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Liberty Quad Slated for Friday Evening
With the Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships just three weeks away, most of the top Liberty athletes will compete during the one-day meet. Some will be chasing certain marks in their specialty events, while others will participate in different events than usual.
After the conclusion of the meet, Liberty will not return to the track for two weeks. The Flames and Lady Flames' next competition will be the Virginia Tech Challenge, scheduled for Feb. 22-23.
A chronological preview of the Liberty Quad follows.
4 p.m. – As usual, the men's weight throw will open the meet. Liberty senior Jon Hart (Wyomissing, Pa.) is a strong favorite in the event. He has his eyes set on the facility record of 65-5.5, which would be a new personal best for Hart, ranked No. 20 in the nation.
5 p.m. – Liberty freshman Mia Aghaji (Chester, Va.) will compete in her best event, the women's triple jump. The top entrant in the field, her best mark is 39-1.25.
5 p.m. – The gun will go off for the men's 60-meter hurdles prelims, marking the first running event. The Flames' Matt Parker (Jr., Rome, N.Y.) and Jeff Ferris (Fr., Culpeper, Va.) rank first and second, respectively, on the Big South performance list. They are both entered, but the duo will be challenged by unattached athlete Mike Loyd, a sub-8.00 60-meter hurdler.
5:45 p.m. – Heats will begin for the women's 60-meter dash. Junior Andrea Beckles (Lynchburg, Va.) has qualified for the ECAC Indoor Championships with a season-best time of 7.71. She will look to approach her school-record clocking of 7.62 today, as she will be pushed by Richmond's Jasmine Major and Samaiyah Islam of Real Deal Track Club.
6:15 p.m. – Parker, Ferris and Loyd could all match up in the men's 60-meter hurdles final.
6:25 p.m. – Beckles, who has finished in the top four of the 60-meter dash at both of Liberty's home meets this season, will attempt to continue the trend.
6:45 p.m. – Middle-distance and distance running fans will be in for a treat, as the middle part of the meet will feature most of Liberty's top male and female athletes in these events. The stretch opens up with the men's 3,000-meter run. Entered in the field are Liberty student Sam Chelanga, graduate assistant coach David Cheromei and top current Flames athletes Jordan McDougal (R-Jr., Peru, N.Y.), Josh Edmonds (So., Cooperstown, N.Y.) and Cory Reed (Fr., Eldred, N.Y.).
7 p.m. – Next up on the track will be the men's mile. Perhaps the most intriguing competitor will be transfer Jake Reed (So., Marysville, Ohio), making his Liberty debut. He is entered at 4:07.
7:10 p.m. – The women's mile will feature some of Liberty's top long-distance performers, taking a step down to a shorter event to fine-tune their speed. Seniors Carol Jefferson (Schwenksville, Pa.), Piper Newby (Hayden Lake, Idaho) and Rachel Valliere (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) will all toe the line.
7:15 p.m. – Beginning the final grouping of field events will be the men's pole vault. Kolby Shepherd (Fr., Dublin, Ga.) will look to continue a promising freshman campaign. His top competition figures to come from Lynchburg College's Scott Decker, a 16-0 vaulter.
7:30 p.m. – The women's shot put and men's high jump will begin simultaneously. Multi-event athlete Sheronica Henton (So., Raeford, N.C.) represents the Lady Flames' best hope in either throwing event. Meanwhile, Parker will begin the high jump, where he needs to improve just a half inch to equal the facility record of 7-0.75.
7:35 p.m. - Returning to the track, reigning Big South and ECAC Women's Indoor Track Athlete of the Week Chenoa Freeman (So., Lincoln, Del.) will attempt to continue her string of solid performances in the women's 400-meter dash. She set a school record with a 56.09 clocking at last weekend's Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup and will be pushed by teammate Charlene Hibbert (Sr., Mississauga, Ontario) this evening.
7:50 p.m. – Phil Leineweber (Jr., New Freedom, Pa.), Liberty's top 200 and 400-meter runner this year, will take a step up to the 800-meter distance, where he is entered with the top time, 1:55.
8 p.m. – Fresh off a school-record 2:14.61 performance last Saturday at Penn State, Jaime Watson (Jr., Ravenna, Mich.) will run the 800 once again. Her toughest foe may be teammate and classmate Rebekah Ricksecker (Laurel, Del.), who has not yet competed in the event during the current indoor season, but owns a 2:11.33 personal best outdoors.