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2014 Big South Outdoor Track - Men's Preview

April 16, 2014
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Caleb Edmonds (far right), Josh MacDonald (second from right) and Jeremie Bourget (third from right) headline Liberty's talented group of men's distance runners.

Live Video Streaming on Saturday (Big South Network)

Live Results

Men's Schedule

Men's Performance List

Men's Heat Sheets

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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.

Men's Meet Preview
The Liberty men's track & field team has captured 18 titles in the 20-year history of the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships, including the last seven in succession. Liberty has been especially dominant in recent years, winning each of its last seven outdoor championships by 74 or more points. Last season, the Flames enjoyed an 82-point margin of victory (213-131) over Coastal Carolina.

The Chanticleers could present the greatest challenge to the Flames again this weekend, boasting impressive depth in the sprints, hurdles and horizontal jumps. Coach Jeff Jacobs' Coastal Carolina squad has finished in the top two at this meet 11 times in the last 12 years, including a victory over Liberty in 2006.

Campbell, coached by Michael Kelly, figures to fare much better than its sixth-place finish from 2013. Paced by Big South Most Outstanding Track Performer Amon Terer and Most Outstanding Field Performer Christopher Cleare, the Camels placed second at the 2014 Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships, just 24.5 points behind the Flames.

The mid-distance and distance events played a key role in Liberty's victory in 2013, as the Flames racked up 85 points in the 800, 1,500, 5K, 10K and steeplechase. Caleb Edmonds is back to defend his 5K title and ranks No. 1 in the conference this season. Fellow senior Josh MacDonald owns the Big South's top steeplechase clocking of 2014.

Despite the fact that 2014 Big South indoor shot put champion Fred Fulton is redshirting the outdoor campaign, the Flames have enjoyed a strong year in the throwing events. Entering the Big South Championship, Liberty ranks 1-2 (David Scouten-Tim Abbott) in the discus, 1-3 (Jacob DeValve-Constand Van Rooyen) in the shot put and 2-3-4 (Steve Feister-Daniel Klase-DeValve) in the javelin.

Junior Kyle Wheeler has proven to be a big-meet performer during his collegiate career, winning four of a possible five Big South men's high jump crowns, including the 2014 indoor title.

After scoring zero points in the decathlon at the 2013 Big South meet, the Flames could score 20 or more this weekend. Veteran Tevan McIntire anchors an otherwise young multi-event crew, headlined by freshmen Zach Davis and Zach Gilroy.

Men's 100-Meter Dash
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 6:15 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: Evan Emery (High Point) – 10.47
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Emery
2014 Indoor Champion (60 Meters): Emery – 6.83
2014 Leader: Emery – 10.47
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 5 (Guifaly Christolin – 2002)
Liberty Entrants: ConRoy Smith, Stephen Racanelli, Stephen Hayes and Tarell Williams
Outlook: High Point senior Evan Emery can currently be labeled as the Big South's fastest man. He is the reigning Big South outdoor 100 and 200 champion, the defending Big South indoor 60 titlist and owns the fastest 100 clocking in the conference this season at 10.47. Emery's top contenders include Charleston Southern's Rozzie Johnson, the Campbell duo of Marcus Thompson and Tashinga Chitambira and Liberty's ConRoy Smith and Stephen Racanelli. Smith sped to a personal-best time of 10.57 at the Virginia Cup, which was the fastest clocking by a Flame since 2006. Last season, Smith was Liberty's only finalist in the 100, where he placed eighth. This year, the Flames will aim to qualify multiple runners to the 100 dash final for the first time since 2010. Liberty senior Tarell Williams is a darkhorse candidate to make his first Big South 100 dash final. He has not competed in a 100 yet this season, but boasts a personal-best time of 10.74 and placed fifth in the 100 at the 2013 IC4A meet.

Men's 200-Meter Dash
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 8 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 3:40 p.m.
Defending Champion: Evan Emery (High Point) – 20.84
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Emery
2014 Indoor Champion: Stanley Hicks (Campbell) – 21.28
2014 Leader: Hicks – 21.28
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 6 (Guifaly Christolin - 2002)
Liberty Entrants: ConRoy Smith and Stephen Racanelli
Outlook: High Point's Evan Emery is back to defend his title from 2013, but figures to have plenty of competition if the senior hopes to repeat. Campbell's Stanley Hicks (2014) and Jayshawn Campbell (2013) have won the last two Big South indoor 200 crowns and are ranked first and second outdoors this season. Liberty's ConRoy Smith is the No. 3 seed at 21.37, while freshman teammate Stephen Racanelli was the Big South indoor runner-up in this event. The Flames have not won the Big South outdoor men's 200 title since Guifaly Christolin did so in 2002 and have not recorded a top-three finish since Ravanno Ferguson came in third in 2006.

Men's 400-Meter Dash
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 5:45 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 2:10 p.m.
Defending Champion: Jarad Jeter (Charleston Southern) – 47.48
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Jeter
2014 Indoor Champion: Jeter – 47.81
2014 Leader: Jeter – 46.54
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 9 (Leonard Robbins – 2012)
Liberty Entrant: Tyler Weigandt
Outlook: Charleston Southern sophomore Jarad Jeter looks like the man to beat at 400 meters. The defending conference champion owns the Big South's fastest time of 2014 by over a second and ranks No. 19 nationally with his 46.54 clocking at the Florida Relays. Coastal Carolina is very strong in this event, led by the duo of German Alexander Hass (47.55) and 2013 Big South runner-up DeAndra Lipscomb (47.59). Liberty's lone entrant is Tyler Weigandt, who placed seventh indoors in this event and clocked a personal-best time of 49.97 in his most recent outing.

Men's 800-Meter Run
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 6:45 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 2:50 p.m.
Defending Champion: Isaac Wendland (Liberty) – 1:51.37
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Eddie Whitlock (High Point) – 3rd place
2014 Indoor Champion: Whitlock
2014 Leader: Josiah Stanton-Brooks (Gardner-Webb) – 1:52.04
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 5 (Isaac Wendland - 2013)
Liberty Entrants: John Sherret, Colin Schultz, Trevor Hope and Jacob Onifer
Outlook: High Point sophomore Eddie Whitlock is both the top returnee from the 2013 Big South outdoor men's 800 final (third place) and the reigning Big South indoor champion. However, he was only the third Big South runner to cross the line at the High Point VertKlasse Meeting two weeks ago, trailing Gardner-Webb senior Josiah Stanton-Brooks and High Point teammate Paul O'Donoghue. Stanton-Brooks owns the Big South's fastest time this year at 1:52.04. He is a three-time All-Big South performer at 800 meters but is seeking his first conference title. Liberty was shut out of the Big South indoor 800 final this year, but has four runners ranked among the conference's top 11 outdoors in 2014, paced by junior John Sherret (No. 4, 1:53.49).

Men's 1,500-Meter Run
Event Schedule: Prelims (if necessary) – Friday at 4:45 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 1:15 p.m.
Defending Champion: Isaac Wendland (Liberty) – 3:56.78
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Chris Schulist (Campbell) – 5th place
2014 Indoor Champion (Mile): Andrey Dmitriev (VMI) – 4:08.34
2014 Leader: Jacob Smith (High Point) – 3:48.65
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 8 (Isaac Wendland - 2013)
Liberty Entrants: Jarred Cornfield, Will Templeton, Caleb Edmonds and Nate Jones
Outlook: The top four finishers from last year's Big South 1,500 final are gone, but this still promises to be a race to watch. The Campbell duo of Chris Schulist and Eric Baldwin are the top two returnees from the 2013 final and sit 1-2 on the conference performance list, with High Point's Jacob Smith (3:48.65 season best) focusing on other events this weekend. VMI's Avery Martin won a head-to-head battle with defending conference champion Isaac Wendland at the Liberty Collegiate Invitational. Even though no Liberty Flames currently rank among the Big South's top 16 in this event, seniors Jarred Cornfield and Caleb Edmonds could both score points on Saturday. Cornfield has placed fourth, fourth and seventh in the men's 1,500 final during his three previous Big South appearances. Edmonds has only run the 1,500 three times previously, but one of those races resulted in a sterling time of 3:48.32 at the 2013 Liberty Twilight Qualifier.

