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Cumings, Wendland Impressive on Thursday
Liberty sophomore Mychelle Cumings punched her ticket to the 2013 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships with a ninth-place finish in the women's discus, Thursday at the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet. Meanwhile, redshirt senior Isaac Wendland broke the school record in the men's 1,500 while qualifying for Saturday's quarterfinal round at North Carolina A&T's Aggie Stadium.
Cumings' second discus attempt landed at 164-2. That was good enough to keep her inside the top 12 the rest of the evening and earn her first trip to the NCAA national meet. Cumings, who previously captured the Big South and ECAC discus titles this spring, will be the first Liberty women's discus thrower ever to compete at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Cumings, who made it 10 straight years that a Liberty athlete has qualified for the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, will throw the discus on June 6 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
Cumings was one of three Lady Flames entered in the discus on Thursday. Fellow sophomore Jennifer Nicholson finished 30th at 150-4, while junior Jocelyn Williams came in 41st with a 138-9 heave.
Wendland, who ran near the back of the pack during most of his 1,500-meter heat, made a strong charge down the final straightaway. As a result, he claimed the fifth and final automatic qualifying spot into Saturday's quarterfinal round with a personal-best and school-record time of 3:44.06.
Wendland broke the program record (3:44.56) of his coach, Josh McDougal, which was set while winning the 2007 IC4A title. The Hawkeye State native, who will be making his second NCAA quarterfinal appearance in the 1,500 (also 2011), notched a "B" qualifier for the 2013 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in the process.
Aaron Johnson's best long jump of the day, a 22-11.75 effort, came on his second attempt and garnered 31st place of the 48 athletes in the competition. The redshirt senior finished well ahead of his No. 47 seed during the final meet of his collegiate career.
Fellow senior Andre Washington clocked a time of 53.03 in the 400 hurdles, placing seventh in his heat and 37th overall.
Cody Bingham, the Big South indoor and outdoor men's pole vault champion, failed to clear the opening height of 15-7 during the final meet of his redshirt freshman season.
The 2013 NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet will resume on Friday at 10 a.m. with the women's hammer. It will be Williams' second event in as many days.