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Big South Track Championship Blog: Day 3
From the press box overlooking Winthrop's Irwin Belk Track, LibertyFlames.com will provide live updates throughout the three days of the 2008 New Balance Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Please see below for other ways to follow all of the action.
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The most recent posts will be located at the just below this italicized message. You may need to refresh the page periodically to view the latest updates. Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments, questions or suggestions. Thanks!
Men's Final Team Standings:
1) Liberty - 232
2) Coastal Carolina - 156
3) VMI - 92
4) High Point - 88
5) Charleston Southern - 84
6) Radford - 81
7) Winthrop - 69
8) UNC Asheville - 15
Women's Final Team Standings:
1) Coastal Carolina - 230
2) Charleston Southern - 186
3) Liberty - 154
4) High Point - 72
5) Winthrop - 62
6) Radford - 60
7) VMI - 42
8) UNC Asheville - 7
5 p.m. - I guess I mentioned awards and never finished my thought in the chaos after the meet. Just as they did after the Big South indoor meet, the Flames men's team is coming home with a lot of hardware.
Coach Brant Tolsma was voted Men's Coach of the Year.
Jon Hart won Men's Field Performer of the Year.
Clarence Powell won Men's Freshman of the Year.
Clendon Henderson won Men's Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
On the women's side, Rebekah Ricksecker made the Big South All-Academic Team.
Thanks for reading!
4 p.m. - The rain has begun again, but it can't dampen Liberty's men's team's celebration. The Flames have totaled 232 points to claim a 76-point win over Coastal Carolina. Liberty is back-to-back Big South champion and has won the conference outdoor team title 13 times in 15 years.
In summation, the Liberty men's team wins the Big South title while the women's squad takes third.
Awards will be announced in 10 minutes or so.
3:59 p.m. - Liberty ends up eighth place in 3:27.52. Radford holds off hard-charging CSU to win in 3:14.37.
Men's final team scores to follow shortly. The Liberty men have completed the Big South Triple Crown, as the Flames have the outdoor team title to go with the indoor team crown and the cross country championship.
3:57 p.m. - Gregory hands off to Ben Handon seventh.
3:56 p.m. - Correa finishes strong, keeping seventh place. Next up is Matt Gregory.
3:55 p.m. - The day's final event, the men's 4 x 400 relay, is off. Leading off for the Flames is Chris Hibbert. He exchanges to Kevin Correa in seventh.
3:53 p.m. - The women's team scores are final. Congratulations to the Coastal Carolina Lady Chanticleers on their fourth women's team title in the last five years. Charleston Southern records its best-ever team finish.
Liberty ends up third, with 154 points.
3:52 p.m. - Clarence Powell won the men's triple jump in 50-0.75. Turns out his final jump was his best. The freshman also won the Big South men's indoor triple jump crown.
Only one event remaining--the men's 4 x 400 relay. We should have women's final team scores shortly.
3:50 p.m. - Watson makes up a lot of ground on third-place Coastal Carolina, but Liberty ends up fourth in 3:59.70. Dionne Gibson's anchor leg gave CSU the win in 3:47.75.
3:48 p.m. - Albright finishes strong, keeping fourth place as she hands off to 800-meter winner Jaime Watson.
3:47 p.m. - Ricksecker valiantly holds on four fourth in her third race of the day, handing off to fellow middle-distance standout Kati Albright.
3:46 p.m. - Chenoa Freeman is leading off for the Lady Flames, and she hands off to Rebekah Ricksecker in third place.
3:45 p.m. - The last women's event, the 4 x 400 relay, is on the track.
3:40 p.m. - Kigen wins, in 14:21.79, unofficially. McDougal is second. Liberty has won this event four years in a row.
Kigen is a double winner. First the steeplechase last night and now the 5K in facility-record fashion for the sophomore transfer from Eldoret, Kenya.
Here are the official times: Kigen wins in 14:22.20 and McDougal runs 14:32.40. Kovacs' time was 14:37.34. He ends up with a first (10K), second (1500) and third-place (5K) finish.
McDougal has claimed two runner-up finishes this weekend--in the steeplechase and the 5K.
