No Sophomore Slump: Barnett helps Bisons to ASUN title; Stohr has solid season

After earning ASUN Conference Freshman of the Year honors last year, MacKenzie Barnett gave herself a tough act to follow.

But the Columbus North graduate and Lipscomb cross-country runner did not disappoint as a sophomore. She earned second-team All-Conference honors to help the Bisons win the ASUN championship.

“Last year’s cross-country season went well, and I was happy with how it went, and I was happy with how this season went,” Barnett said. “It was our goal throughout the season to win the ASUN Conference, so we were super excited to do that.”

Barnett ran a personal-best 17 minutes, 2.5 seconds for 5,000 meters (3.1 miles) to finish fifth for her team and 11th overall in the conference meet in Huntsville, Alabama. Her PR going into this season had been 18:04.

“I just have amazing coaches, and I have a ton of teammates who push me,” Barnett said. “I think that helps.”

Most college women’s races are 6,000 meters (3.8 miles). Barnett finished fourth for the team and 36th overall in 20:43.7 for 6K in the NCAA South Regional, also at Huntsville.

“I’ve enjoyed going up to 6K,” Barnett said. “I like the longer distances.”

Barnett also likes running the longer distances in indoor and outdoor track. She ran mostly the 5K last outdoor track season.

“I was happy with how track season went,” Barnett said. “It was nice to have a lot longer of an indoor season than you do in high school. Outdoor track went well, and it was fun. It’s also nice to have the longer events to run outdoors.”

Columbus North graduate and Lipscomb sophomore Andy Stohr competes in a meet at Trevecca University.

Submitted photo

Meanwhile, another sophomore from North is running for the Lipscomb men’s cross-country and track teams. Andy Stohr was the Bisons’ No. 6 and 7 runner in meets this season before running into sickness later in the year.

Stohr ran a personal-best 24:58 for 8K (5 miles) the first meet of this season.

“It was a solid season,” Stohr said. “It was good progress from last year. Last year being a freshman, I was trying to get in the swing of things. Training is different from high school. This year, the first meet of the season, I made a huge jump from last season, a 1-minute PR. That was exciting for me, and I was hoping that from that, I would be able to progress through the season. I ended up dealing with a lot of sickness and stress going on and ended up putting together some pretty bad races. The week of conference, I had the flu. I was hoping to be able to help the team and score for us at regional, but unfortunately, I was not able to do that.”

As a freshman, Stohr ran indoor track, but redshirted for the outdoor season.

“I’m super excited for getting a chance this track season to run the 10K,” Stohr said. “The longer the distance, the better for me, so I’m looking forward to that, and I’m looking forward to the next season of cross. Our team is going to be really good. I’m hoping that we can take a shot at Division I nationals next year and just keep things going.”

Stohr is majoring in information technology.

“I’m enjoying it a lot,” Stohr said. “The professors at Lipscomb are great. It’s a nice, tight-knit community, so I’m enjoying everything and learning a lot.”

Barnett majors in elementary education and hopes to become a teacher and possibly a coach.

“I’ve really enjoyed being at Lipscomb,” Barnett said. “I love all my teammates, and I have amazing coaches, so it’s definitely been a great experience. I’m very grateful that God allowed me to go to Lipscomb, and I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had there.”