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Jefferson Sets Conference 5K Record At ECAC/IC4A Championships

March 3, 2007
|  Boston, Mass.
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Carol Jefferson (front) and Piper Newby raced to two of the fastest 5K times in school and conference history on Saturday in Boston.

Carol Jefferson (front) and Piper Newby raced to two of the fastest 5K times in school and conference history on Saturday in Boston.

Junior Carol Jefferson broke her own Big South Conference and Liberty record in the 5,000 meters, highlighting Liberty's performances on Saturday at the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Indoor Track and Field Championships. The meet was held in Boston, in conjunction with the men's IC4A Championships. 

The Lady Flames accumulated eight team points on the first of two days of competition at the ECAC meet, tying them for 10th in the overall standings. UConn leads the way with 22 tallies. Meanwhile, the Liberty men's squad is tied for ninth in the IC4A meet with six points. Bucknell's 25 points put it atop the IC4A standings. 

Jefferson (Jr., Schwenksville, Pa.) covered 5,000 meters in 17:03.23 to eclipse the conference and school record she had set at the 2006 Big South Indoor Track and Field Championships and place 10th in the race. Teammate and classmate Piper Newby (Hayden Lake, Idaho) followed closely behind, finishing 13th in a personal-best 17:08.80. 

Arlene Zelinskas (Sr., Dayton, Ohio) kept busy throughout the event at the Reggie Lewis Track Center and scored six of the Lady Flames' points in the process. She opened the day by taking fourth place in her specialty, the pentathlon, accumulating 3,875 points. The top three competitors all eclipsed 4,000 points, headed by Fordham's Kristin Greene, who finished with 4,031. 

Zelinskas then came back to become one of two Lady Flames to score in the jumps. She cleared a personal-best 5-8.75 in the high jump, which was good for eighth place. Charlene Hibbert (Jr., Mississauga, Ontario) was seventh in the long jump, leaping 18-8. Sophomore Andrea Beckles (Lynchburg, Va.) was the final Liberty women's athlete to compete on Saturday, placing 21st in the opening round of the 60-meter dash with a 7.80 clocking. 

On the men's side, at Boston University, Jon Hart (Jr., Wyomissing, Pa.) hit a best mark of 64-3 in the weight throw to claim third place in the event. 

Daniel Newell (So., Roanoke, Va.) sits in the fourth spot in the heptathlon after day one, with a score of 2,694. Clarence Murray (Jr., Birdsboro, Pa.), the Big South champion in the event, is 14th, with 2,300 points. 

Philip Leineweber (So., New Freedom, Pa.) qualified to Sunday's event finals in two events, beginning with the 500 meters. He recorded the fifth-fastest time in the preliminary rounds, 1:02.97. 

Leineweber later led off a 4 x 400 relay unit which advanced to the final with the sixth-best clocking, 3:13.70. The Flames' time was a tantalizing .28 seconds off the school record. Joining Leineweber were Travis Campbell (Sr., Candler, N.C.), Josh Gilreath (Jr., Reidsville, N.C.) and Tim O'Donnell (So., Hurst, Texas). 

Also competing for the Flames were Jordan McDougal (So., Peru, N.Y.), 14th in the 3,000 meters in 8:21.02, Markus Greenleaf (So., Laceys Springs, Ala.), 21st in the prelims of the 55-meter dash in a time of 6.54 and Campbell who was 25th in the 800 despite a season-best 1:54.44 effort. 

Day two of the ECAC Championships will commence with the pole vault at 11 a.m. Across town, the IC4A heptathletes will return to action with the 55-meter hurdles at 9:30 a.m., to get the day's action started.