The 1-2 finish puts an exclamation point on the Liberty men's team's second straight Big South title. All that is left is the 4 x 400 relay.
3:35 p.m. - Kigen leads at the bell in 13:16. McDougal is second and Kovacs is third, about 15 meters behind him.
3:34 p.m. - With two laps to go, it's all Evans Kigen in 12:04. Kovacs is gaining on McDougal.
3:31 p.m. - Kigen and McDougal keep building their advantage over Kovacs. Kigen hits two miles in 9:12.
3:29 p.m. - McDougal and Kigen have broken away from Kovacs, opening up a 15-meter lead with six laps left. The time is 7:27, and Kigen just passed McDougal with a mile and a half remaining.
3:27 p.m. - The lead pack of three goes through the first mile in 4:38.
Clarence Powell put up another big triple jump on his last attempt, 15.26 meters, which equates to 50-0.75. The event has wrapped up and results will come shortly.
3:26 p.m. - McDougal, Kigen and Kovacs are pushing the pace and have broken away by far, shortly after the 800-meter mark.
3:24 p.m. - The men's 5K is underway. Liberty has Jordan McDougal and Evans Kigen running. It should be interesting to see who prevails between Kigen, the steeplechase champion, and Kovacs, the 10K titlist. Kovacs ran the 1,500 final earlier today, so we'll see what his legs are like. He's usually a strong finisher in the closing lap.
3:21 p.m. - Jepchirchir is in full sprint, with Jefferson also closing well. But it's Jepchirchir unseating Jefferson as Big South 5K champion. The unofficial winning time is 17:26.20.
Newby is coming down the homestretch. Her time is approximately 18:46, and she will be outside the top eight.
Jepchirchir's official time is 17:26.77, while Jefferson clocks a 17:29.47 for second. She was also the 10K runner-up on Thursday evening.
Newby ended up 13th.
3:15 p.m. - It's still Jefferson and Jepchirchir at the bell.
3:14 p.m. - With 800 meters left, the lead pack of three is intact in the women's 5K. Jefferson holds a slight advantage as the clock ticks 15:01.
Just after they cross the line, Jefferson tries to make her move, but Jepchirchir covers it. Granger is falling back quickly.
3:10 p.m. - Just before the two-mile split, Granger is now in the lead, with Jefferson and Jepchirchir on her shoulder. The split is 11:18.
Bushman is out of the race and Newby is well back in the pack. Looks like the Lady Flames will finihs third in the team standings this year.
3:05 p.m. - It's Jefferson, Jepchirchir and VMI freshman Hannah Granger who have broken away. The mile is reached in 5:34.
Bushman is seventh, in the midst of a pack of four.
3 p.m. - We're underway in the women's 5K. All three Liberty entrants--Dacia Bushman, Carol Jefferson and Piper Newby--are running. Jefferson is the two-time defending champion.
Another athlete to watch is Coastal Carolina's Diana Jepchirchir, the 10K winner from Thursday night.
I'll try to get an 800-meter split. Jefferson surges to the front of the six-member lead pack in right around 2:50. Bushman is eighth, 15 meters back.
The Lady Flames got three points in the triple jump, on Jen Healey's 37-4.5 leap. Mia Aghaji, injured in yesterday's high jump, was unable to compete.
2:57 p.m. - Charleston Southern may have just gone 1-2-3-4 in the men's 200-meter dash. Actually, the Buccaneers went 1-2-3-5. Phil Leineweber ended up seventh in 22.28 seconds.
Coastal Carolina only picked up one point on Liberty in that event. So, the Flames are up by 60 points with three events remaining.
2:53 p.m. - Liberty has two entrants in the women's 200-meter dash--Andrea Beckles and Charlene Hibbert. Charleston Southern has competitors in lanes 5, 6, 7 and 8, including the favorite, Dionne Gibson.
Gibson is a comfortable winner in 24.42 seconds.
Charlene Hibbert comes home fourth in 25.07 seconds, while Beckles is eighth in 25.68.
With three events left, CSU's lead over Liberty is now 167-138 in the battle for second place.
