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McDougal's Unique Distance Double Lifts Liberty to First Place at IC4A Championships; Lady Flames in Fourth at ECAC Meet

May 11, 2007
|  Princeton, N.J.
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Josh McDougal won both the 5,000 and 10,000-meter races Friday night at the IC4A Championships, becoming the first runner in 36 years to do so.

Josh McDougal won both the 5,000 and 10,000-meter races Friday night at the IC4A Championships, becoming the first runner in 36 years to do so.

Less than a half hour after winning the IC4A 5,000-meter title, Liberty junior Josh McDougal came back to win the 10,000-meter event as well, becoming the first runner to sweep the two longest events at the meet since 1971. His efforts helped the Flames land in first place at the end of Friday's opening day of competition at Princeton's William Weaver Track & Field Stadium, in Princeton, N.J. Meanwhile, strong distance performances have the Lady Flames sitting in fourth place at the ECAC Championships. 

The Liberty men's track & field team, in search of its first IC4A championship since 1996, totaled 28 points, opening a four-point lead over second-place Duquesne through four events. Meanwhile, the Lady Flames tallied 11 points in the trio of events contested on Friday. Only Princeton (23 points), Virginia (19) and Cornell (16) lead the Liberty women's squad at this point in the ECAC meet. 

McDougal (Jr., Peru, N.Y.) started his evening by holding off Fairleigh-Dickinson freshman Samuel Chelanga by two seconds in the 5,000 meters. McDougal's winning time was 14:00.49. Then, the junior returned to the starting line approximately 25 minutes later, aiming to defend his 10,000-meter crown from 2006. McDougal was able to do so, rather comfortably. His time of 30:22.90 bested runner-up Josh Eddy of Duquesne by more than 15 seconds. 

McDougal, who previously won the IC4A 5,000-meter championship indoors in March, became the first male athlete since Penn State's Greg Fredericks in 1971 to win both the 5,000 and 10,000-meter races at the IC4A Outdoor Championships. Fredericks, who actually triumphed in the three-mile and six-mile events, won his races on separate days. 

McDougal, who is now a six-time IC4A champion in his career, including both the indoor and outdoor championships, is the first Liberty athlete to win a pair of events at a single IC4A meet since Michael Decker won the 200 and 400-meter dashes in 2000. 

An additional highlight of the men's 10,000-meter final was the performance of Josh Edmonds (Fr., Cooperstown, N.Y.), who clocked a 31:38.76 to place 10th overall and first among freshmen. 

The Flames' remaining eight points came courtesy of junior Clendon Henderson (Meadow, Texas), in the discus. He threw 186-10, which was good for second place behind Virginia's Yemi Ayeni and eclipsed his own Liberty and Big South Conference records in the process. Henderson's previous best toss was 186-3, achieved at the Penn Relays on April 27. 

Coach Brant Tolsma's men's squad could see its point total increase significantly when the decathlon wraps up on Saturday. After day one, Brandon Hoskins (Jr., Garden City, Texas) holds a 101-point lead over second-place Duane Hynes of Princeton, after recording a personal-best day one total of 3,972 points. The Flames' Dan Newell (So., Roanoke, Va.) is currently listed fourth, after tallying 3,559 points. 

The duo got off to a fast start, clocking identical 11.11 times in the 100-meter dash which ranked best among the 13 competitors. Hoskins then closed with a flurry, running a personal-best 47.74 seconds for 400 meters. The mark, which allowed him to overtake Hynes atop the leaderboard, is the fastest ever run by a Liberty athlete within a decathlon. 

Hoskins will look to win his second IC4A decathlon crown, after winning the 10-discipline competition as a freshman in 2005. He will also be aiming for the automatic qualifying standard to the NCAA National Championships, 7,500 points and his career-best total of 7,529 markers. 

Not to be outdone by her male compatriots, Piper Newby (Jr., Hayden Lake, Idaho) broke her own school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase by over 14 seconds, crossing the line in 10:37.89. The time was good for fourth place in the initial ECAC women's event final of the evening. 

Classmate Carol Jefferson (Schwenksville, Pa.) later earned a fourth-place finish of her own, in the last race of day one, the 10,000 meters. She ran a time of 36:00.23 to improve upon her sixth-place showing in the same race a season ago. 

The Lady Flames' final tally was provided by sophomore Ashley Osborne (Bristol, Va.), in the 5,000-meter final. Her official time, 17:20.46, placed her in eighth in her first trip to the ECAC Championships. 

Arlene Zelinskas (Sr., Dayton, Ohio) spearheaded a stellar first-day showing by the Lady Flame heptathletes, posting her best-ever day one point total, 3,297, which put her 50 points ahead of the current runner-up, Maryland's Christina Smith. Marie Williams (Jr., Tampa, Fla.), the Big South heptathlon champion, is eighth with 3,017 points through four events. 

Zelinskas took the lead from the outset, equaling a season-best 13.80 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles. She was also the second-best high jumper among the 14 entrants, clearing 5-7.75 and posted the second-fastest 200-meter time, 24.93. 

Williams recorded personal-best marks in the 100-meter hurdles (14.96), shot put (34-11) and 200-meter dash (25.26) on the day. 

Saturday's action at the IC4A Championships will open with the decathlon 110-meter hurdles at 9 a.m. The heptathletes will kick off day two of the ECAC Championships at 9:30, with the long jump.