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2014 Big South Outdoor Track - Women's Preview

April 16, 2014
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Meghan Burggraf has won four Big South 800-meter titles during her career, including two indoors and two outdoors.

Live Video Streaming on Saturday (Big South Network)

Live Results

Women's Schedule

Women's Performance List

Women's Heat Sheets

Liberty Gameday Twitter

Rock Hill Weather

The Liberty men's and women's squads will both attempt to defend their team titles at the 2014 Big South Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The 21st edition of the meet will be contested Thursday through Saturday at Winthrop's Irwin Belk Track in Rock Hill, S.C.

The Liberty men's squad will aim for its eighth consecutive team championship and its 19th overall title at this meet. A victory would also wrap up the Flames' eighth straight Big South "Triple Crown," after Liberty previously captured Big South titles in men's cross country and men's indoor track & field this year.

Meanwhile, the Lady Flames will attempt to win their second straight team title, after claiming victory on their home track in 2013. Liberty has notched 13 women's team championships in the 20-year history of this meet.

The 2014 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships will begin Thursday at 2 p.m., with the men's hammer and heptathlon 100-meter hurdles. The three-day meet is scheduled to conclude at approximately 5 p.m. Saturday, with the men's 4 x 400 relay wrapping up the championship.

This will mark the second time Winthrop has hosted the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Irwin Belk Track and the first since 2008. That year, the Liberty men's team took home the team title, while the Lady Flames placed third. Current assistant coach Rebekah Ricksecker won the women's 1,500 title, assistant coach Clendon Henderson won the men's discus crown and director of operations Daniel Newell was the decathlon champion.
    
How to Follow the Action
The meet will be video streamed, free of charge, on the Big South Network Saturday only, from approximately 12:15 p.m. through the awards ceremony.

Live results are expected to be available throughout all three days of the meet.

LibertyFlames.com will be on hand during all three days of competition, providing live, interactive blog coverage.

Periodic updates will also be posted to the Liberty Gameday Twitter account (@LUGameday) during the meet.

Weather Report
High temperatures are projected to be in the mid 60s on both Thursday and Friday before climbing into the low 70s on Saturday. There is a small chance of passing rain showers on both Friday and Saturday in Rock Hill.

Women's Meet Preview
In 11 of the last 12 seasons, Liberty and Coastal Carolina have claimed the women's team championship and runner-up trophies at the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships. So, it should be no surprise that the Lady Flames and Chanticleers are expected to battle it out for first place once again this weekend.

Coastal Carolina has won seven of the last 10 women's team crowns at this meet, but it was Liberty which came out on top, 210-203.25, on its home track a year ago. The Lady Flames will attempt to defend their title and prevent the Chanticleers from completing a Big South "Triple Crown." Coastal Carolina has already claimed Big South women's cross country and indoor track & field championships this year.

Redshirt senior Meghan Burggraf is the most highly-decorated Lady Flame who will compete this weekend. Her Big South indoor 800 title this year was the fourth Big South 800 championship of her career, and the team captain is favored at 800 meters once again.

Sprinter Oasis Hernandez, distance runner Jacy Christiansen, high jumper Kristen Willeford and heptathlete Riley Brandon are other Lady Flames who have been Big South individual event champions during their career.

Big South titlists Mychelle Cumings and Jocelyn Williams are both redshirting the 2014 outdoor season, but the Lady Flames could still contend for a couple of throwing event crowns in their absence. Jennifer Nicholson tops the Big South performance list in the discus by a wide margin, while Rachel Barnes ranks second in the shot put.

Junior Abigail Flower, the top returning Big South women's sprinter from 2013, leads the conference in the 100 dash. Other Lady Flames currently ranked No. 1 in the conference include Christiansen in the 5K, Melissa Rohwer in the long jump and Janae Jones in the triple jump.

