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Jones Wins Hokie Invitational Triple Jump Title

January 23, 2015
|  Blacksburg, Va.
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Janae Jones won the women's triple jump for the third time this season, Friday at the Hokie Invitational.

Liberty junior Janae Jones captured the women's triple jump title at the Hokie Invitational on Friday, remaining unbeaten in the event this season. She also joined freshman Ednah Kurgat as new ECAC qualifiers on the meet's opening day at Rector Field House.

Women's Day 1 Recap
Jones triple jumped a season-best 39-5 in round four, winning the event by one inch over North Carolina A&T's Francesca Evans. The ECAC-qualifying leap was one of four times Jones landed past her previous season best of 38-2 on Friday. Jones has now placed first in the triple jump at each of this year's first three meets.

Competing in a Liberty uniform for the first time, Kurgat made a most impressive debut. She placed fourth in the women's 3K with a time of 9:44.26, qualifying for the ECAC meet. The native of Eldoret, Kenya already ranks second in program history and fifth in Big South Conference annals for the event.

Joining Kurgat in the 3K were senior Jacy Christiansen (ninth place, 10:13.00) and redshirt junior Meredith Mistretta (16th place, 10:25.69). Mistretta's time set a personal best by more than 12 seconds.

In the 300-meter dash, Ansley Gebben climbed to second place in both Liberty and Big South history with a time of 40.39 that was good for 10th in the event. It was more than a half-second faster than Gebben ran at the same meet in 2014.

A pair of Lady Flames joined the Big South's all-time top 10 list in the rarely contested 600-meter run. Mary Witmer clocked 1:38.92 for 14th place in the event and fourth place on the conference list. Teammate Jasmine Sutton's 1:41.27 effort placed 21st in the event and puts her ninth in Big South history.

Jocelyn Williams and Jennifer Smith, both of whom were celebrating birthdays on Friday, each placed in the top 11 in the women's weight throw. Williams' 59-0.75 heave earned third place, while Smith's 51-0 toss was good for the 11th spot.

Mariel Finger and Chandler Fraley shared third place in the unseeded section of the women's pole vault at 11-3, while Brooke Shelton cleared the same height for ninth place. The effort established a new season best for both Fraley and Shelton, giving the Lady Flames four women's pole vaulters (also Finger and Audrey Rabe) who have made it over 11-3 or higher in 2014-15. Prior to this quartet's arrival on campus, only five Lady Flames had ever vaulted 11 feet indoors in program history.

Men's Day 1 Recap
Freshman Darrel Jones (season-best 48-9.5) and sophomore Aklesso Agama (47-9.25) placed third and fourth, respectively, in the men's triple jump. Jones' leap moved him to third place in program history and the eighth spot on the Big South all-time list.

Another freshman, Titus Koech, made a solid collegiate indoor track debut for the Flames in the 3K, coming in eighth in 8:31.94.

As in the women's race, two Flames altered the Big South's all-time top 10 list at the 600-meter distance. Trevor Hope ran a second and a half faster than he had at the 2014 Hokie Invitational, clocking 1:21.99 for 10th place in the race and fifth place on the conference list. Levi Mack's time of 1:23.54 was good for 12th in the event and seventh on the Big South all-time performance list.

Running his second event of the day, Stephen Racanelli closed out the evening with a sixth-place finish in the 300-meter dash, thanks to a personal-best time of 34.94.

Ken Ritchey tied for third place and Carson Waters shared the fifth position in the unseeded section of the men's pole vault, with both clearing 15-5.75. Alexandru Barker made it over a collegiate-best 14-10 to tie for eighth.

In one of the most competitive events of the day, David Scouten hurled the weight 57-10.25 to place 13th.

The Hokie Invitational will resume Saturday at 11 a.m. with the seeded section of the women's pole vault. Liberty's first four events of the day will begin at noon, including the women's high jump, men's shot put, women's long jump and men's long jump.