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Liberty Seeks Second Straight Double Triple

April 19, 2011
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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The Flames and Lady Flames celebrate the Big South "Double Triple" they captured in 2009-10. If Liberty can win the men's and women's team titles this weekend, it will wrap up its second straight "Double Triple."

Meet Schedule

Live Video Streaming (Big South Network)


Liberty Flames Twitter Account


VMI's Meet Central Page


Heat Sheets

Lexington Weather


For the second consecutive year, the Liberty men's and women's track & field teams will be attempting to make history at the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships. If both the Flames and Lady Flames are able to capture team titles this weekend in Lexington, Va., Liberty will join BYU and Navy as the only NCAA Division I programs ever to win back-to-back conference "Double Triples."

Liberty opened the athletic year by sweeping the men's and women's team titles at the Big South Cross Country Championships in November. The Flames and Lady Flames were also victorious at the Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships in February. Now Liberty will attempt to claim all six Big South cross country and track & field team championships for the second consecutive athletic year.

The Flames' quest for history will begin Thursday at 9 a.m., when the men's javelin gets underway at VMI's Read Memorial Track. The three-day meet, hosted by the Keydets for the first time since 2005, is scheduled to conclude Saturday at approximately 4 p.m., with the women's 4 x 400 relay.

How to Follow the Action
All three days of competition will be video streamed live on the Big South Network, for a small fee.

Periodic updates will be posted to the official Liberty Flames Twitter account (twitter.com/libertyflames).

LibertyFlames.com will not blog from this year's Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships, because assistant athletics communications director Paul Carmany will be joining VMI's Brad Salois on the Big South Network broadcast of the meet.

Weather Report
The Lexington area will see a variety of weather during the three days of the 2011 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Thursday calls for a high of 68 degrees under partly cloudy skies. Friday looks to be the nastiest weather day, with rain and a high of only 56 degrees. The temperature will rebound into the 70s on Saturday, but thunderstorms could pop up as well.

Men's Meet Preview
The Liberty men's track & field team has won 15 titles in the 17-year history of the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships, including the last four in a row. Liberty has been especially dominant in recent years, winning each of its last four outdoor championships by 74 or more points. Last season, the Flames enjoyed a 76.5-point margin of victory (194-117.5) over runner-up Coastal Carolina.

Liberty enters the 2011 meet as a solid favorite, despite the fact that defending NCAA Division I 10K national champion Sam Chelanga is not expected to compete this weekend. Last year's Big South Men's Outstanding Track Performer Evans Kigen won both the steeplechase and 5K titles a year ago. Meanwhile, reigning Big South Men's Outstanding Field Performer Clarence Powell won the long jump title and scored 24 total points at last year's championship.

Throwers Elliot Galeone (discus) and Ryan Smith (shot put) will both attempt to defend their conference titles from 2010. Cody Fridgen, who won last year's pole vault championship, is redshirting this season. However, Kolby Shepherd enters the meet as a heavy favorite after clearing 17-6.5 at the Texas Relays.

Additionally, Geren Woodbridge will seek his first Big South decathlon title, after winning each of the last three heptathlon crowns at the Big South indoor meet. Taylor Courtney, who won the Big South 400 title and the IC4A 500 crown indoors, figures to battle for both the 400 and 400 hurdles championships this weekend.

Men's 100-Meter Dash
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 4:05 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 1:50 p.m.
Defending Champion: Javon Young (Charleston Southern) – 10.23
2011 Indoor Champion (60 Meters): Javon Young (Charleston Southern) – 6.73
2011 Leader: Javon Young (Charleston Southern) – 10.39
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 5 (Guifaly Christolin – 2002)
Liberty Entrants: Jacey Bailey, Anthony Settje, Jamal Spears and Roderick Spruel
Outlook: Charleston Southern junior Javon Young has dominated the short sprints in the Big South Conference for the last two years and appears poised to continue his reign this weekend. Last year, he clocked a meet-record time of 10.23 seconds in the 100-meter dash final. This season, Young owns the conference's top time at 10.39. This could be a fast race from top to bottom, as all nine of last year's 100-meter dash finalists are back this season, to go along with talented freshmen Evan Emery (High Point) and Rozzie Johnson (Charleston Southern). Sophomore Roderick Spruel could be Liberty's top contender. He placed sixth in this event a year ago and took fourth in this year's Big South indoor 60-meter dash final.

Men's 200-Meter Dash
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 5:55 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 2:55 p.m.
Defending Champion: Dantwan Spreads (Charleston Southern) – 21.04
2011 Indoor Champion: Javon Young (Charleston Southern) – 21.36
2011 Leader: Javon Young (Charleston Southern) – 21.04
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 6 (Guifaly Christolin - 2002)
Liberty Entrants: Jacey Bailey, Anthony Settje, ConRoy Smith and Roderick Spruel
Outlook: As in the 100-meter dash, Charleston Southern's Javon Young is also heavily favored at 200 meters. Last year, Young false-started in the 200 final, opening the door for teammate Dantwan Spreads to become CSU's sixth straight Big South 200-meter dash champion. VMI's James Alexander has finished as the 200-meter dash runner-up at the most recent Big South indoor and outdoor meets and could be a possible spoiler on his home track. Liberty senior Jacey Bailey came in fourth in this event at both the 2010 Big South outdoor meet and the 2011 Big South indoor meet. He will aim for his first All-Big South honor at the 200-meter distance.

