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Aghaji Breaks School Triple Jump Record
Aided by a tailwind, Aghaji (Chester, Va.) sailed to 39-9.75 in the triple jump, claiming fourth place. She improved the school standard of 39-8.5, which had been set by Anna-Kate Jarman in 1996 and matched by Amy Sturgill in 1999. Aghaji also qualified for the ECAC meet with her performance. The freshman added a 5-3 high jump clearance on Saturday, tying for fourth in the event.
The Lady Flames won one event on the day, the 4 x 100 relay. Liberty's quartet clocked an ECAC qualifier, 46.92, and claimed place No. 5 on the program's all-time performance list.
The Liberty men's squad took three first-place finishes, two of which came in the vertical jumping events. Freshman Kolby Shepherd (Dublin, Ga.), like Aghaji, made a successful first impression, taking home the pole vault title with a 16-0.75 effort, an IC4A qualifier. Teammates Brandon Hoskins (Sr., Garden City, Texas) and Daniel Newell (Jr., Roanoke, Va.) followed in third and fourth place, respectively.
Matt Parker (Jr., Rome, N.Y.) will return to the NCAA East Regional Championships for the second year in a row, after high jumping 6-10.75 to win the competition. He added an IC4A qualifier in the 110-meter hurdles as well, taking third place in 14.66 seconds.
Josh Edmonds (So., Cooperstown, N.Y.) was the Flames' third victor, winning a narrow decision in the 5,000 meters by recording a time of 15:08.26.
Parker will be joined at the regional meet by Jon Hart (Sr., Wyomissing, Pa.). After punching his ticket to Tallahassee, Fla., in the hammer throw on Friday, Hart earned another regional berth Saturday in the shot put. He placed third with a 56-0 heave.
Aghaji and Shepherd were not alone among Liberty's freshman standouts. Clarence Powell (Marianna, Fla.) and Jacey Bailey (Tamarac, Fla.) both posted IC4A qualifiers. Powell's 49-1.75 triple jump distance, which earned him a third-place finish, makes him the second-furthest triple jumper in Liberty history.
Bailey had a hand in two IC4A-worthy marks. He posted a 100-meter dash time of 10.90, coming in sixth. He also ran on Liberty's third-place 4 x 100 relay team, which clocked a 42.20.
The Flames and Lady Flames will remain in Conway, S.C., for next weekend's Shamrock Invitational, also hosted by Coastal Carolina. The three-day meet will begin on Thursday.