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Liberty Men's Track Goes 4-0 At Virginia Cup

March 22, 2014
|  Charlottesville, Va.
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David Scouten earned top-two finishes in three different events during Saturday's Virginia Cup, including a victory in the hammer.

LFSN Video Recap

For the second consecutive year, the Liberty men's track & field team was victorious in all of its dual-meet competitions at the Virginia Cup. Meanwhile, the Lady Flames finished 4-1 on a successful Saturday at Lannigan Field which saw Liberty win 11 event titles.

The Flames' narrowest victory saw them edge host Virginia by a 75-73 count. Aided by ConRoy Smith's three event victories, Liberty also defeated Hampton (109-31), Norfolk State (117-21) and Radford (106-39). The men's squad notched three new IC4A-qualifying performances in the process.

The Lady Flames, who posted four new ECAC qualifiers, came out on top against Hampton (89-44), James Madison (106-35), Norfolk State (122-15) and Radford (106-51). Only Virginia defeated Liberty, scoring 97 points to the Lady Flames' 58.

Men's Meet Recap
The quartet of Stephen Hayes, Stephen Racanelli, ConRoy Smith and Tyler Weigandt set the tone for Liberty's day early on by winning the men's 4 x 100 relay title in an IC4A-qualifying time of 41.69 seconds. The Flames crossed the line just ahead of Virginia (41.80).

Smith and Racanelli went on to finish first and third, respectively in the 100-meter dash final. Smith's winning time of 10.57 seconds set a new personal best, ties him for ninth place on Liberty's all-time list and was the fastest 100 clocking by a Flame since the 2006 season. Aided by a 3.1 m/s tailwind, Racanelli followed in 10.69.

Later, Smith and Racanelli recorded an impressive 1-2 finish at 200 meters. Smith posted another personal-best time (21.37), while Racanelli finished in 21.63.

Smith almost claimed his fourth victory of the day in the men's long jump. His personal-best leap of 22-7.75 had the senior in the lead until the sixth and final round, when Virginia's Chris Rogers overtook him by 2.75 inches. Smith ended up second in the event.

Smith's busy afternoon concluded when he joined Colin Schultz, John Sherret and Weigandt on the Flames' third-place 4 x 400 relay quartet. Their final time was 3:20.52.

Earlier in the day, Schultz and Sherret were two of five Flames to notch sub-1:56 times and place inside the top 10 in the men's 800-meter run. Sherret led the way in second place (1:53.58), followed by Schultz in fifth (collegiate-best 1:54.48), Trevor Hope in sixth (personal-best 1:54.60), Jacob Onifer in ninth (personal-best 1:55.06) and Jarred Cornfield in 10th (1:55.57).

Wrapping up the action on the track, Ryan Davis made an auspicious collegiate debut, winning the men's 400 hurdles title by nearly two seconds with his 55.17 effort.

Redshirt sophomore David Scouten enjoyed success in all three of his throwing events, recording a victory and a pair of runner-up finishes. His win came in the hammer throw, thanks to a personal-best 163-3 heave which ranks the Michigan native No. 10 in program history.

In the discus, Scouten (164-3) and Tim Abbott (161-2) placed second and third, with Abbott punching his IC4A ticket. Teammates Trevor VanAsselt (fifth, 141-8), Constand Van Rooyen (sixth, 137-5) and Tevan McIntire (seventh, personal-best 133-2) showcased Liberty's depth in the event.

Scouten (49-9.25) and Abbott (outdoor personal best-equaling 48-10.25) also came in second and third in the shot put final.

After missing nearly the entire 2013 season due to injury, Steve Feister made an impressive return to competition. He spearheaded a 1-2-3 Liberty sweep of the men's javelin competition with an IC4A-qualifying mark of 200-9. Defending champion Daniel Klase followed in the runner-up spot at 176-4 with Zach Davis coming in third at 170-2.

Davis secured a victory in the high jump final, thanks to a second-attempt clearance at 6-7.5. Teammates Zach Gilroy and Kyle Wheeler each made it over 6-3.5 to place third and fourth, respectively.

Ken Ritchey took home the men's pole vault championship with a winning height of 14-5.25.

Women's Meet Recap
Not to be outdone by their male counterparts, the Liberty women's sprinters posted some fast times on Saturday as well, starting in the 4 x 100 relay. The team of Rajon Stinnett-Perry, Oasis Hernandez, Shaneil Fairclough and Abigail Flower came in third in 46.42 seconds. That effort hit the ECAC standard and puts them in a tie for eighth place on the Lady Flames' all-time list.

Flower (11.96) and Hernandez (12.00) each qualified for the ECAC meet at 100 meters, while coming in second and third. Hernandez now ranks ninth in program history for the event.

Flower was Liberty's top finisher at 200 meters as well, crossing the line fifth in a time of 24.55 seconds.

Redshirt sophomore Ansley Gebben was the Lady Flames' final ECAC qualifier on the day and lone event victor on the track. She was victorious in her 400 hurdles season debut, posting a time of 1:01.25. Teammates Mary Echols (personal-best 1:03.60) and Mary Witmer (1:04.59) were third and fourth in the event.

Corinn Bedell's personal-best 400 dash time of 56.87 seconds placed third in the event. She also joined Gebben, Witmer and Meghan Burggraf on Liberty's third-place 4 x 400 grouping. Their final time was a season-best 3:51.13.

Liberty's final noteworthy effort on the track came from distance standout Jacy Christiansen, who successfully dropped down to the 800 meters on Saturday. The junior lopped 4.5 seconds off of her personal best, finishing in 2:15.52 for third place.

Jennifer Nicholson successfully defended her Virginia Cup discus title on Saturday. The Missouri native recorded the three longest throws of the competition, including a season-best 155-3 heave. She also came in third with a 144-3 mark in the hammer.

Kristen Willeford (5-4.25) and Riley Brandon (5-2.25) went 1-2 in the high jump for the Lady Flames, while freshmen Jessie Glynn (10-11.5) and Brooke Shelton (10-5.5) came in second and third overall in the pole vault.

Defending champion Janae Jones came in fourth in Saturday's women's triple jump competition with a 39-6.5 leap, followed by teammate Melissa Rohwer in fifth at 38-7.5.

Rowher stretched out to 18-8.5 for third place in the long jump, while freshman Erica Carney joined the 18-foot club for the first time. She landed at 18-1 for sixth place on the event.

Liberty will send athletes to three different meets this coming week, including the Texas Relays, Raleigh Relays and Winthrop Invitational.