Apr 29, 2008

Records fall at Penn Relays, Henderson wins discuss

by David Hunt
Many of the best athletes to ever step on a track have graced Franklin Field for the Penn Relays. The meet, now in its 114th year, is renowned for bringing in many of the most talented sprinters, throwers, jumpers and distance runners. Last week, Evans Kigen of the Liberty Flames added his name to the list in bold fashion.   Kigen sped through the 25-lap, 10,000-meter race in a blistering personal best of 29:16, good enough to beat the thick crowd and fast enough to land him the B-standard for the NCAA Championships to be held in June.   “Kigen is the future of Liberty track and field,” junior teammate James Doak stated plainly, “twenty nine minutes for the 10,000-meters is pretty darn good.”  “He dominated everyone else,” sophomore Jake Reed added.   A few other distance runners (and a coach) landed impressive times over the course of the four-day meet also.   Senior Jarvis Jelen ran 14:26 over 5,000-meters, placing him 22nd overall in a competitive field while sophomore Josh Edmonds took 11th in the 5,000-meter race in the Olympic Development section, clocking 14:35.   Liberty assistant track coach, David Cheromei, was third in the Olympic Development section for the 3,000-meter steeplechase, running and hurdling to an 8:46.   On the field, the Flames burned up a few high finishes with freshman Kolby Shepherd doing what he has done well all season — jump. Shepherd finished third in the pole vault, leaping 16-0.75. Freshman Clarence Powell took eighth place in the triple jump, reaching 48-10 and coming less than two feet from the winner.   The Lady Flames also posted some impressive performances and was once again anchored by a strong distance crew. Senior Carol Jefferson ran a season best over 10,000-meters, finishing ninth overall and crossing the line in 35:55.   The participants of the women’s distance medley relay (which includes legs of 1,200-meters, 400-meters, 800-meters, and 1,600-meters) broke a Liberty record, running 11:30 and placing fifth overall. The four athletes on the relay were juniors Rebekah Ricksecker and Jamie Watson, sophomore Chenoa Freeman, and freshman Kati Albright. In the 3,200-meter relay, Liberty placed 10th overall, sprinting through the 2-mile race in 9:05. The team consisted of Watson, Albright, Ricksecker and senior Sarah Roberts. The Flames other relay (the 800-meter quartet) also made its way into the school record books, this time covering the 2-lap race in 1:37. Included in the relay were Jaime Watson, junior Andrea Beckles, senior Charlene Hibbert and Chenoa Freeman. While most of the Flames were either resting their legs for the weekend or competing in the Penn Relays, a few top throwers and jumpers were in Iowa competing in the Drake Relays. Top thrower, senior Clendon Henderson, tossed the discus 181-11 for the win to remain undefeated on the season. Jon Hart, also a senior thrower, took fourth in the hammer throw with a heave of 215-5. Elsewhere on the field, junior Matt Parker was jumping his way to a tie for ninth place, clearing an altitude of 6-8.75. The Flames now look ahead to their last home meet of the season and their final low-key competition until championship season begins as Liberty hosts the Twilight Meet on Thursday. “The Twilight should be fun,” Doak said, who is planning on competing in the 5,000-meter race. “It’s coming to the end of the season and we’re excited.” Contact David Hunt at dhunt@liberty.edu.
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