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Mitchell, Woodbridge Sweep Multi-Event Titles
For the second time in program history, Liberty swept the IC4A decathlon and ECAC heptathlon championships at the same meet. Geren Woodbridge and Christina Mitchell did the honors Saturday, highlighting the Flames' day at the IC4A/ECAC Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Woodbridge's first career IC4A decathlon crown, along with Kolby Shepherd's runner-up finish in the IC4A pole vault, propelled Liberty into third place in the IC4A team standings through eight events. The Flames have tallied 21 points thus far, which trails only Duke (44.5) and Albany (30).
Meanwhile, the Lady Flames are currently tied with Syracuse, Delaware State and Iona for 14th place in the ECAC standings with 10 points. Duke leads the way through nine events with 29.75 tallies, followed by Virginia at 23 points.
The only other time Liberty has won both the IC4A decathlon and ECAC heptathlon crowns in the same year was 2005. That year, Brandon Hoskins won the decathlon and Danielle McNaney took the heptathlon crown.
IC4A Day Two Recap
Woodbridge won the decathlon title, Liberty's 12th IC4A decathlon crown in the last 20 years, with a season-best 7,016 points. However, his 97-point victory over UMBC's Keith Onto came in improbable fashion.
After a subpar effort in the discus, Woodbridge dropped to fifth place in the decathlon standings with just three events to go. However, the redshirt senior then made a powerful charge to the top of the leaderboard.
A season-best 15-5 pole vault clearance enabled Woodbridge to move into third place. He then took over the lead with a season-best 190-9 toss on his third and final javelin effort, turning a 171-point deficit into a 76-point lead.
Woodbridge, who had finished second in the decathlon each of the last two years at this meet, made sure he retained the lead in the final event, the 1,500-meter run. He raced to a personal-best time of 4:33.12, cementing his come-from-behind decathlon victory.
Meanwhile, Shepherd was on the verge of his first IC4A pole vault title on Saturday, after making first-attempt clearances at 15-9, 16-2.75 and 16-6.75. However, Albany's Luke Schoen got over the bar on his third and final try at 16-10.75, relegating Shepherd to second place.
The Flames' other three points on Saturday also came in a field event. Elliot Galeone reached 163-3 on his best discus throw, exactly one foot farther than he had thrown at this meet last season. As a result, Galeone moved up to sixth after placing seventh in 2010.
Kevin Reddington was the best of Liberty's three long jumpers on Saturday, placing 13th with a leap of 22-9. The sophomore was only 2.25 inches away from making the event final.
Isaac Wendland clocked a 3:50.12 to place second in his heat of the 1,500-meter run and qualify for Sunday's final.
ECAC Day Two Recap
Mitchell became the Lady Flames' first ECAC heptathlon champion since McNaney in 2005, scoring 4,767 points to outdistance Monmouth's Lindsey Walsh by 81 tallies. Like Woodbridge, she came from behind late in the competition to win.
Mitchell sat in third place entering the penultimate heptathlon event, the javelin. However, she quickly claimed the lead after throwing the javelin 120-4 on her first attempt. The redshirt sophomore then held on to her advantage with a 2:33.31 800-meter clocking.
Mitchell became the first Lady Flame ever to win the Big South and ECAC heptathlon crowns in the same year.
Jennifer Klugh qualified for the ECAC 1,500 final for the second straight year, running a personal-best time of 4:27.33.
Olivia Charnuski narrowly missed making the ECAC 100 hurdles final for the second consecutive season, as her semifinal time of 14.15 was just .01 second away from qualifying.
Shelley Parker came in 11th in the ECAC pole vault final, after clearing the opening height of 11-6.25 on her second attempt.
The IC4A/ECAC Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships will draw to a close on Sunday. Liberty's day will begin at 10 a.m., when Ryan Smith competes in the IC4A shot put.