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Five Flames Rank Among USA's Best in 2007

January 2, 2008
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Clendon Henderson finished as the No. 18 USA performer in the discus for 2007, after throwing a 198-2 on June 6.

Clendon Henderson finished as the No. 18 USA performer in the discus for 2007, after throwing a 198-2 on June 6.

Liberty seniors Jon Hart, Clendon Henderson, Brandon Hoskins and Josh McDougal and 2005 graduate Danielle McNaney were all included among the top 25 Americans in their respective disciplines during 2007, as listed in the January 2008 issue of Track & Field News.

Hart (Wyomissing, Pa.) uncorked a school-record hammer throw of 219-2 on May 25, finishing second at the NCAA East Regional Championships and earning his first trip to the national meet. His mark landed him the No. 22 spot on the final USA performance list, which was headed by A.G. Kruger's 256-3.

Henderson (Meadow, Texas) also traveled to Sacramento, Calif., for the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships and recorded a Liberty and Big South-record discus throw, 198-2, on June 6. He finished 10th in the event and ended up No. 18 on the USA year-end list. Jarred Rome was the top American discus thrower of 2007, with a best effort of 224-3.

Hoskins' (Garden City, Texas) career-high decathlon score of 7,561 points was also achieved at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, June 6-7. His point total garnered a seventh-place finish and the second All-America honor of his career. Hoskins rated No. 18 on the American list, topped by Bryan Clay's 8,493 points.

McDougal (Peru, N.Y.), a 12-time All-American and the 2007 NCAA Division I cross country champion, posted a trio of USA top 20 track performances in a 30-day span, this past spring. He finished No. 10 in the nation in the mile and 5,000 meters and was No. 16 in the 10,000 meters.

McDougal became the 287th American ever to run a sub-4:00 mile, blazing to a 3:57.46 clocking at the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex on March 31, at the ASICS Collegiate Invitational. Alan Webb's American record time of 3:46.91 led the USA and world lists.

Less than two weeks later, McDougal traveled to the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., and ran 5,000 meters in 13:20.43. The time made him the No. 5 all-time collegiate performer in the event and netted him the No. 10 spot on the yearly American list. Matt Tegenkamp's 13:07.41 ranked as the top American 5K time of 2007.

McDougal's busy month wrapped up April 29 at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational. He set Liberty and Big South records with his 10,000-meter clocking of 28:27.65 and concluded the year as the No. 16 American performer. Abdi Abdirahman posted a 27:31.46 10K, which was the fastest time by an American last year.

McNaney represented the United States at the Thorpe Cup heptathlon competition against Germany, Aug. 18-19 in Bernhausen, Germany. Her year-best point total of 5,638 ranked fifth among the 11 heptathletes at the meet and finished No. 14 in the nation for 2007.

Track & Field News tabbed McNaney as the 10th-best U.S. heptathlete of 2007, taking her entire season into consideration. In addition to her Thorpe Cup effort, McNaney took ninth place at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, held June 22-23 in Indianapolis, Ind.

Hart, Henderson, Hoskins, McDougal and the rest of the Liberty men's and women's track & field teams will now attempt to open the Olympic year of 2008 in fine fashion. The Flames and Lady Flames will compete in the Virginia Tech Invitational, Jan. 11-12 in Blacksburg, Va.