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Freeman, Friends Rewrite Record Books at VT
Freeman (Lincoln, Del.), who had set a school record with a 56.09 effort earlier this season, raced to a time of 55.70 during Saturday's women's 400-meter dash competition. Freeman, who also established a new conference standard in the process, won her heat and placed fourth overall.
Freeman was not Liberty's lone standout in the event. Charlene Hibbert (Sr., Mississauga, Ontario) came in 15th, with a time of 57.01. Her personal-best effort qualified the senior for the ECAC Championships and makes her No. 3 on Liberty's all-time performance list.
Freeman and Hibbert ran two legs of the record-setting relay unit, and they were joined by Brittany Heath (So., Freeport, Grand Bahamas) and Jaime Watson (Jr., Ravenna, Mich.). The quartet finished in 3:47.16, placing third in the event and qualifying for the ECAC meet. Ironically, Watson anchored the team whose program and conference records were eclipsed on Saturday. That relay team had posted a 3:47.67 in 2006.
Junior Ashley Osborne (Bristol, Va.) sped to victory in the women's 3,000 meters, crossing the line in a personal-best and ECAC-qualifying time of 9:57.93. Only Lady Flames assistant coach Heather (Sagan) Zealand has ever run the event faster in program history, clocking a 9:52.18 in 2001.
Rebekah Ricksecker (Laurel, Del.) and Kati Albright (Wake Forest, N.C.) came in neck-and-neck during the women's 800-meter run. Ricksecker placed 12th in 2:15.80, while Albright was 13th in 2:15.99. Ricksecker is now No. 5 all-time in the event at Liberty.
Freshman Kolby Shepherd (Dublin, Ga.) enjoyed a considerable breakthrough in the day's opening event, the "B" section of the men's pole vault. He won the section by clearing 16-2.75, going nearly a foot higher than his previous personal best and establishing a Liberty freshman record. Shepherd's effort, an IC4A qualifier, bumps him up to No. 4 on Liberty's all-time list and is the best performance by a Flames vaulter in nine years.
In another men's jumping event, the high jump, Matt Parker (Jr., Rome, N.Y.) tied for fourth place. His best clearance on the day was 6-6.75.
Jon Hart (Sr., Wyomissing, Pa.) came in seventh in the men's shot put. His best throw of the day landed at 53-9.75.
Showing few ill effects of a four-week layoff from competition, freshman Clarence Powell (Marianna, Fla.) recorded a 49-0.75 in the men's triple jump. His top effort of the afternoon placed seventh overall.
The Flames and Lady Flames will travel to Clemson, S.C. on Friday and Saturday for the New Balance Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships. The Liberty men's team has captured all 10 Big South indoor titles, since the meet was initiated in 1998. Meanwhile, the Lady Flames have finished second behind Coastal Carolina two-consecutive years.