Women's 100-Meter Dash
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 6 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 2:20 p.m.
Defending Champion: Gabrielle Houston (Charleston Southern) – 11.47
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Abigail Flower (Liberty) – 3rd place
2014 Indoor Champion (60 Meters): Oasis Hernandez (Liberty) – 7.45
2014 Leader: Flower – 11.88
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 5 (Panthera Seymour - 2000)
Liberty Entrants: Abigail Flower, Oasis Hernandez, Rajon Stinnett-Perry and Kate Flower
Outlook: Liberty has not won the Big South women's 100 dash title since Panthera Seymour did so in 2000, but the Lady Flames boast two possible title contenders this weekend. Junior Abigail Flower owns the conference's fastest time of 2014 at 11.88 and is the top returnee from 2013, when she finished third in this event. Freshman teammate Oasis Hernandez sprinted to the Big South indoor 60-meter dash title and has clocked 11.99 seconds outdoors. Campbell freshman Anna Scott (11.96 season best) and the Coastal Carolina trio of Latesha Simpson (11.97), Ruby Durham (12.08) and Symphony Thompson (12.09) should all be in the mix as well.

Women's 200-Meter Dash
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 7:45 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: Gabrielle Houston (Charleston Southern) – 23.45
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Abigail Flower (Liberty) – 3rd place
2014 Indoor Champion: Anna Scott (Campbell) – 24.22
2014 Leader: Scott – 23.83
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 5 (Panthera Seymour - 1999)
Liberty Entrants: Abigail Flower, Oasis Hernandez, Rajon Stinnett-Perry and Kate Flower
Outlook: The 200-meter dash is one of Coastal Carolina's best events, as four Chanticleers rank among the Big South's top eight. Campbell freshman Anna Scott captured the Big South indoor 200 dash crown and made a spectacular outdoor debut at the distance with a 23.83 clocking at the Aggie Invitational. Liberty will enter both its indoor (Oasis Hernandez) and outdoor (Abigail Flower) 200 record holders. Hernandez placed third indoors this year, while Flower was the 2013 third-place outdoor finisher. The Lady Flames won five of the first six Big South outdoor 200-meter dash titles in meet history, but have not won since Panthera Seymour's triumph in 1999. 

Women's 400-Meter Dash
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 5:30 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 2 p.m.
Defending Champion: Lynette Akai (Campbell) – 54.51
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Akai
2014 Indoor Champion: Christal Green (Coastal Carolina) – 53.85
2014 Leader: Akai – 54.88
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 8 (Jaime Watson - 2010)
Liberty Entrant: Corinn Bedell
Outlook: Coastal Carolina's Christal Green led a 1-2-3 Chanticleer sweep in the Big South indoor 400 dash final with a conference-record time of 53.85 seconds. However, she ranks third on the Big South outdoor list, trailing defending champion Lynette Akai of Campbell (54.88) and Coastal Carolina teammate Camille Hurley (55.00). Liberty sophomore Corinn Bedell, who has lowered her personal-best time to 56.87 seconds this season, will aim to qualify for her first Big South outdoor 400 final. Lady Flame Ansley Gebben placed fourth indoors, but will focus on the 400 hurdles this weekend.

Women's 800-Meter Run
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 6:30 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 2:40 p.m.
Defending Champion: Sarah Gentry (UNC Asheville) – 2:10.21 (Second in a row)
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Emily Marchini (Coastal Carolina) – 2nd place
2014 Indoor Champion: Meghan Burggraf (Liberty) – 2:09.26
2014 Leader: Burggraf – 2:07.09
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 10 (Meghan Burggraf - 2011)
Liberty Entrants: Meghan Burggraf, Christieanna Apon, Alexis Taylor and Susan Tenberg
Outlook: Liberty redshirt senior Meghan Burggraf will look to cement her legacy as one of the top women's 800 runners in Big South Conference history this weekend. Burggraf, who clocked the second-fastest outdoor 800 time in conference annals (2:07.09) at the Stanford Invitational, is a four-time Big South 800 champion (two indoor, two outdoor). Her top competitors could include Radford's Teresa Williamson, who ran 2:10.86 to win at the Liberty Collegiate Invitational, 2014 indoor conference runner-up Mary Elliott of Charleston Southern and 2013 outdoor runner-up Emily Marchini of Coastal Carolina. Liberty sophomore Christieanna Apon has run back-to-back personal-best times and currently ranks No. 7 in the Big South at 2:17.10.

Women's 1,500-Meter Run
Event Schedule: Prelims (if necessary) – Friday at 4:30 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 1 p.m.
Defending Champion: Sarah Gentry (UNC Asheville) – 4:32.81
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Emily Marchini (Coastal Carolina) – 2nd place
2014 Indoor Champion (Mile): Teresa Williamson (Radford) – 4:50.38
2014 Leader: Williamson – 4:31.65
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 8 (Jennifer Klugh - 2012)
Liberty Entrants: Hannah Scherlacher, Courtney Russo, Katie Russo and Lindsey Bray
Outlook: Radford's Teresa Williamson, the reigning Big South indoor mile champion, owns the conference's fastest time of 2014 at 4:31.65. She is followed closely by Coastal Carolina's Emily Marchini (4:33.42), who was the 2013 Big South runner-up in this event. Liberty junior Jacy Christiansen was the Big South mile runner-up and has dropped her 1,500 personal best to 4:33.84 this season. However, she will focus on the 5K and 10K this weekend. That leaves freshman Hannah Scherlacher (4:51.82 season best) and sophomore Courtney Russo (4:52.05 season best) as the Lady Flames' top hopes in the "metric mile." Russo was a finalist in this event in 2013.

Women's 3,000-Meter Steeplechase
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 8:15 p.m.
Defending Champion: Emma Bussard (UNC Asheville) – 10:38.77
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Shelby Nicosia (Coastal Carolina) – 2nd place
2014 Leader: Ashley Matthews (Campbell) – 10:50.03
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 2 (Hailey Neal – 2010)
Liberty Entrants: Kat Bouton, Jessica Gass and Megan Versen
Outlook: Coastal Carolina senior Shelby Nicosia and Campbell senior Ashley Matthews, the second and third-place Big South steeplechase finishers from 2013, are the top two favorites to take home this year's title. Matthews tops the conference at 10:50.03, followed by Nicosia at 11:00.97. High Point is deep in the steeplechase this season, with Audrey Malloy (fourth place in 2013) topping a group of three Panthers among the conference's top seven. Liberty senior Jessica Gass clocked a personal-best time of 11:29.22 to place 11th a year ago, while freshman teammate Kat Bouton owns the Lady Flames' top mark of 2014 (12:01.21).

Women's 5,000-Meter Run
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 3:45 p.m.
Defending Champion: Jeanne Stroud (Winthrop) – 16:59.40
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Stroud
2014 Indoor Champion: Letitia Saayman (Coastal Carolina) – 17:01.09
2014 Leader: Jacy Christiansen (Liberty) – 16:45.99
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 6 (Jennifer Klugh - 2012)
Liberty Entrants: Jacy Christiansen, Jessie Proehl, Chelsea Page and Caroline Parris
Outlook: Last season, Liberty wrapped up the team title by outscoring Coastal Carolina by a 14-1 count in the 5K. Jacy Christiansen, who made a late-race charge up to third place in that race, moved up to fourth in Big South history with her 16:45.99 clocking at the Stanford Invitational. She is one of three Big South runners who have run sub-17:00 times this season, along with Big South indoor mile/3K champion Teresa Williamson of Radford (16:55.33) and Big South indoor 5K champion Letitia Saayman of Coastal Carolina (16:56.02). Defending conference champion Jeanne Stroud of Winthrop ranks fourth in the Big South this season at 17:27.77. Liberty freshman Jessie Proehl could also figure into the scoring, as evidenced by her personal-best 17:49.93 performance at the Raleigh Relays.

Women's 10,000-Meter Run
Event Schedule: Final – Thursday at 7 p.m.
Defending Champion: Jeanne Stroud (Winthrop) – 36:05.51
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Stroud
2014 Leader: Adrian Etheridge (UNC Asheville) – 38:45.79
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 6 (Dacia Bushman - 2011)
Liberty Entrants: Mary Cate Cooper, Jacy Christiansen and Chelsea Page
Outlook: The women's 10K is a difficult event to project, as only five Big South runners have completed a 10K in 2014, led by UNC Asheville's Adrian Etheridge (38:45.79). The last two Big South 10K champions (2012 – Coastal Carolina's Letitia Saayman & 2013 – Winthrop's Jeanne Stroud) have entered this race. Meanwhile, Liberty junior Jacy Christiansen will make her 10K debut on Thursday and figures to run near the front of the pack, based upon her 5K personal-best time of 16:45.99.

