SSU Sports Release
MARIAN, Ind. – Senior Brittney LiPira saved the best 10,000-meter race of her SSU career for her NAIA Track Championship debut as she broke her own school record with a time of 37:02.22. That time placed her ninth overall in her first of two events she will be competing in this weekend.
Her time on Thursday was over a second-and-a-half better than her previous best set at the Raleigh Relays earlier this year. As the first runner in SSU history to compete in the 10,000 meters at the NAIA Championships, LiPira’s ninth-place finish was also the highest individual finish by a women’s runner in program history in any event.
With her most recent record-breaking performance, LiPira will leave SSU with the school’s three fastest times in the 10,000. She also holds four of the top five times and the seventh-fastest time in the program’s record book.
The SSU senior will now set her attention to the final race of her Shawnee State career this Saturday as she will compete in the 5,000-meter field that has gone to a finals only field with just 13 runners scheduled to compete. The women’s 5,000-meter finals are set for 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and will be streamed live.
Just minutes after watching Brittney LiPira break her own school record in the 10,000-meters, Jeremy Anderson went out and also set a new school mark in his debut race at the NAIA Track Championships with a time of 30:52.92. His ninth-place finish was nine spots above his original seed of 18th overall based on times from the regular season.
With his record-breaking time, Anderson – who was already the varsity record holder and second-quickest individual in program history – broke his personal best by nearly 31 seconds and the school record by 18.47 seconds.
Anderson’s ninth-place finish was not only the best place by an SSU athlete in this event in program history, it was also the second-highest finish in program history in any event. The only SSU athlete who has placed higher in NAIA Track history for the Bears was Michael Owen who placed third in the marathon during the 2011 season. Ironically, it was Owen who held the school record in the 10,000-meter race coming into Thursday.
Anderson will be back on the track with teammate Breydon Gates Friday evening for his the 5,000-meter trails. The 5,000 is split into two heats. The heats are scheduled to start at 7 p.m. and both Anderson and Gates will be running in the first heat. The top six finishers in each heat plus the top four times of the remaining runners will compete in the finals of this event on Saturday.