Men's 400-Meter Dash
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 3:10 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 1:35 p.m.
Defending Champion: Levi Brooks (Charleston Southern) – 47.04 (Second in a row)
2011 Indoor Champion: Taylor Courtney (Liberty) – 48.62
2011 Leader: Taylor Courtney (Liberty) – 48.16
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 8 (Chad Wilson – 2002)
Liberty Entrants: Paul Arslain, Christopher Arvey, Taylor Courtney and Andre Washington
Outlook: Charleston Southern runners have won the Big South 400-meter dash title six years in a row, but the graduation of Levi Brooks makes this event pretty wide open in 2011. Indoors, Liberty's Taylor Courtney came from behind to edge Charleston Southern's Dantwan Spreads in the 400-meter dash final. Courtney also owns the Big South's fastest outdoor clocking this season, at 48.16 seconds. He hopes to become Liberty's first runner to sweep the Big South indoor and outdoor 400-meter titles since Mike Decker in 2001. The Radford duo of Raschad Kelson and Kaise White also figures to contend for top honors in the one-lap event.

Men's 800-Meter Run
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 4:40 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 2:05 p.m.
Defending Champion: Felix Kitur (VMI) – 1:49.62 (Third in a row)
2011 Indoor Champion: Felix Kitur (VMI) – 1:53.93
2011 Leader: Felix Kitur (VMI) – 1:49.16 (No. 21 nationally)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 4 (Chris Lyons - 2005)
Liberty Entrants: Jordan Bright, Spencer Jackson, Joel Terry and Isaac Wendland
Outlook: Saturday afternoon's men's 800-meter final will be one of the most highly-anticipated events for VMI fans this weekend. Keydet senior Felix Kitur will be attempting to win his unprecedented fourth straight Big South outdoor 800-meter crown. The two-time NCAA national qualifier will enter as a heavy favorite, after clocking a 1:49.16 earlier this season. If he slips up, Gardner-Webb's Josiah Stanton-Brooks and Liberty's Isaac Wendland are the top candidates to claim the title. Wendland is a two-time Big South 800-meter runner-up during his career.

Men's 1,500-Meter Run
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 1:50 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 12:40 p.m.
Defending Champion: Kyle Kling (Coastal Carolina) – 3:52.47
2011 Indoor Champion (Mile): Sam Chelanga (Liberty) – 4:16.88
2011 Leader: Isaac Wendland (Liberty) – 3:51.88
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (Sam Chelanga - 2009)
Liberty Entrants: Jarred Cornfield, Will Reeves, Andrew Rigler and Isaac Wendland
Outlook: Liberty's Isaac Wendland could battle for his first Big South individual title in the men's 1,500-meter final. He was the runner-up to teammate Sam Chelanga at the Big South indoor meet and owns the conference's top time this season, 3:51.88. Defending 1,500 conference champion Kyle Kling of Coastal Carolina is back this year and is running well, as evidenced by his 30:10.71 effort in the Raleigh Relays 10K. VMI also figures to make a strong showing in this event, led by Andrey Dmitriev, Ermin Mujezinovic and Cabell Willis.

Men's 3,000-Meter Steeplechase
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 6:35 p.m.
Defending Champion: Evans Kigen (Liberty) – 9:14.65
2011 Leader: Jacob Smith (High Point) – 9:00.56
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (Evans Kigen - 2010)
Liberty Entrants: Zach Barker, Evans Kigen and Josh MacDonald
Outlook: Liberty's Evans Kigen, a two-time NCAA national qualifier in the steeplechase, will seek his third Big South steeplechase crown. However, he has not yet run a race during the 2011 outdoor season. High Point sophomores Jacob Smith (9:00.56 in 2011) and Dakota Peachee (9:06.44) will also be chief title contenders. Liberty freshman Josh MacDonald will attempt to stay near the front of the pack as well, after clocking a 9:20.54 at the Raleigh Relays.

Men's 5,000-Meter Run
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 3:20 p.m.
Defending Champion: Evans Kigen (Liberty) – 14:34.66
2011 Indoor Champion: Josh Edmonds (Liberty) – 14:22.65
2011 Leader: Adam Freudenthal (Winthrop) – 14:41.20
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 6 (Evans Kigen – 2010)
Liberty Entrants: Sam Chelanga, Evans Kigen, Josh MacDonald and David Ricksecker
Outlook: The 5K is often unpredictable at the Big South meet, due to its position as the championship's next-to-last event. Fatigue and team scoring scenarios will impact coaches' decisions on which athletes to send to the start line and which ones to scratch. If either Sam Chelanga or Evans Kigen lines up for the race, they will be favored to extend Liberty's streak of six straight Big South outdoor 5K championships. If not, this race will become very difficult to prognosticate. High Point's Neal Darmody, the Big South indoor 5K runner-up this year, will also be a runner to watch if he contests the 5K on Saturday.

Men's 10,000-Meter Run
Event Schedule: Final – Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: Jesse Cherry (High Point) – 30:13.20 (Second in a row)
2011 Leader: Sam Chelanga (Liberty) – 28:15.64 (No. 1 nationally)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 5 (Josh McDougal – 2007)
Liberty Entrant: Mark Hopely
Outlook: With NCAA 10K record holder and defending national champion Sam Chelanga sitting out the Big South 10K, this becomes another tough race to call. High Point's Neal Darmody is the top returnee from last year's Big South 10K final, where he placed fourth. He also clocked a 29:54.25 10K at Stanford earlier this sason. Additionally, Coastal Carolina's Kyle Kling ran a personal-best 30:10.71 in the Raleigh Relays 10K. Liberty's lone entrant, senior Mark Hopely, has been running well in recent weeks. After clocking a personal-best 3K time (8:52.03) at the Big South indoor meet, he ran a personal-best 15:16.70 in the Raleigh Relays 5K.

