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Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup Next for Liberty Track
For the seventh consecutive season, the Liberty men's and women's indoor track & field teams will compete in the team-scored Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup this weekend. The meet will be contested Friday and Saturday at Penn State's Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track.
Friday's events will begin at 5 p.m., with the women's weight throw, women's pole vault, women's long jump and men's long jump. Saturday's first events, set for 11 a.m., include the men's pole vault and men's shot put.
How to Follow the Flames and Lady Flames
Live results will be available during both days of competition.
Team-scored meets are uncommon in track & field, and the Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup will be the Flames' first scored meet of the 2013-14 indoor season.
Liberty's best-ever team finishes at the Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup are third on the men's side (2009) and ninth on the women's side (2008, 2010 & 2011). Last season, the Flames finished sixth and the Lady Flames came in 11th.
Past Cup Champions
During its previous six appearances at the Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup, Liberty has won only 11 total events. Below is a summary of the Flames' past event winners.
2008 – Clendon Henderson (Men's Shot Put)
2009 – Anthony Bryant (Men's High Jump), Sam Chelanga (Men's 3K), Matt Parker (Men's 60 Hurdles), Kolby Shepherd (Men's Pole Vault)
2010 – Kolby Shepherd (Men's Pole Vault), Jaime Watson (Women's 600)
2011 – Anthony Bryant (Men's High Jump), Ryan Smith (Men's Weight Throw)
2012 – Josh MacDonald (Men's 5K)
2013 – Josh MacDonald (Men's 3K)
On the Move with MacDonald
Liberty senior Josh MacDonald will try to win his third Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup event in as many years during Friday evening's men's 5K. He was the 5K champion in 2012 and captured the 3K title a year ago.
MacDonald has been running well this season, setting new personal-best times in both the mile (4:20.31) and 3K (8:18.38) at the Hokie Invitational on Jan. 24. He currently ranks third on the Big South men's 3K performance list.
Taking it to the Bank
The Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup will be Liberty's second meet on a banked track this season, following the Hokie Invitational (Jan. 24-25). The Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track has been known to yield some fast performances, including Jaime Watson's Liberty-record women's 600-meter time of 1:28.2 in 2010.
Most recently, Penn State clocked the second-fastest men's distance medley relay time in collegiate history (9:26.59) at last weekend's Penn State National.
Four to Watch
Four of Liberty's top athletes will be running arguably their best events for the first time during the 2013-14 season this weekend, including Abigail Flower (women's 200), Meghan Burggraf (women's 800), Jeremie Bourget (men's 5K) and Josh MacDonald (men's 5K).
Flower owns the program record in the women's 200 (24.72), while Burggraf ranks second on Liberty's women's 800 list (2:09.79). MacDonald (fourth place, 14:10.33) and Bourget (10th place, 14:29.28) both rank among the program's all-time top 10 for the men's 5K.
Familiar Face in a New Place
Coming off of a football season which saw him rack up 45 tackles and three interceptions, defensive back Kenny Scott will compete in track & field for the first time since his days at Appomattox High School. He is entered in the long jump Friday afternoon.
Scott won three straight Virginia Class A state long jump titles between 2008 and 2010, reaching 24-1.25 during his final championship as a senior. Only one Big South men's long jumper (Charleston Southern's Braxton Drummond) has gone over 24 feet this season.
Big South's Best
Just three weeks before the 2014 Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships, a number of Liberty athletes rank first on the conference performance list for their respective events.
Lady Flames currently topping the Big South performance charts include Abigail Flower (7.72 in the 60), Jacy Christiansen (9:45.98 in the 3K), Mychelle Cumings (49-0.75 in the shot put), Jocelyn Williams (62-6.5 in the weight throw) and Audrey Bamford (converted score of 3,476 in the pentathlon).