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Sweet Repeat! Flames Win IC4A Title Again
For the second consecutive year, the Liberty men's track & field team captured the team title at the IC4A Outdoor Track & Field Championship. The three-day meet wrapped up on a wet Sunday afternoon at William Weaver Track & Field Stadium in Princeton, N.J.
No. 21-ranked Liberty scored points in three field events on Sunday, as Matt Parker (Jr., Rome, N.Y.) was the high jump runner-up, Clarence Powell (Fr., Marianna, Fla.) jumped to third place in the triple jump and Clendon Henderson (Sr., Meadow, Texas) netted fifth place in the shot put.
Their efforts helped push the Flames' point total to 62, enabling them to hold off a furious comeback attempt by Virginia. For the second straight year, the Cavaliers claimed the team runner-up trophy, after ending up with 55 points. Georgetown, the 2008 IC4A indoor champion, was third with 44 markers.
Liberty has now won three IC4A titles in the last 13 years, doing so in 1996, 2007 and 2008. Also, the Flames finished their second straight season as Big South cross country, indoor track and outdoor track titlists, as well as IC4A outdoor champions.
Meanwhile, the Liberty women's squad tied Brown for 21st place in the final ECAC standings, with 16 points. UConn won with 83 points, while Virginia came in second, tallying 53 markers.
Halfway through Sunday's action, a steady rain began to pelt Princeton. Officials discussed moving the high jump indoors, but it remained outside. Due to the inclement weather conditions, only two competitors cleared the opening height of 6-8.25. Parker was one of the two successful jumpers, brushing the bar on his third-attempt clearance. As a result, the junior emerged with second place and eight big team points.
Powell got Liberty's day off to a strong start while the weather was still dry, competing in the IC4A triple jump. His third and final attempt of the prelims reached 50-4.5, his second-farthest leap ever. Powell's jump held up for third place, an improvement from the freshman's eighth-place showing at this year's IC4A Indoor Championship.
Finally, Henderson threw the shot put 52-6.75 inside a rain-drenched ring, earning fifth place. The senior had previously finished second in the discus on Saturday.
On the women's side, a pair of Delaware natives placed in Sunday running events. Sophomore Chenoa Freeman (Lincoln, Del.) clocked a 55.37 in the ECAC 400-meter dash final, which was good for fifth place. It was the second-fastest time of her Liberty career, trailing only Saturday's 54.79 qualifying mark.
Junior Rebekah Ricksecker (Laurel, Del.) ran near the front for much of the ECAC 1,500-meter run, before taking sixth place. Her official time was 4:26.47, and Ricksecker nabbed her second ECAC sixth-place finish of the year. The junior was also sixth in the ECAC indoor mile in March.
The Flames and Lady Flames will return to action in two weeks, when they travel to Tallahassee, Fla., for the NCAA East Regional Championships. The two-day meet, which will set the field for the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, will be hosted by Florida State, May 30-31.