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Bryant, Mitchell Win Radford Long Jump Titles
Liberty's long jumpers took advantage of helpful tailwinds Friday afternoon, during the first day of the Radford Invitational at Patrick D. Cupp Memorial Stadium. Anthony Bryant and Christina Mitchell swept the men's and women's long jump titles, both posting season-best marks in the process.
The last time Bryant competed at Radford, he swept the men's long jump, triple jump and high jump championships at the 2009 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships. On Friday, he posted his five longest jumps of the 2011 outdoor campaign, highlighted by a 24-2.5 leap on his third attempt.
Teammate Aaron Johnson also performed well on the long jump runway, coming in fifth with a season-best mark of 23-7.25. The effort qualified him for the IC4A Outdoor Track & Field Championships for the second straight year.
Mitchell joined the 18-foot club in the long jump for the first time in her career, stretching out to 18-0.5 on her second attempt of the competition. All four of the Big South heptathlon champion's legal marks would have won the women's long jump on Friday.
Melinda Bendik, who is redshirting the 2011 outdoor season, starred in the women's hammer. She unleashed a personal-best throw of 198-3, which would have shattered her own school record if she had been representing Liberty. Bendik won the event by more than 34 feet over Radford's Aimee Veatch, the three-time defending Big South women's hammer champion.
The Radford Invitational will resume Saturday at 10 a.m. with a quartet of field events. Action on the track will begin at noon.