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Liberty Track & Field Excels in 2013

June 11, 2013
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Liberty swept the men's and women's team titles at the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships, hosted at the newly-renovated Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex.

The Liberty trio of Mychelle Cumings, Ryan Smith and Isaac Wendland competed at the 2013 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships last week in Eugene, Ore., wrapping up another successful season for the Liberty men's and women's track & field teams.

Team Accomplishments
Big South's Best
Liberty captured three Big South track & field team championships in 2013, claiming the men's indoor crown before sweeping the men's and women's outdoor titles on its home track. The men's program successfully completed its seventh straight Big South "Triple Crown," consisting of conference cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field championships.
News and Notes:
• The men's indoor track & field squad outdistanced High Point by 65 points, capturing its 16th straight Big South title.
• The Flames have won all 16 Big South men's indoor track & field titles ever awarded, marking the longest run of consecutive championships in Big South Conference history in any sport.
• At the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships, the Liberty men's squad defeated runner-up Coastal Carolina by 82 tallies.
• It marked Liberty's seventh straight Big South outdoor team championship and its 18th title in the 20-year history of the meet.
• Meanwhile, the Lady Flames edged Coastal Carolina by 6.75 points (210-203.25) for its first Big South outdoor championship since 2010 and its 13th title overall.
• Liberty hosted the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships for the seventh time, and the Flames have now swept the men's and women's team titles on all seven occasions.
• Liberty's string of seven straight men's Big South "Triple Crowns" is the longest active streak among NCAA Division I schools.

Among the IC4A's Elite
The Liberty men's team finished fifth at both the IC4A Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships, continuing a pattern of lofty placements at the meet.
News and Notes:
• It was the fourth time in the last six years that Liberty has posted a top-five finish at the IC4A indoor meet.
• Meanwhile, the Flames placed inside the top five at the IC4A outdoor championship for the fifth time in seven seasons.

Summarizing the NCAA Streaks
Liberty extended a pair of impressive streaks with the qualification of Mychelle Cumings, Ryan Smith and Isaac Wendland to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
News and Notes:
• Liberty was represented at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships for the 10th straight year. The streak began in 2004, when Chad Wilson long jumped and Danielle McNaney competed in the heptathlon in Austin, Texas.
• Cumings and Smith extended Liberty's streak of qualifying throwers to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships to seven straight seasons. Current assistant coach Clendon Henderson initiated the run in 2007, throwing the discus in Sacramento, Calif.

Individual Achievements
Cumings Keeps it Coming
Mychelle Cumings certainly did not experience a sophomore slump, as the Tennessee native continued to accomplish "firsts" for a Liberty women's thrower.
News and Notes:
• Cumings became the first Lady Flame ever to qualify for the NCAA Division I national meet in the discus.
• Cumings won Liberty's first-ever ECAC discus title.
• She was named Big South Women's Outstanding Field Performer at both the indoor and outdoor conference meets.
• For the second straight season, Cumings won three Big South individual titles (indoor and outdoor shot put, outdoor discus).

Smith's Special Season
Ryan Smith wrapped up his collegiate career in style, capping off a successful senior campaign by throwing the shot put at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
News and Notes:
• Smith was the first Flame ever to throw the shot put at the NCAA Division I outdoor meet.
• He swept the Big South indoor and outdoor men's shot put titles for the fourth consecutive year. Smith is the first Big South athlete ever to win an event's indoor and outdoor conference titles for four straight years.
• Smith was named Big South Men's Outstanding Field Performer outdoors.
• The Georgia native finished his career as a 10-time Big South event champion and a 15-time All-Big South performer.

What a Year for Wendland!
Isaac Wendland enjoyed a storybook senior season, culminating with his first trip to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
News and Notes:
• Wendland became the first Liberty men's 1,500-meter runner ever to qualify for the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
• He did so by breaking both the Liberty and Big South 1,500-meter records with a 3:43.91 clocking at the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet.
• Wendland became just the second Flame ever to win an IC4A 1,500 title, joining Josh McDougal (2007).
• Wendland was the first Liberty men's runner to sweep the Big South 800 and 1,500 championships since Stephen Githuka in 1999.

