Flames qualify 10 at Niswonger Invitational
by Lee Sports Information
Jan 20, 2014 | 406 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
JOHNSON CITY — The Lee University indoor track teams participated in the 2014 Niswonger Invitational at East Tennessee State University and came away with 10 qualifiers for the NCCAA National Championship.

The squads will continue their indoor seasons on Jan. 26 with a trip to Atlanta for the Emory Crossplex Invitational.

Emmanuel Kipchumba, Adam Gullette and Cayce Bryan led the way by exceeding the standards in two events each. Joining them with qualifying performances of their own were Ode Fulutudilu, Ashley Matthews, Jessica Childers and Camden Perez.

Kipchumba and Gullette set their marks in the 800-meter run and the one-mile run. The time to beat in the 800 meters was 2:02. In the seeded 800-meter race, Kipchumba was fifth (1:57.11) and Gullette was 12th (1:58.46). The one-mile standard was 4:36 and both easily met it. Kipchumba had a time of 4:29.76 (sixth) and Gullette finished at 4:32.50 (10th).

“Emmanuel and Adam both ran personal bests in both of their races,” said Lee coach Caleb Morgan. “While that wasn't a surprise based on their training lately, it's always great when things work out properly. I thought maybe we were still another week away from seeing the two of them drop fast times, so to be a week ahead was exciting.”

Bryan placed eighth in the seeded 800-meter race with a time of 2:18.84. That time was nearly 10 seconds faster than the standard. The junior was fifth in the invitational one-mile run. Her mile time of 5:12.14 was well under the 5:35 qualifying mark.

Fulutudilu won her heat in the 60-meter dash, finished 44th overall and crossed the finish line with two seconds to spare at 8:32.

Matthews had no problem meeting the needed time for the 5,000-meter run. The junior finished the race in fifth place at 19:34.85, some 35 seconds under the standard of 20:10.

“I can't say enough about Cayce's double and Ashley's qualifier in the 5,000-meter,” said Morgan. “Not to mention Ode Fulutudilu, who came over to us from the soccer program, hitting the NCCAA standard in her first 60-meter race. She's only been at practice with us a few times, so we're looking for some big improvement from her.”

The standard for the women’s 3,000-meter run was 11:15 and Childers passed it with a mark of 11:07.85. She placed seventh in the race.

Perez had the task of beating 16:20 in the 5,000-meter run. The sophomore succeeded with a second place finish with a time of 16:11.05.

“Camden has historically struggled to race the 5,000-meter distance, so when he raced right about where his training has indicated, that was really a pleasure to watch as well,” added Morgan.

Justin Knuth just missed qualifying for the 800-meter run. His time of 2:02.31 was good enough for eighth in the unseeded 800-meter run, but was just outside of the 2:02 standard. Keenen Hindes placed 18th (2:07.12).

Fulutudilu was 87th (28.78) in the 200-meter dash. Mark Cisco placed 57th (57.03) in the 400-meter dash and 75th (24.59) in the 200 meters.

Emily Bryan, Brianna Prugh and Storyie Miller ran in the 800-meter event. Bryan was 15th (2:30.80), Prugh was 17th (2:31.70) and Miller finished 27th (2:37.74).

In the women’s unseeded one-mile run, Emily Arnesen finished 26th (5:50.10), Rachel Riel was 29th (6:02.86), Alexis Hewitt was 33rd (6:16.62) and Elizabeth Sillcocks was 34th (6:17.18).

“After illness and injury really impacted our women's team toward the end of last semester, it was great to have the whole crew back in races this weekend, and I think we'll see a lot of improvement from the younger girls over the next couple of meets,” added Morgan.

Blake Smith was 36th in the men’s unseeded one-mile run. He recorded a time of 4:58.18.

Patrick Shultz, Joseph Crook and Seth Ruhling ventured off the track and into the field events to participate in the shot put. Shultz recorded a distance of 6.54 meters (33rd), Crook was 34th (5.06m) and Ruhling was 35th (4.66m).

“We're a little beat up with some winter flu-like bugs going around right now, but I don't think we could have seen a better weekend out of our men's team, per capita,” summed up Morgan. “We saw progress out of the whole team, though. I saw the entire men's team put together tactically sound races and several personal bests.”