2:45 p.m. - This race should be fun--the men's 400-meter hurdles final. It promises to be a showdown between 2005 Big South champion Brandon Hoskins and 2006 Big South champion Tyrone Murphy of Coastal Carolina. 2007 conference titlist Tim O'Donnell is redshirting this year for Liberty. Murphy edged Hoskins in the prelims yesterday, and I look forward to seeing what happens today.
The Flames will also be represented by Ben Handon and Chris Hibbert, giving them a chance to add to their lead over Coastal Carolina.
Murphy leads from wire to wire and wins in 53.06. Hoskins comes back after the final hurdle to beat Wayne Gore of Radford, 54.05 to 54.26. Hibbert is fifth in 56.17 and Handon takes seventh in 56.69.
Hoskins has now scored 33 points today, and can catch up on some rest.
For the event, it's Liberty 14, Coastal Carolina 10. Sounds like a football score.
2:34 p.m. - The gun just went off in the women's 400-meter hurdles. Ashley Teer is running in lane one. I believe yesterday was her first-ever try at the event, and now she's in the Big South final.
Teer closes strong, using her strength from the 800 meters to finish seventh and nearly claim sixth. Her time was 1:10.60.
High Point senior Jasmine Jones-Green is a clear winner, in 1:00.94. She finished a tantalizing 12-hundredths of a second off the NCAA East Regional standard.
Charleston Southern runners took second and fifth, totaling 12 points. Their lead over Liberty is now 144-132.
Clarence Powell just triple jumped 15.01 meters, which converts to 49-3. He was very happy about his effort.
2:18 p.m. - All team standings are now up-to-date. The Liberty men's team's lead is down to 57 points over Coastal Carolina, but all that remains is the 400 hurdles, the 200 dash, the 5K run, the 4 x 400 relay and the triple jump.
The same set of events remains to be completed on the women's side, where Liberty and Charleston Southern are battling it out for second place. The Lady Flames have a strong group of 5K runners, which could give them a late boost. Carol Jefferson is the two-time defending Big South outdoor 5K champion.
2:10 p.m. - Brandon Hoskins is at it again. Now he's the runner-up in the men's javelin, after tossing the spear 189-9. Only one event, the men's 400-meter hurdles, is remaining for the Liberty senior. His personal point total is up to 25 points.
Winning the javelin was Coastal Carolina senior Thomas Jordan, whose best throw reached 215-10. He is now a four-time Big South javelin champ.
Matt Tarr also threw the javelin for the Flames. He ended up 11th after throwing a 120-11.
Men's team standings will be updated during our short break. The women's 400-meter hurdles doesn't go off for 20 minutes.
I just found out Jaime Watson's winning 800-meter time set a new facility record, despite the wind.
2:05 p.m. - We now have updated women's standings through 16 events, and Liberty and Charleston Southern are neck-and-neck for second place. CSU is currently on top, 132-130. Coastal Carolina maintains a comfortable lead at the top.
We have men's javelin results in, and I'll post them very shortly. Next up on the track is the women's 400-meter hurdles, including Liberty's Ashley Teer, a newcomer to the event.
2 p.m. - This should be another good event for Liberty. Jaime Watson is the two-time defending Big South women's 800-meter champion, Rebekah Ricksecker is doubling back from a victory in the 1,500. High Point has four representatives as well.
No one wants to push the pace through the wind.
High Point's Joya Canfield and Jaime Watson are neck-and-neck through a 1:07 first lap.
Watson puts on the accelerator at the bell and negative splits her second lap. She is now a three-time Big South outdoor 800-meter titlist. Her winning time is 2:12.28.
Ricksecker makes a move in the last 200 meters and edges out High Point's Sumiyya Hunter at the tape, 2:13.87 to 2:13.91.
Liberty picks up 18 big points in this event.
No Flames made the men's 800-meter final, so I should be able to get all of the team standings back on track.
1:54 p.m. - Another sprinting event is another Charleston Southern victory. Alonzo Spurley powers home to first place in 10.70 seconds to win.
Liberty newcomers Durell Cull and Jacey Bailey place fifth and seventh, respectively. Cull's time is 11.08 and Bailey's clocking is 11.38.
The women's 800-meter runners are on the track, so I'll continue to update team standings as I'm able to. Everything is current, except the men's 100-meter dash and women's discus scores have not been accounted for.
1:51 p.m. - Andrea Beckles comes back in the final 30 meters to nip Coastal Carolina's Ikeiylah Brown for third place, in a literal photo finish. It took a couple minutes to separate the two. Beckles' time was 12.09.
Charleston Southern runners swept the top two spots, as it was Misha Morris coming in ahead of Jessica Thomas.
The wind shifted, and the runners actually enjoyed a 0.4 m/s headwind. I'll update the team standings after the men's 100-meter dash.
1:40 p.m. - The rain has subsided and it has brightened up a little, as we approach the men's 400-meter dash, otherwise known as the Charleston Southern Invitational. Most people expect the Buccaneer trio of Michael Rhue, Levi Brooks and Cornelius Tyler to sweep the top three spots. Rhue is the three-time defending champion.
Phil Leineweber is lined up in lane 7, and will be Liberty's lone runner in this race. He was fourth in the 2007 Big South 400-meter final.
CSU does indeed take the top three spots, as the rain returns. (Sorry, I jinxed it.) Rhue becomes a four-time Big South outdoor titlist with his 46.72 clocking.
Leineweber wins a blanket finish for fourth place. For the second consecutive season, the Liberty junior takes home fourth in the event. His time was 48.61.
Next up is the women's 100-meter dash, where we'll see Liberty junior Andrea Beckles, the 2007 conference runner-up. These are not ideal sprinting conditions, to say the least. The temperature is dropping, the headwind is increasing and the rain is pounding Rock Hill.
1:30 p.m. - Three Lady Flames will compete in the finals of the women's 400-meter dash--Chenoa Freeman, Charlene Hibbert and Brittany Heath. Coastal Carolina freshman Vondeeshia Humphries set a meet record yesterday, blazing to a time of 54.41. I'm sure the wind will slow down times a bit today. It will be coming into the runners' faces as they enter the homestretch.
We have a mild upset, as Humphries leads the whole way before CSU's Dionne Gibson passes her in the closing strides.
Freeman briefly challenged Gibson for second place around the second turn, before taking third in 56.13 seconds.
Hibbert ran a season-best 56.78 seconds but was nipped by Charleston Southern's Ebony Muller at the line in the battle for fourth place.
Heath ran a 59.56 for seventh place, helping Liberty total 12 points in the event. That's the Lady Flames' margin over Charleston Southern in the fight for second place.
1:20 p.m. - Coastal Carolina sophomore Ben Wheeler gets off to a great start in the men's 110-meter hurdles and barely staves off Parker's late surge. Wheeler prevails, 14.60 to 14.63, giving Parker his second straight runner-up finish in the Big South men's 110-meter hurdles.
Hoskins also closes well over the last few hurdles. He finishes fourth in 15.12 seconds and has now scored 17 points for the Flames during the first three hours of today's competition. Two events left for him to finish--the javelin and the 400-meter hurdles.
Coastal's hurdlers go 1-3-5, but Liberty's lead still appears relatively safe.
The hurdles were run into a stiff, 2.3 m/s headwind.
Next on the track is the women's 400-meter dash, scheduled for 1:25. It's now raining and very windy.
1:13 p.m. - The men's and women's triple jumpers are starting to warm up for their 1:30 p.m. event start times.
Brandon Hoskins is continuing his tour of the Irwin Belk Track facility. Now he's in the blocks for the men's 110-meter hurdles.
Only seven men entered the sprint hurdles. The top qualifier is Matt Parker, looking to improve from his runner-up finish a year ago. The winds continue to pick up and the skies keep getting darker. I don't think we'll stay dry too much longer.
1:08 p.m. - As expected, Coastal Carolina junior LeAuna Sistrunk has defended her women's 100-meter hurdles crown, running 13.97 into a headwind.
The Chanticleers have opened a 57-point lead on Liberty atop the women's standings. The Lady Flames are still 15 points up on CSU.