Men's 3,000-Meter Steeplechase
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 8:35 p.m.
Defending Champion: Dakota Peachee (High Point) – 8:51.00
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Josh MacDonald (Liberty) – 3rd place
2014 Leader: MacDonald – 8:54.07
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 8 (Evans Kigen - 2011)
Liberty Entrants: Josh MacDonald, Josh Showalter, Zach Barker and Jeremie Bourget
Outlook: Liberty senior standout Josh MacDonald will attempt to add his first Big South steeplechase title to an already-impressive resume, which includes the 2013 IC4A championship and back-to-back NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round appearances. He is seeded first by 19 seconds at 8:54.07, a time which currently sits No. 13 nationally. High Point's Jacob Smith won the 2012 Big South steeplechase crown and owns a personal-best time of 8:47.09. Teammate Patrick Crawford has run 9:05.99 during his career and placed third in 2012. However, neither Smith nor Crawford has competed in the event thus far in 2014. Both have excelled at other distances, though, with Smith clocking a conference-best 3:48.65 for 1,500 meters and 14:04.14 for the 5K, with Crawford posting a Big South-best 29:47.17 in the 10K. Liberty hopes to have multiple scorers in this event, as Josh Showalter (9:30.18) and Zach Barker (9:37.80) have both notched personal-best times this season. Additionally, Jeremie Bourget will be contesting the steeplechase for the first time during his collegiate career, but he did run a 2K steeplechase time of 5:56 in high school.

Men's 5,000-Meter Run
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 4:10 p.m.
Defending Champion: Caleb Edmonds (Liberty) – 14:26.14
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Edmonds
2014 Indoor Champion: Amon Terer (Campbell) – 14:16.42
2014 Leader: Edmonds – 14:02.84
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 8 (Caleb Edmonds – 2013)
Liberty Entrants: Caleb Edmonds, Josh MacDonald, Sam Hibbs and Jeremie Bourget
Outlook: Depending on who scratches from the 5K, we could be in for quite a showdown Saturday afternoon. Possible entrants include the 2012 Big South indoor and outdoor 5K champion (High Point's Jacob Smith), the 2013 indoor champion (Liberty's Josh MacDonald), the 2013 outdoor champion (Liberty's Caleb Edmonds), the 2014 indoor champion (Campbell's Amon Terer) and the 2013 Big South cross country champion (High Point's Patrick Crawford). Edmonds (14:02.84), Smith (14:04.14) and MacDonald (14:05.87) all posted impressive times in the same race at the Raleigh Relays, earlier this season.

Men's 10,000-Meter Run
Event Schedule: Final – Thursday at 8 p.m.
Defending Champion: David Ricksecker (Liberty) – 31:22.29
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Caleb Edmonds (Liberty) – 2nd place
2014 Leader: Patrick Crawford (High Point) – 29:47.17
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (David Ricksecker – 2013)
Liberty Entrants: Jeremie Bourget, Sam Hibbs, Nate Jones and Josh MacDonald
Outlook: Liberty went 1-2-3-4 in the men's 10K final a season ago, but will be hard-pressed to repeat that impressive performance on Thursday. Three Big South runners have already posted times of 30:04 or faster this season, including High Point's Patrick Crawford (29:47.17), Campbell's Amon Terer (29:51.62) and High Point's Paddy Grandinali (30:04.84). Crawford will focus on other events this weekend, but Panther teammate Jeff LaCoste, the 2013 Big South cross country runner-up, appears on the start list. Among the Flames' entrants, Josh MacDonald owns the top personal best at 29:57.64. He placed third behind teammates David Ricksecker and Caleb Edmonds a season ago.

Men's 110-Meter Hurdles
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 5:15 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 1:45 p.m.
Defending Champion: Milan Ristic (UNC Asheville) – 13.78 (Second in a row)
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Dennis Crawford (High Point) – 2nd place
2014 Indoor Champion (60 Hurdles): Vincent Wyatt (Radford) – 7.79
2014 Leader: Wyatt – 13.67
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 6 (Micah Brinkley - 2004)
Liberty Entrants: Caleb Fraley and Richard Whitted
Outlook: Two-time defending men's 110 hurdles champion Milan Ristic has transferred from UNC Asheville to California, leaving Radford's Vincent Wyatt as the overwhelming favorite to claim his first Big South 110 hurdles championship. Wyatt lowered the Big South all-time record to 13.67 seconds at the Texas Relays and ranks eighth nationally in the event. Coastal Carolina has a chance to put three runners into the final, while Liberty has not had a 110 hurdles finalist since 2010. Caleb Fraley did qualify for the Big South 60 hurdles final indoors this season, placing eighth.

