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Liberty Heads to VT for First Road Meet of Season
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The Liberty men's and women's indoor track & field teams will take to the road for the first time this season, heading to Blacksburg, Va., for Friday and Saturday's Hokie Invitational. The competition will allow the Flames and Lady Flames to preview Rector Field House, the site of the 2014 Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Action is set to begin Friday at 5 p.m. with the men's and women's triple jump, men's weight throw, women's 3K and the unseeded section of the women's pole vault. Meanwhile, the seeded section of the women's pole vault will be Saturday's opening event, set for an 11 a.m. start.
How to Follow the Flames and Lady Flames
Live results will be available during both days of competition, courtesy of Flash Results, Inc.
Big South Preview
Five weeks before the 2014 Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships (Feb. 28-March 1), Liberty will compete at the championship venue, Virginia Tech's Rector Field House. Nine of the previous 16 Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships have been held at Rector Field House, most recently in 2012. That year, Liberty swept the men's and women's team titles.
Liberty will compete against Big South foes Coastal Carolina and Radford at the Hokie Invitational. On the women's side, Coastal Carolina was picked to win the Big South title in the preseason coaches poll, with the Lady Flames tabbed for second place.
Take it to the Bank
The Hokie Invitational will provide Liberty's track athletes their first opportunity to compete on a banked track this season, after the Liberty Kickoff and Liberty Open were contested on the 200-meter flat track at the Tolsma Indoor Track Center.
Historically, Liberty has posted some fast times on the Rector Field House oval, including the existing school records in the men's 800 (1:50.7), sprint medley relay (2:08.2) and distance medley relay (9:51.54), as well as the women's 300 (39.55), 1,000 (2:52.4), 3K (9:44.62), 4 x 200 (1:47.1), 4 x 400 (3:47.15), 4 x 800 (9:15.21) and sprint medley relay (4:19.4).
Liberty has enjoyed some memorable performances at the Hokie Invitational in recent years. In 2010, Clarence Powell set the program men's triple jump record of 50-6, while the quartet of Rebekah Ricksecker, Meghan Burggraf, Rod'Esther Castor and Jaime Watson broke the Liberty women's 4 x 800 record with a 9:15.21 clocking.
The following year, Sam Chelanga set his personal best in the mile at 4:03.84. Fellow All-American Kolby Shepherd pole vaulted 17-7.25 during his redshirt season.
During Liberty's most recent Hokie Invitational appearance in 2012, Jennifer Klugh clocked a 3K time of 9:44.62 to break the school record.
Many of the top performers from the 2013 Big South champion Liberty men's cross country team will make their indoor season debuts this weekend.
On Friday, Josh MacDonald is signed up for both the 3K and the mile. He will be joined in the mile by the Empire State duo of Jarred Cornfield and Caleb Edmonds. Meanwhile, Sam Hibbs is slated to run the 5K on Saturday.
Big South's Best
On Wednesday, junior Jacy Christiansen was named the Big South Women's Indoor Track Athlete of the Week after clocking a conference-leading mile time of 5:00.74 at the Liberty Open. The Lady Flames' other current Big South leaders include Abigail Flower in the 60 (7.72), Oasis Hernandez in the long jump (18-7), Mychelle Cumings in the shot put (49-0.75), Jocelyn Williams in the weight throw (62-6.5) and Audrey Bamford in the pentathlon (adjusted score of 3,476).
On the men's side, Liberty's Big South leaders are ConRoy Smith in the 60 (6.90), Stephen Racanelli in the 200 (adjusted time of 22.13), John Sherret in the 800 (adjusted time of 1:54.01), Zach Davis in the high jump (6-8.25), Aklesso Agama in the triple jump (48-7.25), Fred Fulton in the shot put (57-1.5) and Cody Bingham in the heptathlon (adjusted score of 5,045).