Apr 7, 2009

Track: Number of Flames finish high at Liberty Collegiate Invitational

by Daniel Heffner

A wealth of talent from up and down the eastern seaboard, including Virginia Tech and the University of Maryland, trekked to Liberty’s campus as the Flames hosted the Liberty Collegiate Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

The Lady Flames performed at a high level throughout the day, headlined by senior Andrea Beckles three first place finishes.

Beckles won the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.74, the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.19, and ran the first leg of the winning 4x100 meter relay, which posted a time of 46.76. Beckles’ 100-meter time, which qualified her for the NCAA Division I East Regional Championships, was also a personal best.

Other first place finishers for the Lady Flames were senior Ashley Teer, posting a time of 2:18.71 in the 800-meter run; sophomore Kati Albright in the 1500-meter run with a time of 4:51.37; freshman Olivia Charnuski in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.57; and senior Kristen Dalton in the javelin throw with a distance of 118-11. As mentioned above, the winning 4x100 meter relay team, led by Beckles, also included junior Chenoa Freeman, freshman Alyssa Pegues, and Charnuski running the anchor leg.

Other notable performances by the Lady Flames were Pegues, finishing second to Beckles in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.97, and Freeman finishing fifth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.02. Freeman also placed second in the 400-meter dash with a time of 56.44. Sophomore Rod’Esther Castor, participating in the 800-meter run, finished second to teammate Teer with a time of 2:20.62 and junior Ashley Osborne finished second to Albright in the 1500-meter run with a time of 4:52.03.

The 5000-meter run ended well for sophomore Dacia Bushman, who finished second posting a time of 18:17.32, and in the 3000-meter steeplechase Denise Troyer and Charis Haldeman, both freshman, finished second and third, respectively with times of 12:24.70 and 12:33.11, respectively.

Also placing well in the field events were freshman Laura Haugland with a height of 1.57 meters in the High Jump, freshman Rachel Houseknecht in the pole vault with a height of 3.35 meters, and freshman Brianna Knauff in the hammer throw with a distance of 38.69 meters. In the Heptathlon, sophomore Krystle Matthews finished third with a score of 4270, and sophomore Jen Healey was fourth with 4211 points.

“Since the meet will not be scored, it’s just about trying to compete well and get good performances as we approach the scored meets later in the season,” Head Coach Brant Tolsma said.

The men performed just as well as the women, most notably senior Matt Parker.

Parker finished second in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.50, fourth in the long jump with a distance of 7.01 meters and first in the high jump with a height of 2.12 meters. His strong showing qualified him for the NCAA Division I East Regional Championships in that event.

A pair of freshman, John Talbert and Ryan Bell, both placed first in the hammer throw and javelin throw with distances of 53.74 meters and 58.75 meters, respectively.

Another Flames standout was freshman Anthony Bryant, who finished second to Parker in the high jump with a height of 2.02 meters and also second in the triple jump with a distance of 15.09 meters.

In the 100 and 200-meter dash, sophomore Jacey Bailey placed third in both events with times of 10.75, and 21.71. Senior Phil Leineweber also placed fourth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.73 and first in the 400-meter dash with a time of 48.08. In the 800-meter run, freshman Isaac Wendland was spectacular in finishing first with a time of 1:54.77, and in the 1500-meter run senior Jarvis Jelen finished second with a time of 3:54.94 with freshman Will Reeves posting a time of 4:08.57, which was good for fourth place.

The men, however, were not finished with solid performances.
In the 3000-meter steeplechase, freshman Kyle Powers finished with a first-place time of 9:40.79.

The 4x400 meter relay team consisting of senior Tim O’Donnell, Wendland, freshman James Hatch and freshman Jordan Bright finished second to Campbell University in a close race with a time of 3:18.78.

In the decathlon, sophomore Geren Woodbridge finished third with a score of 6811, and senior Clarence Murray finished fifth with a score of 6316.

The teams will split up this week, with some traveling to Knoxville, Tenn. for the Sea Ray Relays beginning on Thursday and ending on Friday. The other half of the team will stay in Lynchburg for the Lynchburg Track and Field Classic held at Lynchburg College on Saturday.

Contact Daniel Heffner at

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