Women's 100-Meter Hurdles
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 5 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: Mulern Jean (Charleston Southern) – 13.32 (Second in a row)
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Jean
2014 Indoor Champion (60 Hurdles): Jean – 8.23
2014 Leader: Jean – 13.53
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 9 (Olivia Charnuski - 2011)
Liberty Entrants: None
Outlook: This is an event where Coastal Carolina will likely make a major move on Liberty, as four Chanticleers rank among the conference's top seven and no Lady Flames are entered. Everyone will be chasing Charleston Southern junior Mulern Jean, however. The two-time defending champion owns a conference-best time of 13.53 seconds this season.

Women's 400-Meter Hurdles
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 7:15 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 3 p.m.
Defending Champion: Jessica Gelibert (Coastal Carolina) – 57.86
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Gelibert
2014 Leader: Gelibert – 57.07
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 9 (Arlene Zelinskas - 2007)
Liberty Entrants: Ansley Gebben, Mary Witmer and Mary Echols
Outlook: The women's 400 hurdles promises to be one of the most exciting events of the weekend, considering the credentials of the entrants. Headlining the field is Coastal Carolina sophomore Jessica Gelibert, the defending conference champion who has lowered the Big South all-time record to 57.07 this season and is tied for fourth nationally. Other hurdlers to watch include the Charleston Southern record holder (Dotrine' Jacobs – 59.52), the Liberty record holder (Ansley Gebben – 1:00.42), the Winthrop record holder (Alesha Love – 1:01.54), the UNC Asheville record holder (Kassandra Pierre – 1:01.70) and the 2014 runner-up (Coastal Carolina's Christina Davis – 1:00.98 season best). Liberty freshman Mary Witmer's season-best time of 1:02.04 would have placed second in the Big South final each year between 2010 and 2012, but ranks just No. 8 in the conference this season.

Women's 4 x 100 Relay
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: Coastal Carolina – 45.50 (Third in a row)
2014 Leader: Coastal Carolina – 45.64
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 8 (2007)
Outlook: Coastal Carolina, seeking its fourth straight Big South women's 4 x 100 relay title, is the conference's top seed at 45.64. However, Liberty, Campbell and Charleston Southern could contend as well. If the Lady Flames are close entering the final exchange, anchor Abigail Flower will give them a chance to pull out their first Big South victory since 2007.

Women's 4 x 400 Relay
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: Coastal Carolina – 3:45.68 (Third in a row)
2014 Indoor Champion: Coastal Carolina – 3:45.40
2014 Leader: Coastal Carolina – 3:37.37
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 8 (2004)
Outlook: The Lady Flames' grouping of Ansley Gebben, Mary Witmer, Corinn Bedell and Meghan Burggraf became the second-fastest 4 x 400 relay quartet in program history with a 3:46.56 clocking at the Texas Relays. However, Liberty ranks just fourth in the Big South this year, trailing three-time defending champion Coastal Carolina (3:37.37), Campbell (3:42.80) and Charleston Southern (3:44.02). Coastal Carolina won the 2014 Big South indoor 4 x 400 relay title, while Liberty edged Charleston Southern in a photo finish for second place.

Women's Long Jump
Event Schedule: Final – Thursday at 5 p.m.
Defending Champion: Erica Peake (Coastal Carolina) – 19-4 (5.89m) (Second in a row)
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Melissa Rohwer (Liberty) – 2nd place
2014 Indoor Champion: Lilla Juhasz (Campbell) – 18-10.5 (5.75m)
2014 Leader: Rohwer – 18-8.5 (5.70m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (Danielle McNaney - 2003)
Liberty Entrants: Melissa Rohwer, Erica Carney, Oasis Hernandez and Janae Jones
Outlook: The women's long jump is often a key swing event in the team battle between Liberty and Coastal Carolina, and this year promises to be no different. Four Lady Flames and three Chanticleers rank among the Big South's top 11 long jumpers entering the meet. Last year, Liberty got a 2-3 finish from Melissa Rohwer and Janae Jones. Rohwer's 18-8.5 leap at the Virginia Cup is the conference's best mark thus far this season, giving the junior a shot to become the Lady Flames' first Big South outdoor women's long jump champion since Danielle McNaney in 2003. Campbell freshman Lilla Juhasz was a surprise champion at the Big South indoor meet, but has only reached 17-3.25 outdoors. Coastal Carolina's Latesha Simpson, who has gone 18-7.25 this season, was the indoor runner-up to Juhasz, with Jones finishing third for the Lady Flames.

