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Sprints Sparkle at Liberty Quad
Bailey (Fr., Tamarac, Fla.) took the men's 60-meter dash in a Liberty freshman record time of 6.90 seconds. He then followed up the performance with another personal best, as the Floridian crossed the line in 22.55 seconds in the 200-meter dash. To cap off his evening, Bailey led off for the victorious 4 x 400 relay unit, which also featured Kevin Correa (Sr., Forestville, Calif.), Ben Handon (Jr., Amarillo, Texas) and Phil Leineweber (Jr., New Freedom, Pa.). The quartet's time was 3:27.11.
Beckles' (Jr., Lynchburg, Va.) meet also included triumphs in the 60, 200 and 4 x 400 relay. Her clocking in the 60-meter dash was a season-best 7.69, while Beckles ran to a personal-best 25.62 at 200 meters. In the relay, the local product teamed with Mia Aghaji (Fr., Chester, Va.), Brittany Heath (So., Freeport, Grand Bahamas) and Chenoa Freeman (So., Lincoln, Del.) to post a 4:08.30.
Aghaji and Freeman had both previously won individual events. Aghaji landed at 39-1 in the women's triple jump, finishing a single centimeter shy of her personal best but two feet in front of runner-up Jasmine Major of Richmond.
Freeman, the reigning Big South and ECAC Women's Track Athlete of the Week, claimed victory in her specialty, the women's 400-meter dash. It was not easy, however, as Freeman's 56.71 effort only gave her a slight margin over teammate Charlene Hibbert's (Sr., Mississauga, Ontario) 57.25.
Hibbert's time established a new personal best and catapulted her to No. 4 on the Liberty all-time performance list. Current Lady Flames Freeman, Hibbert and Jaime Watson (Jr., Ravenna, Mich.) now hold down three of the top four spots on the program's all-time 400-meter dash ledger.
Liberty's final event champion on the women's side was junior Rebekah Ricksecker (Laurel, Del.), who recorded a 2:19.47 in her seasonal debut at the 800-meter distance. Freshman teammate Kati Albright (Wake Forest, N.C.) followed in second, notching a 2:21.55.
Jon Hart (Sr., Wyomissing, Pa.) won the meet's opening event, the men's weight throw. His top throw of 62-2.5 landed more than 11 feet in front of the best effort of runner-up Rory Lee-Washington of Lynchburg College. Hart finished as the men's weight throw champion in all three of Liberty's indoor meets this season.
Hart later returned to claim the shot put crown with a personal-best heave of 55-3.5. Finishing second was Liberty junior Andrew Bartels (Jr., Grantham, Pa.), whose own personal-best effort stretched the tape to 50-8.
Freshman Kolby Shepherd (Dublin, Ga.) was Liberty's final event winner of the meet, clearing 15-3 for the third time in his young collegiate career. He was one of three men to reach 15-3, but won the title on misses.
One of the meet's highlights was the men's 3,000-meter run, where Liberty student Sam Chelanga led wire-to-wire before posting a winning time of 8:09.62. The Flames' Jordan McDougal (R-Jr., Peru, N.Y.) came in second in an IC4A-qualifying time of 8:22.14.
Two other non-Liberty athletes won multiple events on Friday. Richmond's Samella Koroma swept both of the women's throwing disciplines, notching a 38-11 in the shot and marking a 44-2.5 in the weight.
Unattached competitor Anthony Bryant did her one better, earning first place in all three jumps on the men's side. He high jumped 6-10.25, long jumped 22-7.75 and triple jumped 48-10.25.
Liberty will take next weekend off competition before traveling to Blacksburg on Feb. 22-23 for the Virginia Tech Challenge. The meet will serve as the Flames and Lady Flames' final tune-up before the Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships.