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Lady Flames Win 8 Thursday Events

December 4, 2014
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Twin sisters Abigail (left) and Kate Flower placed 1-2 in the women's 200 and 2-3 in the women's 60 on Thursday at the Darius Dixon Memorial Invitational.

The Liberty women's indoor track & field team won eight events on Thursday, the final day of competition at the 2014 Darius Dixon Memorial Invitational at the Tolsma Indoor Track Center.

Appropriately, in a meet named for a sprinter, the Lady Flames' sprinters were especially impressive. Liberty swept the top eight spots in the women's 60 final, the first five places in the 200 and the top three positions in the 400.

Sophomore Oasis Hernandez led the way in the 60 with a 7.69 clocking, followed by twin sisters Abigail (7.75) and Kate Flower (7.86). During the prelims, Abigail Flower sped to a time of 7.67 seconds.

Abigail and Kate Flower went 1-2 in the 200, posting times of 25.53 and 25.97, respectively.

Junior Corinn Bedell made a late charge to overtake classmate Mary Echols in the 400, clocking a 59.15 to Echols' 59.68. Freshman Olivia Behymer made it three Lady Flames under 60 seconds in the season opener, placing third in 59.77 seconds.

Echols, Mary Witmer, Bedell and Christieanna Apon teamed up to win the afternoon's final race, the women's 4 x 400 relay, in a time of 4:06.89.

Apon had earlier claimed the runner-up spot in the 800 in 2:23.21 behind teammate Ansley Gebben's 2:22.77 debut effort in the event.

Freshman Erin Zappia highlighted the Lady Flames' field event performances on Saturday, winning the women's high jump with a 5-7 leap. Just one meet into her collegiate career, Zappia already ranks fourth in program history.

Dana Mercer also made a successful Liberty debut, as her 17-11.75 long jump won the event by two inches over teammate Melissa Rohwer.

Janae Jones was victorious in the triple jump, thanks to a top mark of 37-11.25. Hernandez came in second (37-4) with Rohwer third (37-3.75).

Two Lady Flames who are expected to redshirt the 2014-15 indoor season also won Thursday events, while competing unattached. Mychelle Cumings took first place in the women's shot put by more than four feet, at 49-3.5. Meanwhile, Audrey Bamford claimed a narrow victory in the women's 60 hurdles final with a time of 9.20.

All of Liberty's men's athletes competed unattached at this meet, as the Flames will not begin their indoor season until January. However, the Flames were able to record some impressive performances. Senior John Sherret led the way, winning the 800 in a meet-record time of 1:53.86.

Like the Lady Flames, the Liberty men's competitors excelled in the sprints. Stephen Racanelli was victorious in both the 200 (22.47) and 400 (49.82), ConRoy Smith won the 60 (6.89) and Ryan Davis was the 200 (23.02) and 400 (51.09) runner-up.

Louis Paone won the men's mile in 4:28.47, while fellow freshman Titus Koech crossed the line first in the 3K with an 8:41.02 clocking.

Another freshman, Darrel Jones triple jumped 48-0.5 for first place. Sophomore Zach Davis finished off a victory in the heptathlon with 4,713 points, edging NC State's Grant Rivers by 13 tallies.

Other event victors on the men's side included Kyle Wheeler in the high jump (6-4.25), Alex Geniesse in the pole vault (14-11) and Aklesso Agama in the long jump (22-3.5).

The Liberty men's squad will officially open its season and the Lady Flames will return to action at the Liberty Open, slated for Jan. 16-17 at the Tolsma Indoor Track Center.