Women's Triple Jump
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 11 a.m.
Defending Champion: Amirah Al-Bayinnah (Coastal Carolina) – 40-11 (12.47m)
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Al-Bayinnah
2014 Indoor Champion: Al-Bayinnah – 40-9.75 (12.44m)
2014 Leader: Janae Jones (Liberty) – 40-4.75 (12.31m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 9 (Mia Aghaji - 2012)
Liberty Entrants: Janae Jones, Oasis Hernandez, Melissa Rohwer and Erica Carney
Outlook: Liberty's Janae Jones and Coastal Carolina's Amirah Al-Bayinnah, both sophomores, will renew their rivalry on Saturday. At both the 2013 Big South outdoor meet and the 2014 Big South indoor meet, Al-Bayinnah won the women's triple jump crown with a big sixth-round mark, relegating Jones to second place. This season, Jones sits atop the conference performance list at 40-4.75, followed by Al-Bayinnah at 39-7.75. Liberty junior Melissa Rohwer, a two-time All-Big South triple jumper during her career, has reached 39-0.5 this season and is also expected to contend.

Women's High Jump
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 4 p.m.
Defending Champion: Latesha Simpson (Coastal Carolina) – 5-6 (1.68m)
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Simpson
2014 Indoor Champion: Meredith Foster (UNC Asheville) – 5-5.75 (1.67m)
2014 Leader: Kayin Mujahid (Gardner-Webb) – 5-8.75 (1.75m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 8 (Mia Aghaji - 2008)
Liberty Entrants: Riley Brandon, Kristen Willeford and Erika Jackson
Outlook: Friday's women's high jump competition will feature the last three Big South champions, in Liberty's Kristen Willeford (2013 indoor), Coastal Carolina's Latesha Simpson (2013 outdoor) and UNC Asheville's Meredith Foster (2014 indoor). However, none of the three is the current conference leader. That honor goes to Gardner-Webb freshman Kayin Mujahid, who cleared 5-8.75 at the Carolina's Cup, last week at Winthrop. Liberty junior Riley Brandon will be a wild card. She has high jumped 5-6 during her career, but will be finishing the heptathlon competition around the time she has to high jump on Friday. Liberty has not won the women's high jump crown at this meet since 2008, the last time Winthrop hosted the event. That year, Lady Flame freshman Mia Aghaji needed just one attempt to win the title.

Women's Pole Vault
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: Kate Collins (VMI) – 11-11.75 (3.65m)
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Collins
2014 Indoor Champion: Collins – 12-3.5 (3.75m)
2014 Leader: Collins – 12-1.5 (3.70m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (Shelley Parker – 2011)
Liberty Entrants: Brooke Shelton, Jessie Glynn, Grayson Mack and Kellie Glynn
Outlook: This weekend will mark VMI's last Big South Championship before the Keydets depart for the Southern Conference. Kate Collins is arguably VMI's best hope at winning a conference title at this meet, as she is the defending Big South indoor and outdoor women's pole vault champion and the top seed at 12-1.5. High Point sophomore Alyssa Palenchar tied her own program record at 11-11.75 last weekend and figures to battle Collins for top honors. Liberty's youthful group of pole vaulters is headlined by freshman Brooke Shelton, who is tied for sixth in the Big South at 11-5.75.

Women's Shot Put
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 6 p.m.
Defending Champion: Mychelle Cumings (Liberty) – 50-6.75 (15.41m) (Second in a row)
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Renee Reives (VMI) – 2nd place
2014 Indoor Champion: Cumings – 53-5.5 (16.29m)
2014 Leader: Reives – 46-9.5 (14.26m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 5 (Mychelle Cumings - 2013)
Liberty Entrants: Rachel Barnes and Jennifer Nicholson
Outlook: VMI also figures to fare well in the women's shot put. With two-time defending champion Mychelle Cumings of Liberty redshirting the 2014 outdoor season, Keydet junior Renee Reives could fill the void. She placed second to Cumings a year ago and ranks first in the Big South this season at 46-9.5. Liberty senior Rachel Barnes should also be in the mix, after boosting her personal best to 45-7.25 at the Liberty Collegiate Invitational. Barnes is seeking her first career All-Big South honor.

