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Host Flames Win 13 Saturday Events at Liberty Open
The host team enjoyed a successful Saturday at the Liberty Open, contested inside the Tolsma Indoor Track Center. The Flames and Lady Flames combined to win 13 events and record five new IC4A/ECAC qualifying performances.
Two meet records went down as well, including Olympic gold medalist Tianna Bartoletta's 7.40 effort in the women's 60 dash. Additionally, three women eclipsed the previous meet standard in the 1,000, topped by Elon's Kimberly Johansen at 2:54.55.
Women's Meet Recap
After winning three event titles on Friday evening, the Lady Flames added four more on Saturday. Redshirt senior team captain Meghan Burggraf was involved in two of them, beginning with a dominating performance in the 500. She won by eight seconds and qualified for the ECAC meet with her time of 1:16.67. Burggraf now ranks third in program history for the event.
Burggraf later joined Corinn Bedell, Mary Witmer and Ansley Gebben for a 13-second victory in the 4 x 400 relay. The quartet's time was 3:57.26.
Junior Mychelle Cumings led Liberty's 1-2-3-4 sweep of the women's shot put in her season debut, qualifying for the ECAC meet with her 49-0.75 put. She was followed by teammates Jocelyn Williams (tied personal best of 42-3.25), Rachel Barnes and Jennifer Nicholson (40-7.5).
Fellow junior Jacy Christiansen rounded out the Lady Flames trio of ECAC qualifiers, clocking 5:00.74 in the women's mile, one of the day's most competitive events.
Janae Jones was victorious in the women's triple jump for the second consecutive meet, stretching out to 39-0.25.
Audrey Bamford did not compete in the pentathlon at the Liberty Open but did keep busy on Saturday. She was the women's 60 hurdles runner-up in a personal-best time of 8.99 seconds, tying for ninth place on Liberty's all-time performance list. Bamford also high jumped 5-3 for third place in the event.
Gebben clocked an indoor personal-best 400 dash time of 58.29 seconds, which was good for second place.
Freshman Hannah Scherlacher made a solid collegiate track debut, running an 800 time of 2:25.38 for third place.
Men's Meet Recap
The Liberty men's squad earned nine first-place finishes on Saturday, including titles in five of the six field events. However, both of the Flames' new IC4A qualifications came on the track.
Junior John Sherret punched his IC4A ticket with his winning 800-meter time of 1:55.64, with teammate Trevor Hope following in second place.
Freshman Stephen Racanelli hit the IC4A standard in the 200 dash at 22.52, winning the one-lap event for the second meet in a row. He also came in third in the men's 60 dash final in 7.15 seconds after racing to a season-best time of 7.01 in the prelims.
Sherret and Racanelli were joined by Tyler Weigandt and Colin Schultz on the Flames' winning 4 x 400 relay quartet, which crossed the finish line in 3:28.55.
Schultz had earlier recorded the first victory of his young collegiate career, thanks to a 2:32.78 performance in the men's 1,000-meter final.
Redshirt sophomore David Scouten improved his weight throw personal best by nearly three feet, reaching 58-8 with his winning throw. He now ranks fifth on Liberty's all-time list as a result. Teammate Fred Fulton followed in second place at 53-6.5.
Scouten was then a close second to teammate Jacob DeValve in the men's shot put final. Team captain DeValve threw 49-7.25, followed by Scouten at 49-5.
For the second consecutive meet, freshman Aklesso Agama took home the men's triple jump crown. His best jump of the day measured 47-0.75.
Harrison Allen and Cody Bingham both successfully cleared 15-3 in the men's pole vault, with Allen being awarded the victory due to fewer misses. The effort was an indoor personal best for Allen.
Patrick Donigan's high jump mark of 6-2.25 stood up as the winning height.
Freshmen Zach Davis and Zach Gilroy both notched personal-best scores in the heptathlon for second and third places, respectively. Davis' total of 4,649 points ranks him eighth in program history, while Gilroy totaled 4,440 points.
Liberty will be back in action next Friday and Saturday (Jan. 24-25), when the Flames and Lady Flames compete at the Hokie Invitational in Blacksburg, Va. The meet will be held at Virginia Tech's Rector Field House, the venue for the 2014 Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships (Feb. 28-March 1).