Awards Aplenty
Below is a list of awards and honors Liberty athletes and coaches earned during the 2013 indoor and outdoor track & field seasons.

Liberty Track & Field Award Winners:
Cody Bingham – Big South Men's Field Athlete of the Week (April 4)
Jacy Christiansen – Big South Women's All-Academic Team (Indoor)
Mychelle Cumings – Big South Women's Outstanding Field Performer (Indoor & Outdoor), Big South Women's Field Athlete of the Week (March 13, May 15)
Caleb Edmonds – Big South Men's All-Academic Team (Indoor & Outdoor), Big South Men's Track Athlete of the Week (April 4)
Chris Johnson – Big South Men's Field Athlete of the Week (May 8)
Janae Jones – Big South Women's Field Athlete of the Week (Jan. 30, Feb. 13)
Jennifer Klugh – Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award, Capital One Academic All-District Team
Josh MacDonald – Big South Men's Track Athlete of the Week (March 13)
Meredith Mistretta – Big South Women's All-Academic Team (Outdoor)
Christina Mitchell – Big South Women's Field Athlete of the Week (March 21)
Jennifer Nicholson – Big South Women's Field Athlete of the Week (May 8)
Ryan Smith – Big South Men's Outstanding Field Performer (Outdoor), Big South Men's Field Athlete of the Week (Jan. 30)
Brant Tolsma – Big South Men's and Women's Coach of the Year (Outdoor)
Jocelyn Williams – Big South Women's Field Athlete of the Week (April 4)

Breaking Records
Liberty athletes broke seven different program records and tied another in 2013. Four of the record-breaking performances came at the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex during the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships (April 18-20).

Men's Outdoor Track & Field
1,500 – 3:43.91 – Isaac Wendland (May 25)
3K – 8:23.83 – Caleb Edmonds (April 6)

Women's Indoor Track & Field
200 – 24.72 – Abigail Flower (Feb. 9 and March 2)
Shot Put – 51-4.25 (15.65m) – Mychelle Cumings (Feb. 21)

Women's Outdoor Track & Field
100 – 11.57 – Abigail Flower (April 19)
200 – 23.48 – Abigail Flower (April 19)
400 Hurdles – 60.57 – Ansley Gebben (April 20) – Tied Danielle McNaney's record from 2005
Javelin – 152-9 (46.57m) – Christina Mitchell (April 19)

Charting the Champions
Liberty athletes won 20 events at the 2013 Big South Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships and won a trio of IC4A/ECAC titles. The following is a list of the Flames and Lady Flames' conference champions.

Men's Big South Indoor
Cody Bingham – Pole Vault
Caleb Edmonds – 3K
Josh MacDonald – 5K
Ryan Smith – Shot Put (Fourth in a row)
Kyle Wheeler – High Jump (Second in a row)

Men's Big South Outdoor
Cody Bingham – Pole Vault
Caleb Edmonds – 5K
Chris Johnson – Triple Jump
David Ricksecker – 10K
Ryan Smith – Shot Put (Fourth in a row)
Andre Washington – 400 Hurdles
Isaac Wendland – 800, 1,500

Men's IC4A Outdoor
Josh MacDonald – Steeplechase
Isaac Wendland – 1,500

Women's Big South Indoor
Jacy Christiansen – 3K
Mychelle Cumings – Shot Put (Second in a row)
Kristen Willeford – High Jump

Women's Big South Outdoor
Mychelle Cumings – Discus (Second in a row), Shot Put (Second in a row)
Christina Mitchell – Heptathlon (Third in a row), Javelin (Second in a row)

Women's ECAC Outdoor
Mychelle Cumings – Discus