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Liberty Men and Women Lead After Day One of Big South Indoor Track Championships
The Liberty women's team owns an 80.25-52.5 lead over defending meet champion, Coastal Carolina, through the first six events.
Junior Marie Williams (Tampa, Fla.) scored a meet record and a personal-best 3,447 points to win the day's initial event, the pentathlon. She outdistanced teammate and defending champion, Arlene Zelinskas (Sr., Dayton, Ohio) by 135 points to win her first-ever Big South event title. Jennifer Ward (Jr., Martinsville, Va.) made it a 1-2-3 sweep for the Lady Flames, accumulating 3,151 points.
For Zelinskas, it was the start of a busy day which saw her compete in eight total events. In addition to the five events comprising the pentathlon, she won the high jump (5-7), took second in the long jump (19-0.5) and qualified for Sunday's 60-meter hurdle finals. Her high jump tied the meet record and her long jump, a personal best, fell just three-quarters of an inch shy of the school record.
Andrea Beckles (So., Lynchburg, Va.) did set a school record, breaking her own, eight-day-old mark in the 60 meters, running a 7.62 in the prelims.
Carol Jefferson (Jr., Schwenksville, Va.) and Piper Newby (Jr., Hayden Lake, Idaho) both garnered All-Big South honors in the 3,000 meters, finishing second and third, respectively. Jefferson's time was 10:05.33, while Newby came in at 10:08.35, setting a new personal best.
On the men's side, Liberty takes an 83-46 advantage over second-place Radford into the second day, as the Flames seek their 10th-straight men's team title.
Brothers Josh (Jr., Peru, N.Y.) and Jordan McDougal (So., Peru, N.Y.) swept the top two spots in the 3,000 meters for the second-consecutive year. Josh bettered his own meet record, blazing to a time of 7:58.27, while Jordan crossed the line in 8:16.58.
Liberty also went 1-2 in the men's shot put, with Jon Hart (Jr., Wyomissing, Pa.) setting a meet record with his 53-9.25 heave and Clendon Henderson (Jr., Meadow, Texas) following closely behind at 53-2.75.
The Flames were not finished racking up considerable points in the field events. Sophomore Matt Parker (So., Rome, N.Y.) was the runner-up in both the long jump (22-11.75) and the high jump (6-6.75). Meanwhile, Brandon Hoskins (Jr., Garden City, Texas) came in second in the pole vault with his 13-9.25 clearance.
Clarence Murray (Jr., Birdsboro, Pa.) won the heptathlon at last year's indoor conference meet and is on track to defend his title this season. Through four events, Murray leads the competition with 2,510 points, putting him 137 markers ahead of second-place Daniel Newell (So., Roanoke, Va.). In fact, Liberty holds the top four places in the heptathlon entering Sunday's final three disciplines.
The heptathlon 60-meter hurdles will kick off day two of competition, at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
Women's Team Standings (Through Six Events)
1) Liberty - 80.25
2) Coastal Carolina - 52.5
3) Radford - 31
4) High Point - 21.5
5) Charleston Southern - 18.75
6) Winthrop - 16
7) VMI - 8
8) UNC Asheville - 6
Men's Team Standings (Through Six Events)
1) Liberty - 83
2) Radford - 46
3) Winthrop - 30
4) VMI - 27
5T) Charleston Southern - 17
5T) High Point - 17
7) UNC Asheville - 12