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Brandon, Rabe Victorious on Wednesday
Liberty senior Riley Brandon (pentathlon) and freshman Audrey Rabe (pole vault) won their respective events, highlighting the opening day of the inaugural Darius Dixon Memorial Invitational and the 2014-15 indoor track & field season, Wednesday at the Tolsma Indoor Track Center.
Brandon scored a personal-best 3,532 points to outdistance teammate Erika Jackson's runner-up total of 3,290. Brandon was strong from start to finish, as she clocked a personal-best 60 hurdles time of 9.25, tied Audrey Bamford for the day's best high jump clearance (5-3) and won each of the pentathlon's final two events. Her long jump mark was 16-8 and she clocked a 2:23.44 in the 800-meter run.
Jackson posted a personal best in the 60 hurdles (9.23), tied her lifetime best in the high jump (5-1.75) and heaved the shot put a personal-best 37-8.5.
Rabe made an impressive collegiate debut, winning the women's pole vault with an 11-11.75 clearance. After her opening meet as a Lady Flame, the Ohio native already ranks No. 5 on Liberty's all-time indoor list.
Liberty's Chandler Fraley, Brooke Shelton and Mariel Finger placed second, third and fourth, respectively, as each of them cleared 10-11.75. Finger, another freshman, is now tied for ninth place on the Lady Flames' all-time pole vault list.
Lady Flames redshirt senior Jocelyn Williams made a strong bid for her third straight season-opening women's weight throw title before finishing second, thanks to a 60-9.5 toss in round three. She was overtaken by the final throw of All-American Nicole Chavis of NC State, which measured a meet-record 63-7.
Jennifer Smith followed in fifth place, opening her senior season by tying her weight throw personal best of 51-1.5. Freshman teammate Dasiana Larson placed sixth at 49-0.75, claiming the No. 8 spot in program history.
Competing unattached, Liberty's Zach Davis leads the heptathlon through Wednesday's four events, scoring 2,846 points to teammate Tevan McIntire's 2,763. Davis' opening day was highlighted by an indoor personal-best long jump of 22-1.5 and a 6-8.25 high jump.
The meet will resume Thursday at 9:30 a.m., with the women's triple jump and men's long jump. A special ceremony honoring the life of Darius Dixon will directly precede the start of the day's running events at 11 a.m.