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Smith Places 8th in Texas Relays Hammer
Liberty redshirt senior Ryan Smith threw the hammer a personal-best 195-11 to finish eighth in the event, Thursday at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. His effort and Cody Bingham's 16-4.75 pole vault clearance during his decathlon debut highlighted the Flames' day.
Smith saved his big throw for the sixth and final round, adding a foot onto his previous personal best of 194-11 from the 2012 Big South meet. The Georgia native improved from his 10th-place finish in the event at the 2012 Texas Relays.
After opening the day in 20th place, Bingham moved up to the 15th spot in the final decathlon standings with 6,785 points, thanks in large part to his pole vault and javelin (personal-best 170-1) marks.
Bingham's 16-4.75 pole vault effort marked his second personal best in six days, after the redshirt freshman sailed over 16-0.75 at Saturday's Virginia Cup. It tied for the second-highest clearance among the decathletes in the competition and moved Bingham up to the No. 9 spot in program history.
Freshmen Ansley Gebben (1:04.41) and Brittney Webley (1:04.47) finished 54th and 57th, respectively, in the women's 400-meter hurdles prelims. Webley's time established a new season best by a half second.
Meanwhile, Andre Washington came in 31st in the men's 400-meter hurdles prelims, crossing the finish line in 54.55 seconds.
Friday will be a busy day for the Flames and Lady Flames, as Liberty athletes will compete in three different time zones. Nate Jones will get the day started when he runs the men's steeplechase at the Raleigh Relays at 8:45 a.m. Christina Mitchell will be the first Lady Flame in action at the Texas Relays, throwing the javelin at 10:30 a.m. Eastern. Jeremie Bourget will be the first of four Flames distance runners to race at the Stanford Invitational, with the gun going off for his section of the men's 5K at 2 p.m. Eastern.