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Liberty Track to Open Outdoor Season at Coastal
The Liberty men's and women's track & field teams will open the 2013 outdoor campaign this Friday and Saturday, when they travel to Myrtle Beach, S.C., for the Coastal Carolina Invitational.
The Flames and Lady Flames will begin the season with back-to-back meets at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium, as the teams will remain in town for next weekend's Shamrock Invitational (March 14-16).
The Coastal Carolina Invitational will get started Friday at 10 a.m. with the men's hammer. Saturday's action will also commence at 10 a.m., when five different events get underway simultaneously.
How to Follow the Flames and Lady Flames
Live results will be available throughout the meet, courtesy of TimingInc.com. Links to the live results may be found on LibertyFlames.com.
A Look Back at Last Year
Two Liberty athletes will attempt to defend Coastal Carolina Invitational titles from 2012, including Leonard Robbins in the men's 200 and Shelley Parker in the women's pole vault.
Melinda Bendik provided one of Liberty's biggest highlights of last year's meet, opening her redshirt senior season with a then school-record toss of 192-2 in the women's hammer. She won the event, beginning a successful year which culminated with second-team All-America honors in the hammer.
This Place Looks Familiar
Liberty competed in three outdoor meets at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium last season, including the Coastal Carolina Invitational, Shamrock Invitational and Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championship. The men's squad won its sixth consecutive Big South title at the facility while the Lady Flames finished second to host Coastal Carolina.
A number of Liberty athletes won Big South individual event championships at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium and will be back to compete in those same disciplines this weekend. The list includes Leonard Robbins (400), Ryan Smith (discus) and Kyle Wheeler (high jump) from the men's team and Mychelle Cumings (discus) and Christina Mitchell (javelin) on the women's side.
Two of Liberty's top athletes will compete at the Coastal Carolina Invitational after lengthy absences from competition for the Flames. Jocelyn Williams, who was redshirted during the 2012-13 indoor season, is entered in the women's discus and hammer. Meanwhile, five-time All-Big South performer Isaac Wendland will run the men's 1,500 after having not competed in a Liberty uniform since the Sykse-Sabock Challenge Cup on Feb. 4, 2012.
Our Time is Here
The beginning of the outdoor track & field season gives athletes their first opportunity to compete in the outdoor-only events this year, including the 10K, 400 hurdles, steeplechase, discus, hammer and javelin.
Some of the Liberty men's competitors to watch in these events this week include Josh MacDonald (steeplechase – 2012 NCAA Preliminary Round qualifier), Ryan Smith (discus – 2012 Big South champion) and the javelin duo of Steve Feister and Daniel Klase, who both qualified for the IC4A meet as freshmen.
On the women's side, Jessica Gass and Meredith Mistretta will both look to build upon success from cross country and indoor track in the 10K while fellow distance runner Betel Yosef will run the steeplechase for the first time as a senior.
The Lady Flames should be strong in the throwing events, led by 2012 ECAC qualifiers Mychelle Cumings, Jennifer Nicholson and Jocelyn Williams in the discus, Williams in the hammer and defending Big South champion and school record holder Christina Mitchell in the javelin.
Freshmen Brittney Webley (400 hurdles) and Yana Babbitt (javelin) will also look to make a positive first impression in their collegiate debuts in those events.