Women's Discus
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: Mychelle Cumings (Liberty) – 166-11 (50.89m) (Second in a row)
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Jennifer Nicholson (Liberty) – 3rd place
2014 Leader: Nicholson – 164-11 (50.26m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 2 (Mychelle Cumings - 2013)
Liberty Entrant: Jennifer Nicholson
Outlook: Liberty's Mychelle Cumings, Jocelyn Williams and Jennifer Nicholson fashioned a 1-2-3 sweep of the Big South women's discus competition in 2013, but Cumings and Williams are both redshirting the 2014 campaign. Nicholson is the Lady Flames' only entrant, but the junior is heavily favored to capture her first Big South title and Liberty's third straight Big South victory in this event. She threw a personal-best 164-11 at the Texas Relays, which puts her 27 feet ahead of VMI's Renee Reives atop the Big South performance list. Nicholson ranks second in program history and fourth in Big South Conference annals for the event.

Women's Javelin
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 12:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: Christina Mitchell (Liberty) – 152-9 (46.57m) (Second in a row)
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Christine Rickert (High Point) – 2nd place
2014 Leader: Rickert – 155-1 (47.26m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (Christina Mitchell - 2013)
Liberty Entrants: Riley Brandon, Nicole Bishop, Alesia Raczelowski and Yana Babbitt
Outlook: Two-time defending Big South women's javelin champion Christina Mitchell of Liberty has graduated, making 2013 runner-up Christine Rickert of High Point a considerable favorite in this event. She owns the conference's top throw of 2014 by more than 24 feet, at 155-1. Behind her, Coastal Carolina throwers rank No. 2, 3 and 5, after the Chanticleers scored just one point in this event a year ago. Liberty's Riley Brandon ranks fourth in the Big South at 125-3 and has made considerable strides this season, but will be throwing the javelin amidst day two of the heptathlon. Lady Flames teammate Nicole Bishop was a surprise fourth-place finisher last season.

Women's Hammer
Event Schedule: Final – Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: Jessica Dunston (Campbell) – 180-0 (54.87m)
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Ashlen Veatch (Radford) – 5th place
2014 Indoor Champion (Weight): Jocelyn Williams (Liberty) – 67-5.5 (20.56m)
2014 Leader: Marthaline Cooper (Winthrop) – 186-6 (56.84m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 2 (Melinda Bendik - 2012)
Liberty Entrant: Jennifer Nicholson
Outlook: The women's hammer could be host Winthrop's strongest event of the entire meet, with three Eagles ranking among the Big South's top six. Freshman Marthaline Cooper ranks first in the conference at 186-6, followed by teammate Shaniqua Hunter at 176-8. Radford's Ashlen Veatch is the top returnee from 2013, when she placed fifth. Liberty junior Jennifer Nicholson has been much improved in the hammer this season and enters the meet ranked No. 8 with a career-best 158-2 heave. Teammate Jocelyn Williams would be a title contender if she were not redshirting the season, as evidenced by her 188-8 mark at the Liberty Collegiate Invitational.

Women's Heptathlon
Event Schedule: Day One – Begins Thursday at 2 p.m.; Day Two – Begins Friday at 2 p.m.
Defending Champion: Christina Mitchell (Liberty) – 4,743 (Third in a row)
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Riley Brandon (Liberty) – 3rd place
2014 Indoor Champion (Pentathlon): Brandon – 3,484
2014 Leader: Anna Carnegie (Coastal Carolina) – 4,353
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 9 (Christina Mitchell - 2013)
Liberty Entrants: Brittany Crittenden, Ashley Eubank, Riley Brandon and Erika Jackson
Outlook: Liberty has won the Big South heptathlon title nine times in the 13 years the event has been contested, including the last three in a row by the since-graduated Christina Mitchell. Junior Riley Brandon is favored to continue the Lady Flames' reign in the event, after finishing third in 2013 and capturing the Big South indoor pentathlon title in 2014. Teammate Erika Jackson finished sixth a year ago and took runner-up honors behind Brandon indoors. Their top competitor could be Coastal Carolina's Anna Carnegie, who has scored a conference-leading 4,353 points this season.