Men's 400-Meter Hurdles
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 7:30 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 3:15 p.m.
Defending Champion: Andre Washington (Liberty) – 51.95
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Russel Kanner (Coastal Carolina) – 2nd place
2014 Leader: Kanner – 52.54
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 10 (Andre Washington - 2013)
Liberty Entrants: Ryan Davis, Caleb Fraley and Richard Whitted
Outlook: The 400 hurdles is one of Coastal Carolina's best events, as three Chanticleers rank among the Big South's top four this season. Leading the way is senior Russel Kanner, the 2013 runner-up who has clocked a conference-best time of 52.54 in 2014. Liberty's top hopes lie with freshman Ryan Davis, who has lowered his time from 55.17 to 54.69 to 54.39 the three times he has contested the 400 hurdles this year.

Men's 4 x 100 Relay
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 12:45 p.m.
Defending Champion: Coastal Carolina – 40.83
2014 Leader: Charleston Southern – 40.79
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (2005)
Outlook: Last season, Coastal Carolina snapped Charleston Southern's string of seven consecutive Big South men's 4 x 100 relay titles. This year's relay could shape up as an interesting four-way battle between Charleston Southern (40.79 season best), Liberty (40.86), Campbell (40.89) and Coastal Carolina (41.22). The Flames are seeking their first Big South 4 x 100 relay crown since 2005, while Campbell has never won a Big South 4 x 100 title.

Men's 4 x 400 Relay
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 4:45 p.m.
Defending Champion: Coastal Carolina – 3:11.41
2014 Indoor Champion: VMI – 3:17.90
2014 Leader: Coastal Carolina – 3:10.00
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (2001)
Outlook: Defending champion Coastal Carolina (3:10.00 season best) and Campbell (3:12.00) boast the conference's deepest groups of men's 200 and 400 runners and will be the favorites for the meet's final event, the 4 x 400 relay. VMI was a surprise 4 x 400 champion at the Big South indoor meet, but the Keydets' outdoor season-best time is just 3:19.35.

Men's Long Jump
Event Schedule: Final – Thursday at 3:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: Lavon Allen (Charleston Southern) – 25-0.75 (7.64m)
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Braxton Drummond (Charleston Southern) – 2nd place
2014 Indoor Champion: Drummond – 24-7 (7.49m)
2014 Leader: Drummond – 25-0.5 (7.63m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 10 (Clarence Powell - 2010)
Liberty Entrants: Tarell Williams, ConRoy Smith, Aklesso Agama and Kenny Scott
Outlook: Charleston Southern junior Braxton Drummond is an overwhelming favorite in the men's long jump. His season-best leap of 25-0.5 is the Big South's best of 2014 by 15.5 inches and is tied for No. 15 in the nation. Drummond placed seventh in the event at the 2014 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships. Campbell's Christopher Cleare was the Big South indoor runner-up to Drummond and ranks second on the outdoor conference list at 23-9. This could potentially be a swing event during the team battle between Liberty and Coastal Carolina, as four Chanticleers and five Flames have long jumped between 22-3 and 23-4.75 this season. Kenny Scott was Liberty's top long jumper at the Big South indoor meet with a third-place finish, but he has not yet competed outdoors due to spring football practice.

Men's Triple Jump
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: Chris Johnson (Liberty) – 48-8.75 (14.85m)
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Christopher Cleare (Campbell) – 2nd place
2014 Indoor Champion: Cleare – 49-8.25 (15.14m)
2014 Leader: Ishmael Kamara (Coastal Carolina) – 49-0.75 (14.95m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 9 (Chris Johnson - 2013)
Liberty Entrant: Aklesso Agama
Outlook: Campbell's Christopher Cleare was the Big South indoor triple jump champion and is the top returnee from the 2013 outdoor meet, where he placed second. However, the 2014 Big South performance list is topped by a pair of Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, Ishmael Kamara (49-0.75) and JaDarrell Barnette (48-8.25). Liberty's lone entrant, freshman Aklesso Agama, is the No. 3 seed, after jumping 48-7.25 during the indoor season. The last six Big South outdoor men's triple jump champions have hailed from either Coastal Carolina or Liberty.

