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Henderson, Leineweber, Parker Win at VT

January 12, 2008
|  Blacksburg, Va.
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Junior Phil Leineweber won the 400-meter dash on Saturday, claiming his second event title of the Virginia Tech Invitational.

Junior Phil Leineweber won the 400-meter dash on Saturday, claiming his second event title of the Virginia Tech Invitational.

Liberty track & field performers were victorious in three events during Saturday's action at the Virginia Tech Invitational, held at Rector Field House. Matt Parker won the day's opening event, sailing to a 7-0.25 clearance in the men's high jump, Clendon Henderson took the men's shot put with a school-record 61-10.5 toss and Phil Leineweber covered 400 meters in 48.26 seconds to win the event.

Henderson (Sr., Meadow, Texas) bettered his own school shot put record, set Dec. 1 at the Liberty Kickoff, and became the Flames' first 60-foot shot putter, indoors or out. The senior won the event by more than four feet over North Carolina A&T's Lonnie Phifer and boosted his spot on the NCAA provisional qualifying list.

Henderson, who placed third in the weight throw on Friday, with a personal-best 62-1 heave, has made significant improvements in both throwing events this season. He has added more than three feet to his previous best mark in the weight throw and almost six-and-a-half feet to his top career shot put.

Parker (Jr., Rome, N.Y.) provisionally qualified for the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships with his leap, which was the highest by a Flames student-athlete in 20 years. Only James Wilson's 7-1.5 clearance at Virginia Tech in 1988 is superior to Parker's jump on Liberty's all-time list.

Parker is the fifth Liberty student-athlete to go over 7-0, indoors or outdoors, and the first to do so since James Johnson in 1999. The Empire State native improved upon his personal best of 6-11, achieved at the NCAA East Regional Championships, May 26, 2007.

Phil Leineweber (Jr., New Freedom, Pa.) won his second event of the meet, the men's 400-meter dash, in a personal-best time for indoor competition. His 48.26 effort, which edged Clemson's Cowin Mills' 48.30 clocking, is an IC4A qualifier and makes him No. 5 on Liberty's all-time performance list. Leineweber claimed the men's 500-meter title during Friday's action.

Liberty female quarter-milers Chenoa Freeman (So., Lincoln, Del.) and Jaime Watson (Jr., Ravenna, Mich.) also continued their stellar weekends in the women's 400-meter dash. Freeman broke Gina Turner's school 300-meter record on Friday and nearly took down Turner's 400-meter mark Saturday. The sophomore moved up to No. 2 on the school's all-time indoor performance list with an ECAC-qualifying time of 56.69, good for third place in the event. Watson followed in eighth, running a 57.60.

Liberty will have a weekend off competition before returning to the Tolsma Indoor Track Center Jan. 25-26, when the Flames host the On Track Open. Action will get underway with the pentathlon 60-meter dash, at 3 p.m. on Jan. 25.