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McDougal Debuts with 3:45.60 1500 at LC

April 12, 2008
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Josh McDougal cruised to victory in the men's 1,500 meters on Saturday, while making his 2008 outdoor season debut.

Josh McDougal cruised to victory in the men's 1,500 meters on Saturday, while making his 2008 outdoor season debut.

Liberty senior Josh McDougal made his 2008 outdoor track & field debut, racing to a NCAA East Regional qualifying time of 3:45.60 while winning the men's 1,500 meters on a windy Saturday at the Lynchburg Track & Field Classic. The 14-time All-American was one of 10 Liberty event winners on the day at Shellenberger Field.

McDougal (Peru, N.Y.), racing for the first time since the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships on March 15, went through 800 meters in 1:58.4. His official 3:45.60 final clocking eclipsed the eight-year-old meet record. He won the race by nearly 19 seconds and became the Flames' ninth qualifier for the NCAA East Regional Championships.

McDougal's distance mate Jarvis Jelen (R-Jr., Sioux Falls, S.D.) also claimed a comfortable victory. He ran to the 3,000-meter steeplechase title by 12 seconds, crossing the line in 9:20.82.

The Liberty men's sprinters were stellar on Saturday as well, utilizing significant tailwinds. Durell Cull (So., Rome, N.Y.) ran a wind-aided 10.67 seconds to win the 100-meter dash, and was followed across the line by Jacey Bailey (Fr., Tamarac, Fla.), who posted a 10.75. Phil Leineweber (Jr., New Freedom, Pa.) came in second at the 200-meter distance, recording a time of 21.70, also wind-aided.

Cull, Bailey and Leineweber were joined by Kolby Shepherd (Fr., Dublin, Ga.) in the 4 x 100 relay. The grouping was victorious, clocking a season-best time of 41.42 seconds.

Liberty freshmen starred in the men's field events. Shepherd has now won all four pole vault competitions he has entered this season, after finishing first on Saturday. His winning height of 15-5 narrowly missed the meet record. Meanwhile, classmate Clarence Powell (Marianna, Fla.) took the triple jump crown in 47-5.

Freshman Geren Woodbridge (Allentown, Pa.) claimed second place in the men's javelin, throwing a 165-9. The only competitor who defeated him was Elliot Galeone (So., White Hall, Md.), competing unattached. Galeone's personal-best 206-7 heave was nearly nine feet farther than the existing meet record.

In the women's javelin, Kristen Dalton (Jr., Wanchese, N.C.) took one of four first-place finishes by the Lady Flames. Her winning throw reached 113-1.

Liberty won the meet's three women's sprinting events. Assisted by the same tailwind which had benefitted the men's sprinters, junior Andrea Beckles (Lynchburg, Va.) ran to victory in the 100-meter dash in a personal-best 11.88 seconds.

Charlene Hibbert (Sr., Mississauga, Ontario) traversed 200 meters in 24.83 seconds to win, while Jaime Watson's (Jr., Ravenna, Mich.) Liberty season-best time of 56.13 seconds gave her the 400-meter title. Watson became the second Lady Flame (also Chenoa Freeman (So., Lincoln, Del.)) to qualify for the ECAC Championships 400-meter dash.

Other high finishers for the Liberty women's squad included Tristyn Olson (Fr., Apple Valley, Minn.), Emily Funderburke (Jr., Fredericksburg, Va.) and Erin Hudson (So., Whitacre, Va.). Olson leapt 4-11.75, claiming runner-up honors in the women's high jump. Funderburke and Hudson shared second place in the pole vault, as both cleared 9-0.25. For Funderburke, it was her third straight top three finish this season.

The Flames and Lady Flames will travel to Rock Hill, S.C., for the 2008 Big South Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The meet, hosted by Winthrop, will be held Thursday through Saturday. Both Liberty teams will be looking to defend the championships they captured at the 2007 meet at the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex.