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Chelanga, Williams Star at Radford
Liberty's Sam Chelanga and Jocelyn Williams stood out on a busy Saturday at the Radford Invitational. Chelanga clocked an impressive 14:02.57 in his outdoor season debut at the 5K distance, while Williams won the women's discus with an ECAC-qualifying 142-7 throw.
Women's Meet Recap
On a day when numerous Liberty freshmen performed well, Williams was the Lady Flames' top rookie performer. In the discus, her 142-7 heave enabled her to defeat VMI's Mary Grace Lemon, the Big South Freshman of the Year and conference discus champion. The toss, which added more than 10 feet to Williams' personal best, moved her up to No. 4 in program history in the event.
Williams also threw the shot put over 40 feet for the first time, reaching 40-1.25 for second place. Now the Lady Flames' No. 7 shot putter in program history, Williams led a 2-3-4 performance by Liberty in the event.
Fellow freshman Rachel Barnes came in third at 37-4.5 and Christina Mitchell was fourth with a 36-7 mark. Mitchell also captured the javelin title, stretching the tape to 120-6.
Liberty freshmen also ranked among Saturday's top women's sprinters. Kylie McMichael won the 400 with a personal-best time of 59.46 seconds, while Kiara Bridges came in second in both the 100 (12.54) and 200 (25.20).
Bridges and McMichael joined Melanie Sims and Olivia Charnuski in winning the 4 x 100 relay. The quartet's time was 47.35.
Sims and Charnuski swept the Radford Invitational hurdles titles. Sims cruised to victory in the 400 hurdles with a 1:04.75 clocking. Meanwhile, Charnuski edged Radford's Amber Church in the 100 hurdles, crossing the line in 14.07 seconds.
Two other Lady Flames picked up third-place finishes on Saturday. In the 1,500, Hailey Neal ran a personal-best time of 4:33.13, climbing to No. 6 on Liberty's all-time list. Kristen Willeford's 5-3 high jump also netted third place.
Men's Meet Recap
Racing for the first time in more than a month, Chelanga ran all by himself for most of the 5K, which had only four entrants. He won by 1:50, and his 14:02.57 effort was the fastest 5K by a Big South runner this season by 33 seconds.
Earlier in the day, Chelanga had seen his facility record in the 1,500 broken. He nearly set the Patrick D. Cupp Memorial Stadium record in the 5K on Saturday, but fell less than a second short.
Freshman Jarred Cornfield raced to a personal-best 1:54.47 time in the 800 final, claiming second place.
Roderick Spruel, Anthony Settje, Andre Washington and Jacey Bailey placed second in the 4 x 100 relay, posting a season-best time of 41.24 seconds.
Spruel added a fourth-place finish in the 100-meter dash, stopping the clock in 10.82 seconds.
Other notable performances were provided by newcomers Tim Abbott and Riley White. Abbott hurled the discus a personal-best 151-11 for second place, while White's 400 hurdles time of 56.46 seconds placed him third.
Liberty will now prepare for its final home meet of the season, the Liberty Twilight Qualifier. The one-day meet will be held Thursday, at the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex at Osborne Stadium. Things will get started at 1 p.m., with the women's discus and men's shot put. Trials for the men's 100-meter dash will kick off the action on the track at 3 p.m.