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Flames Win 14 Saturday Events at Liberty Open
The host school fared well at the 10th annual Liberty Open, Saturday at the Tolsma Indoor Track Center. The Liberty men's and women's indoor track & field teams combined for 14 event victories, seven IC4A qualifications and a pair of ECAC qualifiers on the day.
Senior Abigail Flower (women's 60 and 200) and sophomore Aklesso Agama (men's long jump and triple jump) each won a pair of individual events for Liberty. Flower (200) and the quartet of Corinn Bedell, Flower, Mary Witmer and Ansley Gebben (4 x 400) were the Lady Flames' new ECAC qualifiers.
On the men's side, Liberty's IC4A qualifications came in the 200 (Stephen Racanelli), 1,000 (John Sherret), triple jump (Agama and Darrel Jones), pole vault (Ken Ritchey and Carson Waters) and weight throw (David Scouten).
Men's Day Two Recap
The Liberty men's squad excelled in the jumping events on Saturday, placing first and second in the long jump, triple jump and pole vault. Agama led the way in both the long jump (22-11.75) and triple jump (48-3.25).
In the long jump, Eric Schmidt reached 22-3.5 for the runner-up position, while freshman Jones' 48-0.75 triple jump mark was good for second place in the event and sixth place in program history.
Another freshman, Waters won the pole vault at 15-9 in a successful collegiate debut. Teammate Ritchey cleared the same height but placed second on misses.
Three-time defending Big South indoor men's high jump champion Kyle Wheeler cleared 6-4.25 to place second.
Redshirt junior Scouten headlined the Liberty men's throwing crew, winning the weight throw (57-7) and throwing the shot put 49-10.5 for third place. Redshirt freshman Trevor VanAsselt came in fourth in the weight throw, with a 53-3.75 mark which puts him at No. 9 on Liberty's all-time performance list.
Sophomore Zach Davis notched personal-best marks in the 60 hurdles (9.58) and 1,000 (2:58.41) on Saturday, enabling him to come from behind and win the heptathlon with a score of 4,757 points.
Racanelli opened his sophomore campaign with a busy and successful day, winning the 200 (22.60) and placing third in the 60 final (7.08).
Levi Mack, Ryan Davis, Sherret and Ryan Versen comprised the Flames' victorious 4 x 400 relay quartet, which clocked 3:24.08.
Earlier in the day, Sherret had won the 1,000-meter run in 2:28.40, moving up to sixth in program history.
Ryan Davis was a close second in both the 60 hurdles (8.39) and 400 (50.94) finals, finishing one place ahead of Versen (51.61) in the 400.
Andrew Garrett was another freshman standout for the Flames on Saturday, taking top honors in the 800 with his 1:59.81 clocking.
Trevor Hope and Jacob Onifer, who had helped Liberty win the men's 4 x 800 relay on Friday, each recorded a third-place finish on Saturday. Hope took third in the 500 (1:06.80), while Onifer crossed the line third in the 1,000 (2:33.85).
Joey Imhoff came in third (23.43) in the 200 and fourth (7.09) in the 60 for the Flames.
Women's Day Two Recap
Flower's pair of victories both came in season-best times, including 7.61 for the 60 and 25.37 for the 200.
Hernandez's day also included a runner-up finish in the triple jump (season-best 37-10) and third place in the 200 (26.31).
Bedell, Abigail Flower, Witmer and Gebben teamed up for a winning 4 x 400 relay time of 3:55.28 in the day's final event. Earlier, they had accounted for three of the top four places in the 400 final, thanks to Gebben (2nd, 58.33), Witmer (3rd, 59.06) and Bedell (4th, 59.32).
Rounding out the track events, Lady Flames came in third in both middle-distance races. Jacy Christiansen's 5:03.86 effort was good for the third spot in the mile, while Christieanna Apon came home third in the 800 at 2:24.00.
Janae Jones' 38-2 triple jump was good for first place, while she placed first among the Lady Flames and fourth overall in the long jump at 17-8.25. Both marks were new season bests for the junior.
Freshman Dasiana Larson threw the shot put 40-8.75 for a fourth-place finish in the event.
Liberty will now take to the road for the first time this season, traveling to Blacksburg, Va., for next Friday and Saturday's Hokie Invitational at Rector Field House.