the Lipscomb track and field team will be competing in two separate meets while looking for qualifying marks into the NCAA Preliminary National Round.
The Bisons and Lady Bisons will compete at the Sun Angel Classic hosted by Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz., and at the Margaret Simmons Invitational hosted by Murray State in Murray, Ky.
“The Arizona State meet is a high-quality meet,” Bill Taylor, director of cross country and track and field, said. “It should be great weather with great competition.
“The Murray State meet is a low-key meet. The competition won’t be the quality of ASU but it will still be a great opportunity for the athletes to go out and improve themselves. “
The Sun Angel Classic will be used to try and get better marks in order to qualify for the NCAA National Preliminary Round, where the top-48 in the East Region qualify.
“We are sending our more elite level athletes,” Taylor said. “We will have four women in the steeplechase, two women in the 5K, Jared Wingerter in the 5K, Tucker Peabody in the 100 and 200, Gemikal Prude in the high jump and April Terry and Houston Ward in the throws.
“The steeplers - Tessa Hoefle, Madi Talbert, Minna Fields and Kendra Lobley - had a great first meet in the steeple. Two of them ran the first steeple of their life earlier in the season. We are looking for big improvements because they have experience in it now. We have done more work and they are stronger. This should be the right kind of meet with the right competition where we can get all four under 10:30.”
Currently, Lipscomb has five athletes inside the top-48 with several others just on the outside looking in, including Dani Walker who ranks ninth in the 800m and Peabody ranking 11th in the 200m.
“Tucker is always good,” Taylor said. “Being greedy, we want to get him to the next level. The faster you go, the harder it is to get to the next level.”
Also ranked in the top-48 is Prude in the high jump, Talbert in the steeple, Lobley in the steeple and 5000, and Hoefle in the steeple. Katie Bunker is ranked 47th in the 1500 with Walker sitting just outside in 49th.
The Sun Angel Classic gets underway Friday at 2 p.m. for throwing events and 9:30 p.m. for running events. Action continues Saturday at noon. The Margaret Simmons Invite begins at 9 a.m. Saturday with field events and at 11 a.m. for running events.