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McDougal Nabs 10th All-America Honor, Hoskins Earns His Second
McDougal (Peru, N.Y.) and Hoskins (Garden City, Texas) became the first two Liberty men's outdoor track & field performers to score points at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships since 1996. The duo also gave the Flames their highest-ever point total (8) at the outdoor national championships. Liberty is tied with Louisville and Oregon for seventh place through three events, four points behind early leader Wisconsin.
McDougal made a successful debut in the 10,000 meters at the national meet, tying his best finish ever at a NCAA national championship event. The junior also ended up third at 3,000 meters at this year's NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships. McDougal's time of 28:58.28 Thursday night was less than 2.5 seconds behind the winning clocking of surprise winner Shadrack Songok of Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Oregon's Galen Rupp, the collegiate record holder and overwhelming pre-race favorite, was relegated to second place in the final 200-meter sprint.
Like most national championship distance races, the 10,000-meter final started out at a relatively relaxed pace. McDougal went through the 5K mark in 14:45, hanging within striking distance of the leaders. The pace quickened considerably in the final mile, which was covered in 4:09. By the final 200 meters, Songok, Rupp and McDougal had established themselves as the top three contenders, and the trio sprinted towards the tape with Songok coming out on top.
While McDougal's evening of competition was complete in less than a half hour, Hoskins' second day of the decathlon stretched on for more than nine hours. In the end, the third time turned out to be the charm for the Liberty junior. Hoskins had made the trip to Sacramento for the decathlon in both 2005 and 2006, but injuries prevented him from completing all 10 events on both occasions. Hoskins stayed healthy throughout this attempt and accumulated a career-high 7,561 points, good for a seventh-place finish and his second All-America award. Hoskins' initial All-America notation came in the heptathlon at the 2005 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Hoskins, who met the "B" qualifying standard for the USATF National Outdoor Track & Field Championships with his final score, started his final day with a personal-best time of 15.04 in the 110-meter high hurdles. He also benefited from the two throwing events, hurling the sixth-best discus throw of the competition, 137-8, and ranking second in the javelin with a personal-best toss of 196-3. Hoskins' efforts enabled him to carry on Liberty's proud decathlon tradition. He is the seventh Flame decathlete to earn All-America distinction since Liberty moved up to the NCAA Division I level.
Behind a strong second-day effort, Arizona senior Jake Arnold defended his 2006 decathlon title with a final score of 8,215. Joe Detmer of Wisconsin was the runner-up with 7,963 markers. Four of the top six finishers in the decathlon were seniors.
Carol Jefferson (Jr., Schwenksville, Pa.), competing in the last running event of the night, the women's 10,000-meter final, ran a 35:37.03 in her first trip to the national meet. The lone Lady Flame to compete in Sacramento, Jefferson placed 25th of 27 entrants. The junior, who entered the year with a personal-best time of 36:17.61, went under the 36-minute barrier for the fifth time in her final race of the season.
Texas Tech sophomore Sally Kipyego, the collegiate record holder, ran a 32:55.71 to win her fourth national championship of the current academic year by nearly six seconds over Georgetown's Melissa Grelli.
Liberty will wrap up its participation at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Friday evening at the Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex. Junior Clendon Henderson (Meadow, Texas) will be one of 12 participants in the men's discus final, which is set to begin at 8:15 p.m. Eastern. McDougal will then run his third race in as many nights, the 5,000-meter final at 10:45 p.m.