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Smith Dominates Men's Hammer on Day 1
Liberty redshirt senior Ryan Smith enjoyed a dominating victory in the men's hammer, highlighting the host team's Friday at the Liberty Collegiate Invitational. His winning throw of 195-3 was the Flames' most impressive mark of the first day of competition at the newly-renovated Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex.
Smith's fourth hammer throw stretched the tape to 195-3, giving him a 30-foot victory over Lynchburg College's Greg Wilson. It was Smith's second hammer triumph of the season, to go along with his first-place finish at the Virginia Cup.
In the women's hammer, Jocelyn Williams' third throw was her best attempt of the day, landing at 170-5 for second place. The junior finished just one inch behind event champion Jessica Dunston of Campbell and only nine inches off of her personal best.
Liberty's heptathletes fared well on the bright, sunny afternoon, led by Audrey Bamford's 2,787 points, giving the sophomore a 151-point lead. Teammates Erika Jackson (2,632) and Riley Brandon (2,624) rank third and fourth, respectively, through four events.
Bamford recorded the top shot put mark among the heptathletes at 32-8.25 and ran a personal-best 27.18 in the 200-meter dash. Jackson notched personal-best performances in the high jump (4-11.75) and shot put (31-11.5).
Brandon was the heptathlon's top high jumper at 5-3.25 and sped to a personal-best 200 clocking of 27.77 seconds. Freshman Brittany Crittenden, who sits in sixth place with 2,494 points, posted the fastest 200 time by any of the heptathletes at 26.22.
On his sixth and final javelin throw, Daniel Klase uncorked his longest heave since the opening meet of the season. His 191-5 effort earned second place in the event.
Freshman Nicole Bishop was the Lady Flames' top finisher in the women's javelin competition. She placed fourth with a throw of 110-11.
The Liberty Collegiate Invitational will resume Saturday at 9:30 a.m., when the men's 3K and women's pole vault get started. Day two of the decathlon will commence at 10 a.m. with the second day of the heptathlon to follow at 10:30. Running events will begin in earnest at 12:30 p.m., with the men's 4 x 100 relay.