1 p.m. - No sign of food in the hospitality room yet, so I'll get back to work. All four Liberty pole vaulters placed in the top seven, giving the Flames an 83-point advantage over Coastal Carolina through 11 events.
Freshman Kolby Shepherd led the way, winning his second career Big South pole vault crown. Also the conference indoor pole vault titlist, Shepherd cleared 16-0.75 to prevail again today.
Brandon Hoskins claimed his second All-Big South award of the day. Previously third in the men's discus, Hoskins also finished third in the pole vault, at 15-1.
Also placing for the Flames were Matt Savini and Daniel Newell. Both vaulters cleared 13-7.25 to end up sixth and seventh, respectively.
12:50 p.m. - The next running event is not until 1:05, and it's the women's 100-meter hurdles. No Liberty athletes qualified for the finals. So, I may take a quick break to grab lunch.
The men's javelin is still going on.
The men's pole vault has completed. I believe Kolby Shepherd has won, and should have results upon my return.
The next running event I'll focus on is the men's 110-meter hurdles, at 1:15. It will feature Matt Parker and Brandon Hoskins. Hoskins is currently throwing the javelin.
12:45 p.m. - The men's 1,500 is off. The field includes Liberty's Jarvis Jelen and Cory Reed. Jelen was third in last night's steeplechase final.
Donnie Cowart of VMI builds a five-meter lead with three laps remaining. Jelen and Reed are eighth and ninth.
The field has reeled in Cowart, with two laps left. Things are all bunched up with 11 people in touch with the leader.
Cowart throws down another surge, stringing things out a bit. Matt Elliott of Winthrop takes the lead at the bell. Reed and Jelen are still in the pack.
Elliott runs a strong final lap to win the title in a facility-record 3:53.26, followed by 10K champion Tamas Kovacs of High Point and VMI's Anthony Harris.
Reed closes well for fifth place in a personal-best 3:57.37. Jelen is ninth in 3:58.45. He misses out on eighth by .06 seconds.
12:35 p.m. - In addition to Ricksecker and Albright, Sarah Roberts was 10th in the women's 1,500 at 4:53.65.
Women's team standings are updated, and Liberty has a 22-point edge over Charleston Southern for second place after Ricksecker and Albright's performances.
12:32 p.m. - With a couple minutes before the men's 1,500 gets underway, I've taken the opportunity to update the men's team standings. Liberty is up on Coastal Carolina, 130-71, through nine events.
12:30 p.m. - The men's discus results are in, and the Flames went 1-3-5. Clendon Henderson repeated as conference champion and broke his own meet record with a 183-0 effort. Brandon Hoskins took time out of his busy schedule to accept All-Big South honors, after throwing a season-best 150-7 for third. Jon Hart, who has won two events at this meet already, was fifth after a 145-9 heave.
Luke Garvey also entered for Liberty and came in 12th, at 130-10.
12:25 p.m. - The women's 1,500 is off. Liberty hopes for big things in this event, from the duo of Rebekah Ricksecker and Kati Albright. Ricksecker is the defending champ.
Radford's Ashlyn Sinclair leads a big pack of runners with three laps left.
With two laps left, Albright surges into the lead, followed by High Point's Sumiyya Hunter. Ricksecker is a fast closer.
At the bell, it's a four-person race--Ricksecker, Albright, Hunter and Coastal's steeplechase champion Felicitas Mensing.
Ricksecker makes a big move as the bell rings, opening a 15-20 meter lead.
It's all Ricksecker, with Albright passing Hunter for second down the straight.
It's a 1-2 finish for the Lady Flames. Ricksecker clocks a 4:36.00 to repeat as Big South champion and Albright follows in 4:37.87.
12:14 p.m. - Shepherd reels in two runners to pull Liberty into fourth place. The Flames' time is 42.60 seconds. Charleston Southern wins in 40.48, to score its first 10 points of the meet.
Liberty's lead through seven events is 103-57 over Coastal Carolina.
We've had men's discus results submitted. They will come shortly.
12:11 p.m. - Liberty is also in lane four in the men's 4 x 100 relay. Charleston Southern is a huge favorite, and the meet record of 40.06, set by the Flames in 2001, could be in jeopardy.
For the Flames, Durell Cull, Jacey Bailey, Phil Leineweber and Kolby Shepherd will comprise their relay quartet. Shepherd must take a break from the pole vault to anchor the Liberty unit.
12:05 p.m. - The Liberty lineup is Brittany Heath, Hibbert, Chenoa Freeman and Beckles. Liberty trails early in the race and gets a shaky opening hand-off. However, they come on strong at the end to claim second place in 46.42 seconds. It's the Lady Flames' best time of the season by a half second.
Charleston Southern wins in 45.42, setting new Big South overall, meet and facility records.
11:57 a.m. - Watson clears 6-8, ending the marathon jump-off competition in the men's high jump. It will be Jacques Watson of Coastal first and Jason Williams of Winthrop second. Matt Parker and Clarence Powell of Liberty finished fifth and sixth, respectively. Parker cleared 6-8.75, while Powell topped out at 6-6.75. I'll update the team standings above once we receive the official results in the press box.
We're about to start the day's running events with the women's 4 x 100 relay. Last season, this was a huge momentum event for the Lady Flames, helping ignite their run to the Big South team title. The Liberty quartet of Andrea Beckles, Charlene Hibbert, Tra' Screen and Arlene Zelinskas ran a meet record 45.95 seconds to defeat favored Coastal Carolina.
This year, Beckles and Hibbert are back and will run for Liberty in lane four. The Lady Flames' chief competitors in the team standings, Charleston Southern and Coastal Carolina will be in lanes 5 and 6.
11:55 a.m. - It appears four men's pole vaulters are still alive, including Liberty's Brandon Hoskins and Kolby Shepherd.
After a break for the national anthem, Watson misses in the jump-off, which continues on. He and Williams will attempt at 6-8 now.
11:40 a.m. - The jump-off presses on in the men's high jump. Williams and Watson are down to 6-10, and neither of them has gotten over the bar yet.
11:30 a.m. - The Lady Flames picked up four points in the javelin, courtesy of Kristen Dalton's fifth-place finish. She threw a season-best 117-7 to place at the Big South meet for the third straight year. Krystle Matthews narrowly missed the top eight, taking the ninth spot at 111-3.
Radford senior Amy Marshall edged Coastal Carolina's Deborah Mattern by three inches to repeat as women's javelin champion.
11:25 a.m. - Liberty's Daniel Newell is still pole vaulting as well. They have a cryptic pattern of updating the performance board, or I'd tell you what height they're attempting. Earlier, the board said "39.75." Whether we're talking English or metric measurements, that'd be a record!
Williams and Watson both missed on the first jump-off height. The bar actually blew off a couple times.
11:20 a.m. - Neither Williams nor Watson made it over the bar at 7-2.5. They will enter a jump-off. It appears 7-1.5 will be the first height for the duo's jump-off. It would equal an all-time Big South Conference record.
The women's javelin just completed. Results will follow shortly. Warm-ups will begin for the men's javelin at this time, meaning Brandon Hoskins now has three events to worry about simultaneously.
Speaking of Hoskins, he's attempting at the pole vault right now. I haven't seen pre-meet favorite Kolby Shepherd take an attempt yet.
The wind has really kicked up recently, and they're going to hold off on the high jump jump-off for now.
Running events will begin at noon, with the women's 4 x 100 relay.
11:05 a.m. - Oseth could not make a third-attempt clearance this time around, so he will be unable to win a third straight Big South outdoor high jump crown. Williams and Watson both went over a meet-record height of 7-0.25 on their second attempts. They will move on to 7-2.5 (2.20 meters).
11 a.m. - Parker will finish fifth in the men's high jump, while Powell will claim sixth. None of the remaining three competitors is over 7-0.25 yet.
10:55 a.m. - Parker missed all three attempts at 6-10.75, with his third try being the junior's best effort. Williams of Winthrop and Watson of Coastal both went over on their first attempt, while two-time defending champion Oseth of Radford made good on his third attempt. All three tied the meet record and will compete at 7-0.25 (2.15 meters).