Men's 110-Meter Hurdles
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 2:40 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 1:15 p.m.
Defending Champion: Jack Hutchison (Coastal Carolina) – 14.07 (Second in a row)
2011 Indoor Champion (60 Hurdles): Keary Simms (Winthrop) – 8.05
2011 Leader: Keary Simms (Winthrop) – 14.18
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 6 (Micah Brinkley - 2004)
Liberty Entrants: Silvanous Parchment and Richard Whitted
Outlook: Winthrop's Keary Simms enters the meet as the 110 hurdles favorite, after claiming Big South 60-meter hurdles titles each of the past two years. Last year's close runner-up in this event, Simms owns the Big South's fastest time of 2011, 14.18 seconds. Radford freshman Chris Dobbins, who nearly took down Simms in the Big South indoor 60 hurdles final, should contend as well. Richard Whitted, Liberty's top entrant, is ranked No. 16 in the conference with a season-best time of 15.77 seconds.

Men's 400-Meter Hurdles
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 5:15 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 2:40 p.m.
Defending Champion: Paul Steinke (Gardner-Webb) – 52.17
2011 Leader: Jermal McClendon (Charleston Southern) – 52.10
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 9 (Tim O'Donnell - 2009)
Liberty Entrants: Taylor Courtney, Riley White and Richard Whitted
Outlook: If Liberty's Taylor Courtney is able to win the 400-meter dash title on Saturday, he will have about an hour to recover before he attempts to complete a unique double in the 400 hurdles. Liberty's Mike Reed is the only Big South runner who has ever won Big South titles in both the 400 dash and 400 hurdles in the same year, doing so at the inaugural Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships in 1994. Courtney will have plenty of competition in the 400 hurdles, though. Radford's Brett Olinger, who edged Courtney in a photo finish for second place in this event last year, is back. Also, the conference's top time in 2011 (52.10) belongs to talented Charleston Southern freshman Jermal McClendon, who is expected to be a factor in numerous events this weekend.

Men's 4 x 100 Relay
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 12:10 p.m.
Defending Champion: Charleston Southern – 40.00 (Fifth in a row)
2011 Leader: Coastal Carolina – 40.27
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (2005)
Outlook: Coastal Carolina has notched the Big South's fastest 4 x 100 clocking so far this season, a 40.27 effort at the FSU Seminole Invitational. However, don't expect Charleston Southern to go down quietly, as Javon Young and the Buccaneers aim for their sixth straight Big South title in this event. The last time a team other than CSU took the conference 4 x 100 title was 2005, when Liberty was victorious on VMI's track.

Men's 4 x 400 Relay
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 3:55 p.m.
Defending Champion: Radford – 3:15.04 (Third in a row)
2011 Indoor Champion: Charleston Southern – 3:18.32
2011 Leader: Radford – 3:15.07
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (2001)
Outlook: Radford has won three straight Big South outdoor 4 x 400 championships and should make a strong charge at another title this year. The Highlanders clocked a conference-best 3:15.07 at the Carolina's Cup, putting the finishing touches on their team victory. Liberty has not won this event in 10 years, but could have a chance if Taylor Courtney takes the baton for the anchor leg close to the leaders.

Men's Long Jump
Event Schedule: Final – Thursday at 4:45 p.m.
Defending Champion: Clarence Powell (Liberty) – 24-0.25 (7.32m)
2011 Indoor Champion: Lavon Allen (Charleston Southern) – 24-4.5 (7.43m)
2011 Leader: Lavon Allen (Charleston Southern) – 24-5.5 (7.45m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 10 (Clarence Powell - 2010)
Liberty Entrants: Anthony Bryant, Aaron Johnson, Clarence Powell, Kevin Reddington
Outlook: The men's long jump has become one of Liberty's strongest and deepest events in recent years. Last season, the Flames racked up 25 points in the long jump, led by Clarence Powell and Anthony Bryant's 1-2 finish. This season, Liberty is led by Aaron Johnson, who ranks No. 4 in the conference at 23-3.25. All of the Flames will be chasing Charleston Southern's Lavon Allen, who won the Big South indoor long jump title and tops the conference performance list at 24-5.5.

Men's Triple Jump
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 1 p.m.
Defending Champion: Chad Phillips (Coastal Carolina) – 49-2.25 (14.99m)
2011 Indoor Champion: Clarence Powell (Liberty) – 50-1.75 (15.28m)
2011 Leader: Anthony Bryant (Liberty) – 50-2.75 (15.31m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (Anthony Bryant - 2009)
Liberty Entrants: Anthony Bryant, Aaron Johnson, Chris Johnson and Clarence Powell
Outlook: Liberty senior Clarence Powell has won four Big South triple jump championships during his career, including the indoor and outdoor meets. He also reached the 2010 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships in the triple jump. However, he has not yet made a mark this season. Even so, Liberty owns the top two spots on the Big South performance list, thanks to 2009 champion Anthony Bryant (50-2.75) and Chris Johnson (48-2.75). If Liberty does not win this event, defending Big South triple jump champion Chad Phillips of Coastal Carolina is a likely candidate.

Men's High Jump
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 4:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: Jacques Watson (Coastal Carolina) – 6-11 (2.11m)
2011 Indoor Champion: Dennis James (VMI) – 6-8.75 (2.05m)
2011 Leader: Jacques Watson (Coastal Carolina) and Dennis James (VMI) – 6-9.75 (2.08m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (Anthony Bryant - 2009)
Liberty Entrants: Anthony Bryant, Tashan Duff and Clarence Powell
Outlook: The men's high jump could be one of the most interesting and competitive events to watch. Four former Big South champions are included in the field, including Liberty's duo of Anthony Bryant (2009 outdoor) and Clarence Powell (2010 indoor), Coastal Carolina's Jacques Watson (2008 and 2010 outdoor) and VMI's Dennis James (2011 indoor). All four athletes have sailed over the 7-foot barrier during their respective careers. If Watson wins, he will become the Big South's first three-time men's outdoor high jump champion.

