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Beckles, Hart and Leineweber Set Records at Liberty Quad
Hart (Jr., Wyomissing, Pa.) got the meet off to a good start for the home team, breaking Dan Royal's school record in the weight throw on his second effort of the competition, a mark of 64-7.75. Hart held on to win the event by 1.75 inches over Radford's Jeremiah Spence, and both conference competitors provisionally qualified for the NCAA Division I National Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Incidentally, Royal saw his weight record go down firsthand, as the Liberty alumnus placed third at 63-7.5. Hart was not finished, as the reigning Big South Men's Indoor Track Athlete of the Week also won the shot put, with a top throw of 49-4.25.
Leineweber (So., New Freedom, Pa.) was Liberty's only other event champion on the men's side, blazing to a 48.84 clocking in the 400 and winning the race by nearly a full second. His time cut two-tenths of a second off the previous facility record, set in 2006 by Charleston Southern's Michael Rhue, who is currently the Big South's top-ranked 400-meter runner this season.
Leineweber came back to place third in the 200 in a season-best 22.35 seconds, giving the sophomore the fifth-fastest time in the conference this season.
Matt Parker (So., Rome, N.Y.) was another Liberty athlete who performed well in multiple events on Friday, taking second place in both the high jump and the 60-meter hurdles. His best high jump clearance, 6-9, equaled the top mark by a conference performer this season.
In women's action, Christina Henry and Mynique Robinson had co-held the program 60-meter dash record before Beckles (So., Lynchburg, Va.) crossed the line in 7.69 seconds in her heat. Richmond's Jasmine Major edged Beckles in the heat, but the local product came back to win the final, clocking a 7.70. Beckles has now won the 60-meter dash at two-consecutive home meets, also doing so at the On Track Open on Jan. 27.
Reyna Quiroz (Sr., Canyonville, Ore.) broke the tape first in the 3,000 meters, with a winning time of 10:25.15. Emily Funderburke (So., Fredericksburg, Va.) was Liberty's final event champion, capturing first place in the pole vault, with a season-best height of 10-0.
Multi-event athlete Arlene Zelinskas (Sr., Dayton, Ohio) competed in three open events and the 4 x 400 relay on Friday and came away with three runner-up finishes. Zelinskas placed second in the 60-meter hurdles, the high jump and the long jump.
Liberty will now prepare for the Big South Indoor Track and Field Championships, which will be hosted by Clemson, Feb. 17-18. The Flames' men's team will be in search of its 10th-consecutive indoor conference championship. Liberty has won the men's team title every year since the Big South sponsored its first indoor track and field championship meet in 1998.