Bryan College’s track and field program once again proved to have a competitive edge in the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) in middle-distance running.
Bryan’s runners picked up five individual wins at the AAC Championship, held at Sidney Smallwood Track in Johnson City, Tenn., on April 29. Bryan won all men’s and women’s middle-distance events and the men’s 5k.
Sophomore Alyssia Lindsay led the Bryan women with wins in the 800 and 1500 meter races, lowering the school’s record in the 1500 to 4:55.34. She said that in both races everything came together well for her and her hard training work is beginning to pay off. At the end of the day, Lindsay received the award for most outstanding athlete.
“It is a huge honor [to win this award]. There are some great athletes in our conference and several of them could have won it. I am privileged that they chose me,” said Lindsay.
For the men, sophomore Jason McLeod, junior Bryson Harper and senior Zach Buffington earned the wins. McLeod won the 1500 meter race in impressive fashion, finishing seven seconds in front of the runner up. It was his first time ever to win a conference race.
“It felt pretty good to win a conference race for the first time. [But] I knew that the best runners in the conference were my teammates, so with none of them in the race, I knew it was mine to win,” said McLeod.
Although he was content with his performance, McLeod said he sees his win more as a stepping stone on the path to the national championship.
“A conference win is just another small step in the right direction. Ultimately we are looking to compete well at the national level, so everything we do is a process working towards that goal,” he said.
Junior Bryson Harper led the field in the 800 meter race and won the conference title in 1:55.26. McLeod came in third. In the 5000 meter race senior Zach Buffington claimed the win, and senior Hunter Hall finished third. It was the last conference race of their collegiate careers.
Although Buffington was not content with his time of 15:26.96, he said that he was “happy to end his career on a positive note with winning the 5k“.
Like his teammates Buffington is now looking forward to competing at the NAIA Outdoor Championship held from May 26 to 28 in Marion (Ind.).