The Lipscomb track and field program saw another historic showing at the NCAA East preliminaries over the weekend as high jumper Gemikal Prude and sophomore Madi Talbert qualified for the NCAA Nationals in Eugene, Ore., next week.
"Gemikal and Madi have been pushing the bar ever higher for our program, and they are inspiring our team to reach new heights as well,” said Bill Taylor, director of track and field.
For the second consecutive year, Talbert advanced to the national finals. She qualified by finishing fourth in her heat in the 3000-meter steeplechase on Friday, May 30. Her time of 10:08:21 was not only a personal best for Talbert but also shattered the school record, which she set last year.
Prude finished eighth overall in his event Saturday, May 31, clearing the bar at 2.14 meters.
"Gemikal competed well,” said Luke Syverson, assistant track and field coach. “We still have a few technical tweaks to make clean before we get to Oregon, but this was a huge goal for him to make outdoor nationals after his ninth place finish at indoor nationals. I'm very proud of how he came out and mentally competed."
Since coming to Lipscomb, Prude and Talbert have contributed to many firsts for the program.
"Gemikal is the first Lipscomb athlete to qualify for both the NCAA I Indoor and Outdoor National Championship Finals,” Taylor said. “He's the first man to qualify for the NCAA I Outdoor Finals. Madi is the first Lipscomb athlete to qualify for the NCAA I Outdoor Finals twice.”
With national championship experience under their belts, the two competitors are well seasoned for their upcoming bout in Oregon.
“They know how it works,” Taylor said. “They know you just go out and compete like any other day and that is a big advantage.”
Taylor also believes it will be beneficial for the athletes to have a fellow teammate at the competition having competed on their own last year.
The pair will journey to Oregon for the competition set for June 11-14.
"I'm really proud that we will have two out west representing Lipscomb in Eugene,” Taylor said. “The NCAA I Outdoor National Championships is an amazing experience.”