Men's Pole Vault
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 11 a.m.
Defending Champion: Cody Fridgen (Liberty) – 15-5.5 (4.71m)
2011 Indoor Champion: TJ Brancaccio (High Point) – 15-3 (4.65m)
2011 Leader: Kolby Shepherd (Liberty) – 17-6.5 (5.35m) (Tied for No. 7 nationally)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 11 (Cody Fridgen - 2010)
Liberty Entrants: Drew Edwards, Grant Rideout, Kolby Shepherd and Geren Woodbridge
Outlook: Liberty redshirt junior Kolby Shepherd, who has won the pole vault at four of the five Big South Championships he has ever attended, is a clear favorite to add to his collection of gold medals this year. The three-time reigning Big South Men's Field Athlete of the Week tied Liberty's long-standing school record with a 17-6.5 clearance at the Texas Relays. That puts him nearly two and a half feet higher than his nearest conference competitor, teammate Geren Woodbridge (15-1). Liberty's Cody Fridgen (2010 Big South outdoor pole vault champion) and Taylor Schmidt (2011 Big South indoor pole vault runner-up) are both redshirting this season.

Men's Shot Put
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at Noon
Defending Champion: Ryan Smith (Liberty) – 55-10.25 (17.02m)
2011 Indoor Champion: Ryan Smith (Liberty) – 57-0.75 (17.39m)
2011 Leader: Ryan Smith (Liberty) – 57-11.25 (17.66m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (Ryan Smith - 2010)
Liberty Entrants: Tim Abbott, Jacob DeValve, Elliot Galeone and Ryan Smith
Outlook: The Flames' Ryan Smith is three-for-three in winning Big South shot put titles so far in his career. He captured the 2010 Big South outdoor shot put crown, to go along with back-to-back indoor championships in 2010 and 2011. This season, Smith threw the shot an outdoor season-best 57-11.25 at the Liberty Collegiate Invitational, which is almost three feet longer than the top mark of Winthrop's Travis Coleman (55-1.5). Coleman captured the 2009 Big South outdoor shot put title.

Men's Discus
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: Elliot Galeone (Liberty) – 159-3 (48.55m)
2011 Leader: Elliot Galeone (Liberty) – 174-6 (53.20m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 11 (Elliot Galeone - 2010)
Liberty Entrants: Tim Abbott, Jacob DeValve, Elliot Galeone and Ryan Smith
Outlook: Redshirt senior Elliot Galeone hopes to extend Liberty's tradition of success in the Big South men's discus competition. The Flames have won this event four straight years and 11 times in the 17-year history of the meet. Galeone, the defending champion, tops the conference performance list at 174-6. Local favorite Chad Lawson of VMI could present Galeone's toughest test on Saturday. Lawson placed third in the discus in 2010 and has reached 164-7 thus far in 2011.

Men's Javelin
Event Schedule: Final – Thursday at 9 a.m.
Defending Champion: Jason Flanagan (Coastal Carolina) – 219-11 (67.03m)
2011 Leader: Jason Flanagan (Coastal Carolina) – 229-11 (70.09m) (No. 24 nationally)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 8 (Ryan Bell - 2009)
Liberty Entrants: Jacob DeValve, Elliot Galeone, Gabriel Percival and Geren Woodbridge
Outlook: The 2011 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships will begin with one of the conference's most competitive events, the men's javelin, Thursday morning. Liberty's Elliot Galeone has pushed his own school record in this event up to 226-9 this season and was an NCAA national qualifier a year ago. However, it is defending Big South champion Jason Flanagan of Coastal Carolina who owns 2011's top javelin throw in the conference, 229-11. With that throw, Flanagan ranks No. 24 nationally. UNC Asheville's Simon Haake and Radford's Sean Domer are both returning NCAA Preliminary Round qualifiers. Meanwhile, Liberty's Geren Woodbridge qualified for the IC4A meet in the javelin last season, but his 190-7 mark ranks just No. 6 on this year's formidable Big South list.

Men's Hammer
Event Schedule: Final – Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: Timothy Morse (Radford) – 210-1 (64.04m)
2011 Indoor Champion (Weight): Christoph Hutschalik (Gardner-Webb) – 63-2.75 (19.27m)
2011 Leader: Christoph Hutschalik (Gardner-Webb) – 200-5 (61.08m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 3 (Jon Hart - 2008)
Liberty Entrant: Ryan Smith
Outlook: Gardner-Webb's Christoph Hutschalik won the 2009 Big South hammer title, but dropped to fourth place last season. This year, the senior is back atop the conference performance list at 200-5 and also captured the weight throw championship at the Big South indoor meet. Charlie Tidwell, a freshman from Coastal Carolina, represents his nearest competition at 192-11. Liberty's Ryan Smith will attempt to move up from his fifth-place finish at the 2010 Big South Championship.

