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Atkinson, Davis Sweep Men's Hurdles Titles at CSU
Both of Liberty's event victories on Saturday at the CSU Spring Break Invitational came in the men's hurdles races, courtesy of Jovaine Atkinson (110 hurdles) and Ryan Davis (400 hurdles). The Flames and Lady Flames also combined for seven runner-up finishes on the final day of competition at Bagwell-Settle Track.
Men's Day Two Recap
Atkinson's 110 hurdles victory came in a Liberty freshman-record time of 14.33 seconds. The native of Jamaica clocked the fastest time by a Flame since 2008 and now ranks No. 3 in program history for the event. Fellow freshman Markus Ballengee clocked 15.17 for sixth place in the 110 hurdles final.
Two-time Big South men's 400 hurdles champion Davis won the event in 53.09 seconds on Saturday. Sophomore Michael Fairfax (eighth place, 56.16) and redshirt freshman Samson Moore (10th place, 57.45) also placed in the top 10.
Durham went on to place eighth in the men's 100 final in a time of 11.15.
Sophomore Anthony Colangelo (6-2.75) and Ballengee (6-0.75) finished third and fourth, respectively, in the men's high jump.
Senior Zach Davis hurled the discus 130-3 for a 10th-place finish.
Women's Day Two Recap
The Lady Flames also fared well in the hurdles, as freshman Katie Dodson was the women's 100 hurdles runner-up and senior Mary Witmer took second place in the women's 400 hurdles.
Dodson's personal-best 100 hurdles effort of 14.22 ranks No. 8 in program history. Sophomore Kylie Polsgrove followed in sixth place at 14.85 seconds.
Witmer's 1:01.90 effort paced three Lady Flames inside the top five of the women's 400 hurdles. Polsgrove (1:03.21) took third place, while redshirt sophomore Klerianne Etanislao (1:04.07) came in fifth.
Later, Ealum, Etanislao, Leonzo and Behymer became the seventh-fastest 4 x 400 quartet in program history, clocking 3:47.01.
Liberty claimed four of the top eight spots in the women's 800, highlighted by freshman Brooke Turner in second place at 2:18.33. Senior Kat Bouton (fourth place, 2:20.05) and redshirt freshman Maria Gonchar (eighth place, 2:24.94) both raced on Saturday, while freshman Erin Hansel's 2:20.85 effort from Friday held up for sixth place overall in the event.
Junior Holly Arey was the Lady Flames' final runner-up on the day, thanks to her personal-best 151-11 mark in the women's discus.
Rounding out the field events, junior Dasiana Larson threw the shot put 41-10.75 to claim sixth place.
Aided by a gusty tailwind, redshirt senior Dana Mercer sped to a personal-best 100 clocking of 12.07 and a fourth-place showing in the event.
Liberty's team will be divided between two different meets next weekend. Most of the Flames and Lady Flames will travel to Tallahassee, Fla., for the FSU Relays. The one-day competition against Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Southern Miss will take place Friday at Mike Long Track.
Meanwhile, some of Liberty's distance runners will race at the Raleigh Relays, Friday and Saturday at Paul Derr Track in Raleigh, N.C.