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MacDonald Wins Sykes-Sabock Men's 3K Title
Liberty's Josh MacDonald won the men's 3K at Saturday's Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup, helping the Flames place sixth as a team. Meanwhile, the Lady Flames came in 11th overall at the one-day meet contested at Penn State's Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track.
MacDonald's victory was his second in as many years at the Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup, after the junior took home the men's 5K crown in 2012. He contributed 10 of the Liberty's 52.5 points on Saturday, which placed the Flames sixth out of 12 teams. Host Penn State took home the men's title with 133 points, outdistancing Connecticut's 106 tallies.
On the women's side, Mychelle Cumings was the Lady Flames' highest finisher with a third-place showing in the shot put. Liberty totaled 23 points to finish 11th of 13 women's squads. Penn State made it a clean sweep of the team champion trophies with 177.5 points, coming in well ahead of runner-up Princeton (86).
Men's Meet Recap
MacDonald won the 3K crown by more than five seconds with his time of 8:22.78, which moves the Californian into 10th place in program history. It also qualifies him for the IC4A meet in a second event, after MacDonald previously hit the standard in the 5K this season.
The Flames' distance medley relay quartet of Jarred Cornfield, Kyle Gill, John Sherret and Caleb Edmonds was another new IC4A qualifier, posting a time of 10:01.85 for fifth place. It was the second-fastest indoor distance medley relay clocking in program history and the fastest since 1998. The performance also means that Liberty has now qualified three men's relays (4 x 400, 4 x 800 and distance medley) to the IC4A meet in 2013.
Liberty's third and final new IC4A qualifier was Jacob DeValve in the shot put. He reached a season-best distance of 51-5.75 for ninth place in the event.
DeValve's effort complemented that of Ryan Smith in the throwing events. The reigning Big South Men's Field Athlete of the Week placed fifth in both the shot put (53-9) and weight throw (62-6.75).
MacDonald was not the only Liberty distance runner to excel on Saturday, as freshman Jeremie Bourget was the 5K runner-up in his collegiate track & field debut. He crossed the line in a time of 14:50.28.
Before he led off the distance medley relay, Cornfield had dropped his mile personal best to 4:15.33 for 19th place. The time enabled him to climb to the No. 8 spot on Liberty's all-time performance list.
Nate Jones was part of the first-ever indoor collegiate men's 2K steeplechase race on Saturday, finishing fifth in a time of 6:19.59.
Moving to the shorter distances, Paul Arslain notched a third-place finish in the 600-meter run in a time of 1:20.73.
Andre Washington was eighth in the 400 with a season-best 49.16 effort and 11th in the 60 hurdles prelims in a personal-best 8.33 seconds. The hurdles time gives Washington sole possession of ninth place in program history.
Leonard Robbins shared seventh place in the 200, thanks to a season-best time of 22.18.
Robbins, Arslain and Washington joined Tyler Weigandt for an eighth-place showing in the 4 x 400 relay. The quartet's time was a season-best 3:19.89.
Liberty fared well in the long jump, as Kevin Reddington came in fifth at 23-2 and Walt Aikens followed in sixth place with a 23-1.25 leap.
Cody Fridgen shared the sixth position in the pole vault with a 15-3 clearance.
Women's Meet Recap
Cumings' third place in the shot put resulted from a 48-5.5 throw, while Christina Mitchell was another lofty finisher for the Lady Flames. Competing on her birthday, Mitchell's season-best pentathlon score of 3,455 earned fourth place.
Staying in the field events, Melissa Rohwer was seventh in the long jump at 18-4.25, while Janae Jones came in sixth in the triple jump with a 39-6 leap. Rohwer's long jump mark moved her into ninth place in program history.
Also stamping her name at the No. 9 all-time position at Liberty in her event was Bari Minter in the weight throw. She reached 48-4.75 on Saturday to share 14th place.
Khristina Kanagy highlighted a successful performance by the Lady Flames' distance runners, running a personal-best 3K time of 10:01.66 for fifth place in the event and sixth place in program history.
Teammate Jacy Christiansen followed Kanagy with a sixth-place 3K finish in 10:04.12. Fellow sophomore Meredith Mistretta came in sixth in the 5K final, dropping her personal-best time to 18:00.12 in the process.
Abigail Flower crossed the line eighth in the 60 dash in 7.66 seconds, after qualifying for the final with a personal-best 7.57 effort that was just 0.01 off of the school record.
Flower also dropped her indoor 200-meter personal best to 24.92 seconds for 10th place, missing that school record by only 0.05 seconds.
The Lady Flames' final point came in the 4 x 400 relay, where Kiara Bridges, Kelli Ley, Jones and Corinn Bedell teamed up to run a time of 4:01.79 and place eighth.
Liberty will divide its team between two meets next week. The Liberty Quad, the Flames' final home meet of the 2012-13 indoor season, will take place Thursday and Friday at the Tolsma Indoor Track Center.
Meanwhile, some of the Flames and Lady Flames will travel to Fayetteville, Ark., for the Tyson Invitational. The meet is slated for Friday and Saturday at the Randal Tyson Track Center, which will be the site of the 2013 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships.