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World Leader Highlights Record-Breaking Meet
Olympian Barbara Pierre's world-leading women's 100-meter dash time of 10.99 seconds highlighted a record-breaking Wednesday afternoon at the Liberty Twilight Qualifier. In total, six Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex records went down, while the host Flames and Lady Flames combined to win 11 event titles.
Pierre, a graduate of St. Augustine's who has represented Haiti in the Olympics, was aided by a +2.5 m/s tailwind while running the world's fastest 100 time in 2013 under any wind conditions.
Another notable facility record went to Virginia Tech's Martina Schultze in the women's pole vault. Her 14-3.25 clearance is tied for fourth on the NCAA Division I national list for 2013.
Other facility standards were set in the women's hammer (Virginia Tech's Annjulie Vester at 200-7), men's 1,500 (Wake Forest's Kyle Graves at 3:46.09), men's 110 hurdles (adidas' Dominic Berger in 13.54) and men's javelin (Wake Forest's Ben Lincoln at 229-7) in a most impressive return for the Liberty Twilight Qualifier after a one-year hiatus.
Women's Meet Recap
Sophomore Melissa Rohwer was arguably the Lady Flames' biggest star of the day, sweeping the long jump and triple jump titles. Her personal-best 40-5.5 triple jump enabled the Idaho native to satisfy the meet's name and qualify for the ECAC meet in her last chance to do so. It also moved Rohwer into second place in program history, past Janae Jones, who was the runner-up at 40-0. It was the first time Liberty has ever had two women's triple jumpers go 40 feet or longer in the same meet.
Earlier in the day, Rohwer had captured the long jump title with an 18-2.25 leap.
The Lady Flames' throwing crew continued its successful 2013 season, as Mychelle Cumings led Liberty's 1-2 finish in the shot put and Jennifer Nicholson won the discus.
Cumings threw the shot 48-5.25 to outdistance teammate Barnes' 44-9.75 heave. Meanwhile, Nicholson improved her discus personal best three times, ending up at 161-8 on her final attempt to become the third Lady Flame to throw over 160 feet in 2013.
Jocelyn Williams, also a member of Liberty's 160-foot discus club, extended her hammer throw personal best to 178-10 for third place in the event. Riley Brandon added a third-place finish in the javelin, stretching the tape to 104-3.
Meredith Mistretta was the Lady Flames' final event victor of the night, crossing the line first in the 5K with a personal-best time of 17:49.03.
Liberty took second place in both women's hurdles finals, thanks to a pair of freshmen. Brittney Webley's personal-best 100 hurdles time of 14.03 moved her into a tie for fourth place in program history. Classmate Ansley Gebben later took the runner-up spot in the 400 hurdles at 62.03 seconds.
An all-freshman 4 x 100 relay quartet of Brittany Crittenden, Olivia Davis, Asten Lopez and Webley came in second with a time of 47.59 seconds.
Moving to the vertical jumps, Kristen Willeford cleared an outdoor-best 5-5.25 for second place in the women's high jump. It moves her into sixth place in Liberty annals.
Senior Shelley Parker closed out her stellar career by tying for the third position in the women's pole vault. Her top clearance on the day measured 11-8.5.
Freshman teammate Chandler Fraley came in eighth after getting over 10-8.75. That effort puts her into sole possession of the 10th spot on Liberty's all-time list.
Liberty also saw the trio of Olivia Davis, Corinn Bedell and Stephanie Buda all finish third in their respective races. Davis sped to a 200-meter personal-best time of 24.90, Bedell clocked a season-best 400 time of 57.78 and Buda notched an 800 season-best 2:20.21.
Men's Meet Recap
Competing in his final home meet, Ryan Smith won both the men's discus (season-best 164-0) and hammer (188-4) titles in impressive fashion. The Georgia native sat out his top event, the shot put, but Liberty still took home first place, courtesy of Jacob DeValve's 51-6.5 toss.
Another of Liberty's 21 seniors who were honored prior to the evening session of track events, Chris Johnson won the men's triple jump with a personal-best 50-2.75 leap. In the process, he became the fourth Flame ever to eclipse the 50-foot barrier.
Josh MacDonald led wire-to-wire in the men's 5K, finishing in 14:40.50 for a 19-second victory.
The Flames' other event victory came in the 4 x 100 relay. Roderick Spruel, ConRoy Smith, Tarell Williams and Andre Washington teamed up for a winning time of 41.13 seconds.
Isaac Wendland and Caleb Edmonds both fared well in the day's deepest and most competitive event, the men's 1,500. Running under the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex lights, Wendland placed fourth in a personal-best 3:46.79. It was the third time that the Iowa native has set a mid-distance personal best at the Liberty Twilight Qualifier.
Meanwhile, Edmonds sliced his 1,500-meter personal best to 3:48.32 while placing sixth. The effort marked an IC4A qualifier and enabled Edmonds to climb into fourth place in program history, right behind Wendland.
Liberty nearly had two other new IC4A-qualifying performances, but a gusty northeast breeze was over the +4.0 m/s allowable limit in both cases. ConRoy Smith's personal-best 21.70 clocking in the 200-meter dash final and Kyle Wheeler's second-place long jump of 23-4 were the marks in question.
Wheeler also finished second in the men's high jump at 6-8.25, edging Big South champion Avion Jones from VMI on misses.
Seniors Washington and Paul Arslain both earned runner-up finishes in their final home appearances. Washington was second in the 400 hurdles at 52.02 while Arslain's 48.97 clocking was second-fastest in the 400 dash.
Two other Liberty seniors to record lofty finishes on Wednesday were Aaron Johnson, the third-place long jumper at 23-3.25, and Spruel, whose personal best-tying 10.66 clocking in the 100 placed him fourth.
Liberty will now take a sizeable contingent of athletes to Princeton, N.J., for the 2013 IC4A and ECAC Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The three-day meet is slated to begin on May 10 at Weaver Track & Field Stadium.