Men's High Jump
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 1 p.m.
Defending Champion: Avion Jones (VMI) – 7-0.5 (2.15m)
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Reggie Nelson (Coastal Carolina) – 2nd place
2014 Indoor Champion: Kyle Wheeler (Liberty) – 6-7.5 (2.02m)
2014 Leader: Nelson – 6-11.5 (2.12m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 8 (Kyle Wheeler - 2012)
Liberty Entrants: Zach Davis, Kyle Wheeler, Tevan McIntire and Patrick Donigan
Outlook: Coastal Carolina's Reggie Nelson, the 2013 Big South outdoor high jump runner-up, has been enjoying a strong 2014 season. He has cleared 6-10.75 or higher at each of his last three meets, including a 6-11.5 effort at the Tiger Classic. Liberty junior Kyle Wheeler's season best is just 6-4.75, but he has won four of a possible five Big South men's high jump titles during his career, including the 2014 indoor crown. Freshman teammate Zach Davis has cleared 6-9 outdoors after going 6-11 during the indoor season. However, the men's high jump will be Davis' 11th event of the meet, following his participation in the decathlon. Campbell freshman Davian Rhodes bears watching as well. He placed second to Wheeler indoors and is coming off of a season-best 6-8 clearance at the Aggie Invitational.

Men's Pole Vault
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: Cody Bingham (Liberty) – 16-0.75 (4.90m)
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Harrison Allen (Liberty) – 3rd place
2014 Indoor Champion: Tyler Craig (Gardner-Webb) – 16-2.75 (4.95m)
2014 Leader: Austin Miller (High Point) – 15-11 (4.85m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 14 (Cody Bingham - 2013)
Liberty Entrants: Ken Ritchey, Harrison Allen, Zach Gilroy and Alexandru Barker
Outlook: The men's pole vault has traditionally been one of Liberty's best events at the Big South outdoor meet, as the Flames have won 14 titles in 20 years, including the last four in a row. Moreover, Liberty has swept the top four places in the men's pole vault during each of the last two Big South outdoor meets. This time around, defending champion Cody Bingham will miss the meet due to injury. However, Harrison Allen, Ken Ritchey and Zach Gilroy have all been over the 15-foot mark during their career for the Flames and give Liberty big point potential in the event. Allen placed third a year ago, while Ritchey came in second at this year's Big South indoor championship. Gilroy owns a personal best of 15-5, but will be coming back from the decathlon competition. Gardner-Webb freshman Tyler Craig captured this year's Big South indoor crown at 16-2.75, but has only reached 15-5 outdoors in 2014. High Point sophomore Austin Miller is the current conference leader at 15-11.

Men's Shot Put
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 4 p.m.
Defending Champion: Ryan Smith (Liberty) – 60-6 (18.44m) (Fourth in a row)
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Alex Young (Gardner-Webb) – 2nd place
2014 Indoor Champion: Fred Fulton (Liberty) – 57-5.5 (17.51m)
2014 Leader: Jacob DeValve (Liberty) – 53-7.5 (16.34m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 10 (Ryan Smith - 2013)
Liberty Entrants: Jacob DeValve, Constand Van Rooyen, David Scouten and Tim Abbott
Outlook: Liberty throwers have won nine straight Big South men's shot put titles, including the indoor and outdoor championship meets. Ryan Smith, who captured the first eight of those, has graduated, while 2014 Big South indoor champion Fred Fulton is redshirting the outdoor season. This could still be a big event for the Flames, though, with four Liberty throwers seeded among the conference's top eight, including this year's indoor second (Jacob DeValve) and third-place finishers (David Scouten). DeValve enters the meet as the conference leader at 53-7.5, putting the redshirt senior well ahead of last year's runner-up, Alex Young of Gardner-Webb (50-11.5 season best). South African Constand Van Rooyen could be in the mix as well, as he has thrown 51-7 during his first year as a Flame.

