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Liberty Finishes 3rd in IC4A, 6th in ECAC
Aided by two school records and four runner-up finishes on Sunday, Liberty finished third in the men's IC4A standings and sixth in the women's ECAC standings at the 2016 IC4A and ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships. The three-day meet was contested at the Boston University Track and Tennis Center.
The men's squad totaled 49.75 points for third place, trailing only IC4A champion Hampton (66 points) and runner-up Albany (65). It marked Liberty's best finish at this meet since a tie for second place in 2011 and the Flames' fifth all-time top-three showing at the IC4A Indoor Track & Field Championships.
The Flames finished second in three different IC4A events on Sunday, including the triple jump (Darrel Jones), pole vault (Carson Waters) and distance medley relay (Jacob Onifer, Jeff Jacobs, Andrew Garrett and Cameron Francis).
Meanwhile, the Lady Flames came in sixth with 32.5 points, representing their third consecutive lofty finish at this meet. Liberty previously placed third in 2014 and was fifth a year ago. UConn claimed the ECAC title with 62 points, followed by Albany at 48.5 points.
Mychelle Cumings was the ECAC shot put runner-up on Sunday, while Erin Edmond broke the school record for the 400-meter dash (54.41) and Ansley Gebben, Alexis Taylor, Torree Scull and Delaney McDowell lowered their own program 4 x 800 relay record to 8:47.12.
IC4A Day Three Recap
The Flames' distance medley team of Onifer (3:03.3 for 1,200 meters), Jacobs (47.8 for 400 meters), Garrett (1:54.1 for 800 meters) and Francis (4:08.7 for 1,600 meters) earned its runner-up finish with a time of 9:54.18. Liberty strengthened its hold on the No. 2 spot in program history and climbed to No. 3 on the Big South all-time list.
Liberty also moved up to No. 2 in program history and No. 3 in conference annals in the men's 4 x 800 relay on Sunday, while placing third in 7:30.50. Andrew Crowell (1:52.5 split), Colin Schultz (1:52.7), Bradley Prentice (1:53.6) and Michael Todd (1:51.6) toted the baton for the Flames' second consecutive IC4A 4 x 800 relay third-place finish. The top six relay teams were separated by just 1.25 seconds.
Rounding out the Flames' action on the track, junior Stephen Racanelli lowered his 400 dash personal best to 47.29 seconds for fourth place in both the event and in Big South Conference history.
Jones reached 49-11.25 on his sixth and final attempt in the triple jump, falling just two inches shy of IC4A champion Bobby Plummer from Cornell. Teammate Aklesso Agama followed in seventh place with a 48-7.5 leap.
Waters made it over 16-2.75 to finish as the IC4A pole vault runner-up. Meanwhile, Alex Geniesse was part of a four-way tie for seventh place after clearing 15-9.
Fred Fulton added a ninth-place finish in the shot put competition, thanks to a mark of 53-11.
ECAC Day Three Recap
After slicing 20.5 seconds off of the existing Liberty and Big South women's 4 x 800 relay records during Saturday's prelims, Gebben, Taylor, Scull and McDowell improved by 7.6 more seconds on Sunday. The Lady Flames finished fifth in 8:47.12, thanks to splits of 2:10.8 (Gebben), 2:15.1 (Taylor), 2:12.4 (Scull) and 2:08.6 (McDowell).
Edmond came in seventh in the women's 400 final in 54.41 seconds, breaking the mark of 54.59 set by Jaime Watson at the 2010 Big South meet. The senior also moved into second place in Big South history for the event.
Edmond almost helped the Lady Flames break the program 4 x 400 relay for the second time in as many weeks with a 53.7 anchor split. Liberty finished third in the race in 3:42.75, falling just 0.11 away from the school record. Corinn Bedell (56.1 split), Nicole Leonzo (56.2) and Olivia Behymer (56.4) opened the relay.
Earlier in the day, the Lady Flames' quartet of Hannah Scherlacher (3:35.7 for 1,200 meters), Bailey Reeves (56.5 for 400 meters), Jasmin Sutton (2:18.3 for 800 meters) and Kat Bouton (5:03.1 for 1,600 meters) clocked the No. 2 time in both Liberty and Big South history and the fastest since 2000, 11:54.02. The Lady Flames came in 13th in the event overall.
Cumings threw the shot put 50-0.75 for second place, while Dasiana Larson came in ninth at 43-10, just 1.75 inches behind the eighth position.
Liberty will compete in both indoor and outdoor track & field meets next weekend. Sophomore Ednah Kurgat will race in the women's 5K at the 2016 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships, Friday at 9:25 p.m. Eastern. The meet will take place at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Ala., and will be aired live on ESPN3.
Meanwhile, a group of Liberty throwers will travel to Myrtle Beach, S.C., to open the 2016 outdoor season at the Coastal Carolina Invitational. The meet is slated for Friday and Saturday at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium.