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Liberty Track to Open Outdoor Season at Coastal
Myrtle Beach Weather
For the ninth consecutive year, Liberty will open the outdoor track & field season at the Coastal Carolina Invitational. The meet is scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
The men's hammer will be the first event to begin, Friday at 10 a.m. Saturday's full day of action will also get started at 10 a.m., with the men's discus, women's shot put, women's high jump, men's pole vault ("B" flight) and women's 3K.
How to Follow the Flames and Lady Flames
Live results will be available throughout the meet, courtesy of TimingInc.com.
Friday's weather forecast for Myrtle Beach calls for sunny skies and a high temperature near 60 degrees. Saturday's forecast shows the high reaching the mid 60s with increased cloudiness.
A Look Back at Last Year
Liberty's most impressive results at the 2013 Coastal Carolina Invitational came in the distance events and the throws. Josh MacDonald won the men's steeplechase with a stellar time of 8:57.26, earning Big South Men's Track Athlete of the Week honors. Meanwhile, Meredith Mistretta enjoyed a breakthrough performance in the women's 10K, dropping her personal-best time to an ECAC-qualifying 37:24.78.
Mychelle Cumings took top honors in the women's discus at 163-0, garnering Big South Women's Field Athlete of the Week recognition. She was followed by teammates Jennifer Nicholson and Jocelyn Williams in second and fourth places, respectively.
Big South Battle
Just five weeks before the 2014 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships (April 17-19, Rock Hill, S.C.), athletes from six conference schools will go head-to-head this weekend. Big South members Coastal Carolina, Gardner-Webb, High Point, Liberty, Radford and UNC Asheville will all be represented in Myrtle Beach.
Liberty fared well at last weekend's IC4A and ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships in Boston, finishing third in the women's ECAC standings and fourth on the final men's IC4A ledger.
The Flames and Lady Flames already have a good start in qualifying individuals to the IC4A and ECAC Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, as the outdoor season begins. Liberty has already qualified 25 athletes to the IC4A/ECAC outdoor meet, based upon indoor performances.
The Flames' 15 IC4A qualifiers include Aklesso Agama (triple jump), Zach Davis (high jump), Jacob DeValve (shot put), Caleb Edmonds (5K), Fred Fulton (shot put), Trevor Hope (4 x 800), Josh MacDonald (5K), Jacob Onifer (4 x 800), Stephen Racanelli (100, 200), Ken Ritchey (pole vault), Colin Schultz (4 x 800), Kenny Scott (long jump), David Scouten (shot put, hammer), John Sherret (4 x 800) and ConRoy Smith (100).
The Lady Flames' 10 ECAC qualifiers are Rachel Barnes (shot put), Corinn Bedell (4 x 400), Meghan Burggraf (800, 4 x 400), Jacy Christiansen (3K, 5K), Mychelle Cumings (shot put), Ansley Gebben (400, 4 x 400), Oasis Hernandez (200, triple jump), Janae Jones (triple jump), Melissa Rohwer (triple jump) and Mary Witmer (4 x 400).
Liberty hopes to add to that list this weekend, with its first opportunity to compete in the outdoor-only events (10K, 400 hurdles, steeplechase, discus, hammer, javelin).
The transition from indoor to outdoor track & field adds several events to the equation, including the 10K, 400 hurdles, steeplechase, discus, hammer and javelin. Liberty figures to be strong in a number of these disciplines in 2014, highlighted by the following events.
Men's 10K: Last year, Liberty placed 1-2-3-4 in the Big South men's 10K final, and the trio of Caleb Edmonds (second place), Josh MacDonald (third place) and Jeremie Bourget (fourth place) is back in 2014. MacDonald (29:57.64 personal best) is one of seven runners in program history to run a 10K in under 30 minutes.
Women's 400 Hurdles: In 2013, Ansley Gebben finished third in the Big South 400 hurdles final while equaling the school record of 1:00.57. Meanwhile, Brittney Webley clocked a time of 1:00.97 to qualify for the ECAC final. This year, they will be joined by freshman Mary Witmer, who ran a time of 42.11 seconds for the 300 hurdles and won the 2013 Pennsylvania AAA state championship in the event.
Men's Steeplechase: Josh MacDonald is back for his final go-around in the men's steeplechase. He won the 2013 IC4A steeplechase crown, ranks second in program history for the event at 8:49.14 and has qualified for the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet in each of the past two seasons.
Men's Discus: Tim Abbott (167-4 personal best) and David Scouten (167-1 personal best) are both back in action this year, after redshirting the 2013 season. In 2012, Scouten was the Big South discus runner-up and Abbott placed fourth. The following month, Abbott came in seventh in the IC4A discus final.
Women's Discus: Last season, the women's discus was one of Liberty's best events, as Mychelle Cumings, Jocelyn Williams and Jennifer Nicholson swept the top three spots at the Big South Championship and all three advanced to the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet. Cumings, who threw the discus at the 2013 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, owns the program record at 167-0, followed by Williams (163-10) and Nicholson (161-8).
Men's Javelin: Daniel Klase returns in 2014, after placing fourth in last year's Big South men's javelin final with a career-best throw of 202-1. Steve Feister is also back, after missing the 2013 campaign due to injury. As a freshman in 2012, Feister finished seventh in the IC4A javelin competition with a 203-0 heave. Jacob DeValve (196-7 personal best) adds depth in the event.
Women's Javelin: Two-time Big South champion and school record holder Christina Mitchell has graduated, but the Lady Flames boast the No. 2 (Nicole Bishop) and No. 3 (Jennifer Nicholson) returnees from the 2013 Big South women's javelin competition. Additionally, Yana Babbitt is back from an injury which shortened her promising freshman season.