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McDougal Blazes To Record-Setting 5K Time At IC4A Championships
The Liberty men's team, coached by Brant Tolsma, compiled 30.5 points to finish eighth out of the approximately 70 teams which competed on Saturday and Sunday. Cornell took home the IC4A team champion trophy after finishing with 50 points. Seton Hall ended up five points back in second place.
Ten of the Flames' points came courtesy of McDougal (Peru, N.Y.). The two-time IC4A 3,000-meter champion and meet record holder was Liberty's lone event titlist this year. Fairleigh-Dickinson's Samuel Chelanga ran with McDougal for 4,400 meters, before the Liberty junior pulled away, covering the last 1,000 meters in 2:33 and opening a nine-second gap over Chelanga.
McDougal's final time, 13:37.32, was a personal best by nearly 15 full seconds and earned him automatic qualification for this coming weekend's NCAA Division I National Indoor Track and Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.
In addition to eclipsing his own program and conference records, set Feb. 10 at the Washington Husky Classic, McDougal clocked a meet record and a facility record. The IC4A meet record had stood since 1990, when Penn State's Steve Brown ran a 13:52.36. McDougal's effort ranks second on this season's national performance list, behind only a 13:30.74 run by Wisconsin's Chris Solinsky.
Brother Jordan McDougal (So., Peru, N.Y.) also scored in the 5,000-meter event, placing eighth with a time of 14:17.48. The clocking represented an indoor personal record for McDougal and made him the No. 2 performer on Liberty's all-time list in the discipline.
Daniel Newell (So., Roanoke, Va.), in fourth place after the opening day in the heptathlon, finished the seven-event competition in fourth, totaling 4,763 points. Clarence Murray (Jr., Birdsboro, Pa.) was 12th in the heptathlon with a final score of 4,223.
In the high jump, Matt Parker (So., Rome, N.Y.) was part of a four-way tie for fourth place, clearing 6-8. Jon Hart (Jr., Wyomissing, Pa.) completed a successful throwing weekend with a seventh-place effort in the shot put, complimenting his third place in the weight throw from Saturday. Hart's 54-11.25 effort in the shot put marked a season best.
Philip Leineweber (So., New Freedom, Pa.) earned points for the Flames in a pair of events on Sunday, taking seventh in the 500 meters with a 1:03.97 and leading off for Liberty's eighth-place 4 x 400 relay team.
Travis Campbell (Sr., Candler, N.C.), Josh Gilreath (Jr., Reidsville, N.C.) and Tim O'Donnell (So., Hurst, Texas) completed the relay squad, which finished in 3:13.78, just one-hundredth of a second behind Duke for the seventh spot.
The Lady Flames totaled eight points, all of which were scored on the meet's opening day, landing in a tie with Lafayette, Maryland and New Hampshire for 31st place out of 51 teams which scored. UConn accumulated 61 points and won the meet by nine points over Pittsburgh.
Charlene Hibbert (Jr., Mississauga, Ontario), who had finished seventh in the long jump on Saturday, was the lone Lady Flame to compete on Sunday. She triple jumped 36-10.25, which was good for a 22nd-place finish.
The indoor track and field season is now complete for everyone but Josh McDougal, who will run the 5,000 meters at the NCAA Division I National Indoor Track and Field Championships on Friday at 9:30 p.m. Eastern, in Fayetteville, Ark. He will find out Monday evening whether or not his 3,000-meter qualifying time is fast enough to earn a spot on the starting line for that race. The 3,000-meter final will be contested at 8:50 p.m. Eastern on Saturday.
The remainder of the Liberty track and field athletes will open the outdoor portion of the schedule on Friday and Saturday, as they travel to Conway, S.C., for the CCU Invitational.