10:45 a.m. - Powell was unable to get over the bar at 6-8.75, while Parker needed a second attempt to do so. James of VMI, Oseth of Radford and Williams of Winthrop all went over on their first try, while Watson passed. We're now jumping at 6-10.75 (2.10 meters), which equals the meet record and is the NCAA East Regional qualifying standard.
10:37 a.m. - Clarence Powell and Matt Parker are both among the group of six high jumpers who cleared 6-6.75. Parker did so on his first try, while Powell took two attempts to get over once again. The other remaining competitors, now that we've reached 6-8.75 (2.05 meters), are Dennis James of VMI, Daniel Oseth of Radford, Jason Williams of Winthrop and Jacques Watson of Coastal Carolina.
10:25 a.m. - Clarence Powell came in at 6-4.75 and cleared on his second attempt. Coastal's Watson went over on his first try. Oseth, Parker and Williams all passed. Only Ryan Edlich of Coastal Carolina was eliminated at the height. So, we have eight high jumpers who will compete at 6-6.75, 2.00 meters.
10:20 a.m. - Ezekwe of VMI was unable to clear 6-2. So, we will have nine high jumpers left alive at 6-5. Of the "Big Five" jumpers, only Coastal's Jacques Watson has competed so far. He went over easily at 6-2. I would guess that this height is actually 1.95 meters, which approximately translates to 6-4.75.
10:13 a.m. - Both VMI's Chi-Chi Ezekwe and Coastal's Ryan Edlich went over at 6-1. The bar is now at 6-2. Neither Liberty jumper has entered yet.
10:10 a.m. - Only one men's high jumper was unable to clear 5-11, Radford freshman Bryan Wallace. Just two jumpers in total took attempts at the opening height. We're moving on to 6-1.
10 a.m. - The sun has just broken through for the first time this morning. It appears the high jump will open at 5-11. I'd guess that the big guns (Clarence Powell, Matt Parker, Radford's Daniel Oseth, Winthrop's Jason Williams and Coastal's Jacques Watson) will pass the first couple heights.
9:47 a.m. - Brandon Hoskins did not compete in the decathlon at this year's New Balance Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships, even though he is ranked No. 2 in the nation and claimed the title in 2007.
However, he will have a decathlon-like day today. The Liberty senior two-time All-American is entered in five events--the pole vault, javelin, discus, 110-meter hurdles and 400-meter hurdles.
9:40 a.m. - Day Three Preview – Championship day is here. In just a few hours (weather permitting), we will crown a pair of Big South team champions. Both the Liberty men's team and the Coastal Carolina women's squad own sizable leads, but more than half of the event finals remain to be contested.
Due to severe weather expected in the Rock Hill area later today, some of the field events will start earlier than scheduled.
I had originally anticipated focusing on the women's javelin to start the day, as it was the only event slated to start at 10 a.m. Now, however, the men's discus, men's high jump and men's pole vault will join the javelin at 10.
Liberty has a realistic chance to win all three of these men's field events, but I will focus on the high jump to start out the day. Matt Parker and Clarence Powell will battle a loaded field, which also includes two-time defending Big South champion Daniel Oseth of Radford, hometown favorite Jason Williams of Winthrop and freshman Jacques Watson of Coastal Carolina, who has already eclipsed the 7-foot barrier this season.
In the men's discus, Clendon Henderson is the prohibitive favorite. The defending meet champion and meet record holder, Henderson is coming off a career-best 204-3 effort at the Texas Relays. This is his event to lose.
Liberty freshman Kolby Shepherd and senior Brandon Hoskins have both made significant improvement in the pole vault this season and enter with the conference's top two marks. Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing Shepherd vault for the first time.
In case you missed it late last night (actually, early this morning on the East Coast), Flames senior Josh McDougal ran a 13:37.13 5K at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif. His time, which netted 12th place, puts him in the No. 3 spot on the NCAA national performance list. So, McDougal has now qualified for the NCAA East Regional Championships in the 1,500 meters and the 5K on consecutive weekends.
I guess I'd better stop typing for now. There will be plenty to write about shortly, once the action gets started in earnest. Happy reading!