Men's Decathlon
Event Schedule: Day One – Begins Thursday at Noon; Day Two – Begins Friday at 11 a.m.
Defending Champion: Dominique Riggins (Charleston Southern) – 6,403
2011 Indoor Champion (Heptathlon): Geren Woodbridge (Liberty) – 5,042
2011 Leader: Geren Woodbridge (Liberty) – 6,955
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (Daniel Newell - 2009)
Liberty Entrants: Harrison Allen, Drew Edwards and Geren Woodbridge
Outlook: Liberty redshirt senior Geren Woodbridge has accomplished many things during his time with the Flames, but a Big South decathlon title has eluded him thus far. Last year, he was poised to take top honors before not posting a height in the pole vault. Woodbridge bounced back to take third place, but Charleston Southern's Dominique Riggins came out on top. At this year's Big South indoor meet, Woodbridge was pushed by VMI's Antonio Wood and Charleston Southern's Jermal McClendon, before coming from behind late to win the heptathlon. Liberty has won seven of the Big South decathlons ever contested.

Women's Meet Preview
As usual, Coastal Carolina figures to be Liberty's strongest challenger for the women's team title this weekend. The Chanticleers have won five of the last seven team championships at this meet. Coastal Carolina also led for part of this year's Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships, before the Lady Flames rallied for a 20-point win (179.5-159.5).

Three Liberty competitors will attempt to defend titles they claimed at the 2010 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships, including Mia Aghaji (triple jump), Meghan Burggraf (800) and Hailey Neal (steeplechase). Krystle Matthews won the 2010 heptathlon championship, but will focus on individual events this year. In her place, 2011 Big South indoor pentathlon titlist Christina Mitchell is favored.

Other Lady Flames who will look to parlay success at the 2011 Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships into outdoor titles include Dacia Bushman, Jennifer Klugh, Shelley Parker and Alyssa Pegues.

Bushman and Klugh combined to sweep all the mile, 3K and 5K indoor crowns, with Klugh being named Big South Women's Outstanding Track Performer. Meanwhile, Parker was the indoor conference pole vault champion and Pegues took top honors in the long jump.

Women's 100-Meter Dash
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 3:45 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 1:45 p.m.
Defending Champion: Gabrielle Houston (Charleston Southern) – 11.50
2011 Indoor Champion (60 Meters): Darriale Henley (Coastal Carolina) – 7.58
2011 Leader: Natalie Pearson (UNC Asheville) – 11.59
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 5 (Panthera Seymour - 2000)
Liberty Entrant: Alyssa Pegues
Outlook: UNC Asheville senior Natalie Pearson, a native of England, has enjoyed a wonderful career for the Bulldogs. However, she is still in search of her first Big South 100-meter dash title. She is a clear favorite this season, thanks to her 11.59 effort at the Charlotte 49er Classic. Coastal Carolina is expected to have a strong presence in the 100, led by reigning Big South indoor 60-meter dash champion Darriale Henley. Liberty's only entrant, Alyssa Pegues, came in seventh in this event a year ago. She sped to a personal-best 11.90 clocking in her most recent outing, at the Texas Relays.

Women's 200-Meter Dash
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 5:35 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 2:50 p.m.
Defending Champion: Natalie Pearson (UNC Asheville) – 23.25
2011 Indoor Champion: Erica Peake (Coastal Carolina) – 24.64
2011 Leader: Natalie Pearson (UNC Asheville) – 23.85
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 5 (Panthera Seymour - 1999)
Liberty Entrants: Kiara Bridges, Olivia Charnuski and Alyssa Pegues
Outlook: The 200-meter dash presents an interesting showdown between UNC Asheville's Natalie Pearson and Coastal Carolina's Erica Peake. Pearson won this event a year ago, on her way to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships two months later. She is the only Big South runner to go under the 24-second mark this season, clocking 23.85 at the Charlotte 49er Classic. However, Peake beat out Pearson to win the Big South indoor 200-meter crown in February. Liberty hurdler Olivia Charnuski has come into her own at the 200-meter distance this season, breaking the indoor school record. The Big South's fourth-place finisher indoors, Charnuski has run 24.38 in 2011.

Women's 400-Meter Dash
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 2:55 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 1:25 p.m.
Defending Champion: Jaime Watson (Liberty) – 53.61
2011 Indoor Champion: Santresa Jamison (Coastal Carolina) – 56.68
2011 Leader: Sasha Robinson (Winthrop) – 55.72
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 8 (Jaime Watson - 2010)
Liberty Entrants: Kiara Bridges and Kylie McMichael
Outlook: Winthrop senior Sasha Robinson is the top returnee from last year's 400-meter dash final, where she placed second to Liberty's Jaime Watson. Robinson has also recorded the Big South's fastest time this year, 55.72. The next three names below hers on the conference performance list belong to Coastal Carolina's Vondeeshia Humphries, Erica Peake and Santresa Jamison. Jamison and Humphries placed 1-2 at the Big South indoor meet. Liberty freshman Kiara Bridges is coming off of a personal-best 57.58 clocking at the Carolina's Cup. She came in fourth in the Big South indoor 400-meter dash final in February.

Women's 800-Meter Run
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 4:25 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 1:55 p.m.
Defending Champion: Meghan Burggraf (Liberty) – 2:12.78
2011 Indoor Champion: Meghan Burggraf (Liberty) – 2:14.52
2011 Leader: Meghan Burggraf (Liberty) – 2:13.33
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 9 (Meghan Burggraf - 2010)
Liberty Entrants: Meghan Burggraf, Rod'Esther Castor and Amanda Wimbush
Outlook: Last season, Liberty freshman Meghan Burggraf provided one of the biggest surprises of the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships. She won the women's 800-meter title, leading the Lady Flames' 1-2-3 sweep of the event. Since then, Burggraf has become more of a known commodity, winning the 2011 Big South indoor 800-meter championship and leading this year's Big South outdoor performance list at 2:13.33. Other contenders include Radford's Britney Whittaker, the 2009 Big South outdoor 800 champion, as well as UNC Asheville sophomore Sarah Gentry, the runner-up to Burggraf indoors.