Men's Discus
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 11 a.m.
Defending Champion: Mark Britton (Winthrop) – 161-0 (49.07m)
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Cameron Griggs (Coastal Carolina) – 3rd place
2014 Leader: David Scouten (Liberty) – 167-5 (51.02m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 13 (Ryan Smith - 2012)
Liberty Entrants: David Scouten, Tim Abbott, Trevor VanAsselt and Jacob DeValve
Outlook: Last year, Liberty saw a six-year streak of Big South men's discus titles halted by Winthrop's Mark Britton. David Scouten and Tim Abbott are both back from a redshirt season and hope to help the Flames claim their 14th Big South discus crown in 21 years. Scouten, the 2012 runner-up, tops the conference list at 167-5. Abbott, who placed fourth two years ago, is currently No. 2 in the Big South at 161-2. Their top competitors will include last season's third-place finisher (Coastal Carolina's Cameron Griggs), UNC Asheville's Kurt Hibert (157-4 season best) and new High Point program record holder Jim Wilson (156-5 season best).

Men's Javelin
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 10 a.m.
Defending Champion: Jordan Entwistle (Coastal Carolina) – 206-4 (62.89m)
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Christian Spaulding (High Point) – 2nd place
2014 Leader: Spaulding – 223-9 (68.19m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 9 (Elliot Galeone - 2011)
Liberty Entrants: Steve Feister, Daniel Klase and Jacob DeValve
Outlook: High Point junior Christian Spaulding, who placed third as a freshman and second as a sophomore, is favored to capture his first Big South men's javelin title Friday morning. He is seeded first in the conference by 15 and a half feet at 223-9. Behind Spaulding, Liberty throwers are seeded second (Steve Feister – 208-3), third (Daniel Klase – 205-4) and fourth (Jacob DeValve – 198-11). All three Flames set new personal bests two weeks ago at the Liberty Collegiate Invitational, marking the first time that three Liberty men's javelin throwers have ever exceeded 60 meters in the same meet.

Men's Hammer
Event Schedule: Final – Thursday at 2 p.m.
Defending Champion: Alex Young (Gardner-Webb) – 203-8 (62.09m)
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Young
2014 Indoor Champion (Weight): Young – 66-7.75 (20.31m)
2014 Leader: Young – 202-2 (61.62m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 3 (Jon Hart - 2008)
Liberty Entrants: David Scouten, Trevor VanAsselt and Jacob DeValve
Outlook: Gardner-Webb throwers have claimed each of the last three Big South men's hammer titles, and two of the Runnin' Bulldogs' three victors are entered in Thursday's competition. Gardner-Webb's Alex Young is the defending champion and top seed at 202-2, while teammate Carson Sears was victorious in 2012. This could also be a strong event for Charleston Southern, with Buccaneers Cleveland German (196-1 season best) and Clarence Gallop (194-0 season best) ranked second and third, respectively. Liberty redshirt sophomore David Scouten has shown marked improvement in the hammer this season. At the Winthrop Invitational, Scouten reached a personal-best 179-6 to defeat both Young and Sears.

Men's Decathlon
Event Schedule: Day One – Begins Thursday at 2:30 p.m.; Day Two – Begins Friday at 1:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: Tristan Faure (High Point) – 7,002
Top Returnee from 2013 Meet: Quincy Murphy (VMI) – 3rd place
2014 Indoor Champion (Heptathlon): Murphy – 5,045
2014 Leader: Zach Davis (Liberty) – 6,387
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 9 (Jacob DeValve - 2012)
Liberty Entrants: Zach Davis, Zach Gilroy, Blake Kohring and Tevan McIntire
Outlook: Last year marked the first time that Liberty had ever scored fewer than 10 points in the Big South decathlon competition, and the Flames were shut out of the scoring altogether. A healthy Tevan McIntire and freshmen Zach Davis and Zach Gilroy finished 2-3-4 in the Big South heptathlon, and all three Flames figure to be near the top of the standings in the decathlon. Davis has scored a conference-best 6,387 points this season and already ranks as Liberty's all-time best decathlon high jumper at 6-9. With defending Big South decathlon champion Tristan Faure of High Point redshirting this season, the Flames' top competitor will most likely be Quincy Murphy of VMI. Murphy placed third in the 2013 Big South decathlon and was the 2014 Big South heptathlon champion.