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Liberty Men, Women Lead After Big South Day 1
|Melissa Rohwer long jumped a career-best 19-0 for second place on Thursday.|
An impressive 1-2-3-4 finish in the men's 10K highlighted a strong opening day of action for host Liberty at the 2013 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The Flames and Lady Flames both sit in first place after Thursday's events at the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex.
Redshirt senior David Ricksecker's first career Big South individual title led Liberty's 29-point haul in the men's 10K. As a result, the Flames own a 50-26 lead over second-place Coastal Carolina through Thursday's quartet of men's event finals.
On the women's side, Khristina Kanagy (10K), Melissa Rohwer (long jump) and Jocelyn Williams (hammer) all produced runner-up finishes, contributing to the Lady Flames' 33-point total through three events. Two-time defending champion Coastal Carolina is currently second with 24 tallies.
Men's Day One Recap
The pace of the men's 10K dawdled for much of the race before the Liberty quartet struck in as a pack during the final mile, which was covered in unofficially 4:34. Ricksecker led the charge, crossing the finish line in a personal-best 31:22.29.
Caleb Edmonds made a successful 10K track debut, placing second in 31:28.26, just one-half second ahead of teammate Josh MacDonald's third-place effort. Freshman Jeremie Bourget, also racing his first career 10K on the track, rounded out the Flames' first-ever Big South 1-2-3-4 men's 10K sweep with a 31:32.36 clocking.
No other runner finished within six seconds of the Liberty 10K quartet, which propelled the Flames from third place into the overall day one lead in the team standings.
Competing about 10 hours earlier, in the meet's very first event, redshirt senior Ryan Smith placed second in the men's hammer for the second straight year, with a 194-7 heave. Smith, now a 13-time All-Big South performer, owned the lead heading into the fifth round, when Gardner-Webb freshman Alex Young overtook him for the victory.
Redshirt senior Aaron Johnson picked up his first career All-Big South notation, thanks to a season-best 24-1.5 leap on his sixth attempt which earned third place.
The sixth round was also favorable for sophomore Daniel Klase in the men's javelin. That is when he threw a personal-best 202-1, garnering fourth place in the event and the seventh spot on Liberty's all-time performance list.
Women's Day One Recap
The duo of sophomore Rohwer and freshman Janae Jones helped to negate Coastal Carolina's advantage in the women's long jump. At the Big South indoor meet, the Chanticleers scored 23 points to Liberty's six in the long jump. On Thursday, however, Coastal Carolina's advantage was only 19-14 as Rohwer took second place and Jones was third.
Rohwer jumped a career-long 19-0 on her very first attempt. The mark left her a tantalizing one-half inch shy of the ECAC standard but did move her up to No. 7 in program history. Jones' third-place 18-2.25 leap was the longest of her collegiate career.
Williams' career-best throw of 177-5 garnered a runner-up finish in the women's hammer. In the process, the junior also climbed into second place in Liberty history for the event.
The Lady Flames' closed out their day of competition with 11 points in the women's 10K, paced by Kanagy's second consecutive Big South runner-up finish in the event. She clocked a time of 36:48.39, while teammate Meredith Mistretta's 37:55.65 time produced sixth place.
All four of Liberty's heptathletes are in position to score points after day one. Two-time defending conference champion Christina Mitchell ranks third with 2,775 points, followed by Riley Brandon in fourth (2,739), Audrey Bamford in fifth (2,721) and Erika Jackson in seventh (2,620).
Friday's schedule of events, which has been adjusted significantly due to forecasted inclement weather in the afternoon and evening, will now begin at 9 a.m. with the women's javelin and men's 110 hurdles.