Women's 1,500-Meter Run
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 1:30 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 12:20 p.m.
Defending Champion: Rebekah Ricksecker (Liberty) – 4:38.93
2011 Indoor Champion (Mile): Jennifer Klugh (Liberty) – 4:59.44
2011 Leader: Jennifer Klugh (Liberty) – 4:30.37
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 6 (Rebekah Ricksecker - 2010)
Liberty Entrants: Jennifer Klugh, Hailey Neal, Katie Russo and Betel Yosef
Outlook: It will be tough for Liberty to equal the 24 team points it racked up during last year's women's 1,500 final, but this still should be a big event for the Lady Flames. Last season, Hailey Neal placed second, Jennifer Klugh was third and Betel Yosef came in sixth. Klugh, who is seeking her first Big South outdoor track & field individual title, leads the Big South performance list at 4:30.37. Neal is second at 4:36.09. Coastal Carolina's Christian Johnson, UNC Asheville's Melanie Kulesz and VMI's Jenna Moye are other runners to watch in the "metric mile."

Women's 3,000-Meter Steeplechase
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 6:15 p.m.
Defending Champion: Hailey Neal (Liberty) – 11:01.57
2011 Leader: Emma Bussard (UNC Asheville) – 10:53.29
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 2 (Hailey Neal – 2010)
Liberty Entrants: Jessica Gass, Alicia Guridy, Hailey Neal and Denise Troyer
Outlook: The Lady Flames' Hailey Neal had to work hard to win the Big South steeplechase title in 2010, holding off Radford's Brittany Christian on the final lap. Neal will have her work cut out for her if she hopes to defend her title Friday evening. UNC Asheville's Emma Bussard (10:53.29) and High Point's Audrey Malloy (10:59.06) have both broken the 11-minute barrier this season. Neal's top time with the Lady Flames is 10:58.31, at the 2010 Penn Relays. No Big South women's runner has ever captured back-to-back Big South steeplechase titles.

Women's 5,000-Meter Run
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 3 p.m.
Defending Champion: Ashley Osborne (Liberty) – 17:51.93
2011 Indoor Champion: Dacia Bushman (Liberty) – 17:22.39
2011 Leader: Emily Webb (High Point) – 17:35.86
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 4 (Ashley Osborne - 2010)
Liberty Entrants: Dacia Bushman, Khristina Kanagy, Jennifer Klugh and Hailey Neal
Outlook: As the meet's next-to-last running event, the 5K could play a key role in determining the team champion. It certainly did so during this year's Big South Indoor Championship. Coastal Carolina had claimed the women's team lead for part of the meet's final day, before Liberty outscored the Chanticleers by a 20-3 margin in the 5K. The Lady Flames have loaded up the 5K, entering Dacia Bushman, Khristina Kanagy, Jennifer Klugh and Hailey Neal, in case a similar situation presents itself on Saturday. Bushman and Klugh placed 1-2 in the Big South indoor 5K. Neal has never run a 5K on the track for the Lady Flames, but she did place fourth in the Big South Cross Country 5K Championship in October.

Women's 10,000-Meter Run
Event Schedule: Final – Thursday at 5:45 p.m.
Defending Champion: Ashley Osborne (Liberty) – 37:49.76
2011 Leader: Dacia Bushman (Liberty) – 35:15.84
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 5 (Ashley Osborne - 2010)
Liberty Entrants: Taylor Bowles, Dacia Bushman, Alicia Guridy and Amy Passauer
Outlook: Liberty senior Dacia Bushman is a considerable favorite in Thursday's 10K final, after racing to a time of 35:15.84 at the Raleigh Relays last month. She placed second in the 10K two years ago, but will attempt to climb to the top of the podium for the first time in 2011. Winthrop freshman Jeanne Stroud owns the Big South's second-fastest time this year, 37:29.66. Meanwhile, High Point's Emily Webb is the top returnee from last year's race, where the Panther crossed the line in third place.

Women's 100-Meter Hurdles
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 2:15 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 1:05 p.m.
Defending Champion: Rebecca Holmes (Winthrop) – 13.90
2011 Indoor Champion (60 Hurdles): Amber Church (Radford) – 8.66
2011 Leader: Olivia Charnuski (Liberty) – 13.93
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 8 (Danielle McNaney - 2005)
Liberty Entrants: Olivia Charnuski and Rachel Houseknecht
Outlook: Only 0.05 seconds separated the top four finishers in this year's Big South women's 60 hurdles final, and Saturday's 100 hurdles final could be similarly competitive with no clear-cut favorite. Liberty's Olivia Charnuski, the current Big South leader at 13.93, is chasing the first Big South individual title of her career. High Point's Manika Gamble is the event's top returner, after placing second in last year's 100 hurdles final. Winthrop's Sharrone Honor edged Radford's Amber Church, the indoor Big South Freshman of the Year, in a fast race at the Carolina's Cup (14.03-14.04).

Women's 400-Meter Hurdles
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 5 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: Manika Gamble (High Point) – 59.62 (Second in a row)
2011 Leader: Manika Gamble (High Point) – 59.71
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 9 (Arlene Zelinskas - 2007)
Liberty Entrants: Mia Aghaji, Christina Mitchell and Melanie Sims
Outlook: Manika Gamble of High Point is the two-time defending Big South women's 400 hurdles champion and the conference record holder in this event. She is a considerable favorite to add another title on Saturday, as Gamble's season-best time of 59.71 seconds is four seconds faster than her nearest conference competition. Last year, the Lady Flames put four runners into the 400 hurdles final. Liberty hopes for a strong performance again in 2011, led by Mia Aghaji and Christina Mitchell, who rank second and third on the current Big South list. If Mitchell makes the final, it would be her 12th event of the meet, also including the heptathlon's seven disciplines, high jump, shot put and javelin.

Women's 4 x 100 Relay
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at Noon
Defending Champion: Charleston Southern – 45.74
2011 Leader: Coastal Carolina – 45.81
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 8 (2007)
Outlook: With its deep stable of sprinters, Coastal Carolina is favored to unseat Charleston Southern as Big South 4 x 100 relay champion. The Chanticleers are the only conference team which has run under 46 seconds in 2011, posting a 45.81 on their home track at the Shamrock Invitational. Liberty ranks No. 2 in the conference at 46.72 seconds.

Women's 4 x 400 Relay
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 3:45 p.m.
Defending Champion: Winthrop – 3:43.64
2011 Indoor Champion: Coastal Carolina – 3:53.17
2011 Leader: Coastal Carolina – 3:49.95
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 8 (2004)
Outlook: As in the 4 x 100 relay, Coastal Carolina will enter as the pre-meet favorite for the 4 x 400 relay. At the indoor conference meet, Chanticleers finished first and second in the 400-meter dash, and Coastal Carolina claimed the 4 x 400 title as well. Liberty's 3:52.94 effort at the season-opening Coastal Carolina Invitational ranks second to the Chanticleers' Big South-leading 3:49.95 clocking.

Women's Long Jump
Event Schedule: Final – Thursday at 2:15 p.m.
Defending Champion: Patria Norman (Charleston Southern) – 18-10.5 (5.75m)
2011 Indoor Champion: Alyssa Pegues (Liberty) – 18-7 (5.66m)
2011 Leader: Mariam Abdullah (Winthrop) – 18-7 (5.66m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (Danielle McNaney - 2003)
Liberty Entrants: Mia Aghaji, Alyssa Pegues and Melanie Sims
Outlook: The long jump could be one of the key swing events between Liberty and Coastal Carolina, as both teams boast a couple talented long jumpers. At this year's Big South indoor meet, the Lady Flames' Alyssa Pegues overtook Coastal Carolina's Sierrah Oates on her final attempt to win her first Big South title. At last year's Big South outdoor meet, Patria Norman of Charleston Southern took first place, followed by a Chanticleer (Darriale Henley) and a Lady Flame (Mia Aghaji). All three of them will compete on Thursday afternoon. One name not yet mentioned, Winthrop's Mariam Abdullah, leads the Big South performance list at 18-7.

Women's Triple Jump
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
Defending Champion: Mia Aghaji (Liberty) – 38-9 (11.81m)
2011 Indoor Champion: Mia Aghaji (Liberty) – 39-9.75 (12.13m)
2011 Leader: Mia Aghaji (Liberty) – 40-0.75 (12.21m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (Mia Aghaji - 2010)
Liberty Entrants: Mia Aghaji, Jessica Mundo and Alyssa Pegues
Outlook: Mia Aghaji and Alyssa Pegues have formed a potent 1-2 combination for Liberty in the triple jump the last two years. At the 2010 Big South outdoor meet, Aghaji won and Pegues finished as the runner-up. Meanwhile, Aghaji was victorious and Pegues took third place at the 2011 indoor championship. Aghaji appears to be in top form during the outdoor season, after increasing her school record to 40-0.75 at the Raleigh Relays. Charleston Southern sophomore Tamisha Foster will try to unseat the two Lady Flames from the top of the standings. She was the Big South indoor runner-up this year and has jumped 39-5 during the outdoor campaign.

Women's High Jump
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 2 p.m.
Defending Champion: Kandisa Allicock (Coastal Carolina) – 5-5.25 (1.66m)
2011 Indoor Champion: Kierra Gabe (Coastal Carolina) – 5-8 (1.73m)
2011 Leader: Nikki Roseberry (Radford) – 5-8.75 (1.75m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 8 (Mia Aghaji - 2008)
Liberty Entrants: Mia Aghaji, Christina Mitchell and Kristen Willeford
Outlook: Both of the women's vertical jumping events will take place on Friday, and both are extremely unpredictable. All of the athletes who have won Big South indoor high jump titles since the 2008 indoor meet are entered, including Liberty's Mia Aghaji (2008 indoor and outdoor champion), Liberty's Christina Mitchell (2009 indoor champion), High Point's Christina Fenske (2009 outdoor champion), Coastal Carolina's Kierra Gabe (2010 and 2011 indoor champion) and Coastal Carolina's Kandisa Allicock (2010 outdoor champion). However, none of those five athletes leads the 2011 Big South outdoor performance list. That honor goes to Radford's Nikki Roseberry, who cleared 5-8.75 at the Coastal Carolina Invitational. No Big South competitor has successfully defended her title at this meet since Liberty's Kena Butts in 2005 and 2006. Allicock will attempt to do so this weekend.

Women's Pole Vault
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 4:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: Mary Lawrence (Coastal Carolina) – 11-8 (3.56m)
2011 Indoor Champion: Shelley Parker (Liberty) – 11-9.75 (3.60m)
2011 Leader: Ann Howell (Gardner-Webb), Carrie Long (Gardner-Webb) & Jennifer Sing (VMI) – 12-3.5 (3.75m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 6 (Aimee Riley - 2005)
Liberty Entrants: Rachel Houseknecht, Shelley Parker and Tami Tolsma
Outlook: Big South women's pole vaulting has undergone a renaissance in recent years. As recently as the 2008 outdoor conference meet, a 9-5.75 clearance earned third place. Now, Liberty sophomore Shelley Parker has gone over a career-best 12-1.5 this season but ranks only fourth in the Big South. The Gardner-Webb duo of Ann Howell and Carrie Long and VMI's Jennifer Sing all share the conference lead at 12-3.5. As a result, there is a good chance that someone will clear 12 feet at this meet for the first time since 2004. Three past Big South champions are expected to compete, including VMI's Kate Collins (2010 indoor), Coastal Carolina's Mary Lawrence (2010 outdoor) and Parker (2011 indoor). First-attempt clearances will be important, as the last three Big South women's pole vault champions (including the indoor and outdoor conference meets) have been decided by misses. Parker is attempting to become the Lady Flames' first outdoor women's pole vault titlist since Aimee Riley in 2005.

Women's Shot Put
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 3 p.m.
Defending Champion: Brittany Connor (Coastal Carolina) – 42-5.25 (12.93m)
2011 Indoor Champion: Ashlei Alexander (Gardner-Webb) – 44-0 (13.41m)
2011 Leader: Ashlei Alexander (Gardner-Webb) – 44-5.25 (13.54m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 3 (Amy Rodriguez - 1999)
Liberty Entrants: Rachel Barnes, Christina Mitchell and Jocelyn Williams
Outlook: Gardner-Webb's Ashlei Alexander is the Big South's top returnee from the 2010 outdoor meet, the 2011 Big South indoor champion, and the clear 2011 outdoor conference leader at 44-5.25. Charleston Southern multi-event athlete Patria Norman is another top contender. She has thrown 42-4 this season. Liberty was shut out of the scoring in this event last season, but Rachel Barnes, Christina Mitchell and Jocelyn Williams are all potential scorers this time around.

Women's Discus
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 10 a.m.
Defending Champion: Brittany Connor (Coastal Carolina) – 155-9 (47.47m) (Second in a row)
2011 Leader: Anjulia Nicholson (Coastal Carolina) – 142-3 (43.37m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 0 (None)
Liberty Entrants: Rachel Barnes and Jocelyn Williams
Outlook: The top six spots on the Big South discus performance list are owned by freshmen and sophomores, making it a difficult event to predict. Coastal Carolina's Anjulia Nicholson tops the conference standings at 142-3, followed by VMI freshman Mary Grace Lemon at 137-7. Liberty rookie Jocelyn Williams sits third in the Big South at 131-10 and will try to become the first Lady Flame ever to capture the Big South discus crown. This is the only event Liberty has never won in the 17-year history of the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Women's Javelin
Event Schedule: Final – Thursday at 11:30 a.m.
Defending Champion: Deborah Mattern (Coastal Carolina) – 146-5 (44.64m) (2nd in a row)
2011 Leader: Deborah Mattern (Coastal Carolina) – 151-0 (46.03m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 5 (Danielle McNaney - 2005)
Liberty Entrants: Grace Esden, Krystle Matthews and Christina Mitchell
Outlook: Led by conference record holder and two-time defending Big South champion Deborah Mattern, Coastal Carolina is strong in the javelin. Last year, Mattern and teammate Caitlin Lupo swept the top two spots in the javelin final. However, Liberty countered with improbable performances by Krystle Matthews (third place) and Christina Mitchell (seventh) to help negate the Chanticleers' advantage. Mitchell ranks second in the Big South this year with a 134-8 javelin toss, but she will have to throw the javelin in the midst of her opening-day heptathlon events on Thursday.

Women's Hammer
Event Schedule: Final – Thursday at 2 p.m.
Defending Champion: Aimee Veatch (Radford) – 190-6 (58.07m) (Second in a row)
2011 Indoor Champion (Weight): Shantel Patterson (Coastal Carolina) – 55-9 (16.99m)
2011 Leader: Aimee Veatch (Radford) – 167-11 (51.18m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 1 (Amy Rodriguez - 1997)
Liberty Entrants: Rachel Barnes and Jocelyn Williams
Outlook: Liberty's Melinda Bendik has thrown the hammer 193-8 this season and would present a major challenge to Radford's Aimee Veatch if she were not redshirting. In Bendik's absence, Coastal Carolina's Shantelle Patterson could be the biggest obstacle standing in the way of Veatch's third straight Big South hammer championship. Patterson won the Big South indoor weight throw crown this year and sits just 34 inches behind Veatch's top 2011 mark of 167-11. Liberty freshman Jocelyn Williams has already moved up to No. 6 on Liberty's all-time performance list in the hammer at 148-0. She ranks No. 7 on the Big South performance list this season.

Women's Heptathlon
Event Schedule: Day One – Begins Thursday at 12:20 p.m.; Day Two – Begins Friday at Noon
Defending Champion: Krystle Matthews (Liberty) – 4,708
2011 Indoor Champion (Pentathlon): Christina Mitchell (Liberty) – 3,497
2011 Leader: Christina Mitchell (Liberty) – 4,968
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 6 (Krystle Matthews - 2010)
Liberty Entrants: Christina Mitchell
Outlook: Christina Mitchell, Liberty's only heptathlete scheduled to compete this weekend, is favored to become the third different Lady Flame to win the Big South heptathlon title in the last three years. Marie Williams won in 2009 and Krystle Matthews took home the 2010 championship with Mitchell second. Mitchell posted a career-high 4,968 points at this year's Texas Relays, topping the conference performance list by a wide margin. Patria Norman of Charleston Southern should represent Mitchell's top competition. Last year, Norman was in position to capture the Big South heptathlon championship before fouling all three of her long jump attempts. If Mitchell is victorious, it will give Liberty seven Big South heptathlon champions in the 11-year history of the event at the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships.