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Liberty Track & Field Signs 13 for 2011-12
As the Liberty track & field team prepares for next week's NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, the Flames continue to prepare for the future. Head coach Brant Tolsma announced that 13 student-athletes have signed to attend Liberty University for the 2011-12 academic year.
The 13 new signees join the previously announced quintet of Audrey Bamford (Elizabethtown, Pa.), Cody Bingham (Lynchburg, Va.), Jacy Christiansen (Ipswich, N.H.), Mychelle Cumings (Nashville, Tenn.) and Jennifer Nicholson (Charleston, Mo.) as part of Liberty's incoming class.
"We are very excited about the quality of this incoming class, especially because we think they have all chosen Liberty because of their desire to be educated in this unique environment where Christ is honored," stated Liberty head track & field/cross country coach Brant Tolsma. "Our staff has done an exceptional job with recruiting this year, as we attempt to replace an outstanding graduating class."
Profiles of the 13 new signees follow, listed in alphabetical order by gender.
Jon Drablos (Lynchburg, Va.) – A pole vaulter, Drablos is the second Liberty Christian Academy product to sign a national letter of intent with Liberty this year, joining Cody Bingham. Drablos vaulted a personal-best 15-0 to win the Virginia Independent Conference title this spring. He also finished second to teammate Bingham in the pole vault at this year's VISAA indoor and outdoor state meets.
Zac Edwards (Roanoke, Va.) – Edwards is transferring to Liberty from South Alabama, with one full year of track & field eligibility remaining and two years of cross country. In 2009, he won four individual Sun Belt titles for the Jaguars, including cross country, the indoor 3K, the indoor 5K and the outdoor 5K. He has clocked 13:56.76 for the 5K and 30:08 for the 10K distance. A Commonwealth native, Edwards won the Virginia Group AA state 3,200-meter title as a Northside High School senior in 2006.
Lachaddrick Ellis (Perry, Fla.) – Ellis has enjoyed a stellar senior year in the sprinting events at Taylor County High School. He has clocked personal-best times of 10.65 in the 100-meter dash and 21.40 in the 200-meter dash this spring. Ellis finished third in the 2011 Florida 2A state meet 200-meter dash final.
Majique Key (Newport News, Va.) – Representing Woodside High School, Key claimed the 2011 Virginia Group AAA state indoor 55-meter dash title. His time of 6.30 seconds ranked No. 5 in the nation this year. Key, who went on to place eighth in the 60-meter dash final at the 2011 New Balance Indoor Nationals, has clocked 10.95 seconds this season at the 100-meter distance.
David Scouten (Brooklyn, Mich.) – The 2010 Michigan state champion in both the shot put and discus, Scouten has made significant improvements as a senior at Columbia Central High School. This season, Scouten has reached 61-7.75 in the shot put and 183-6 in the discus. He also set the Michigan state dead lift record as a junior, at 585 pounds, and was tabbed football team MVP at Columbia Central this past fall.
Kyle Wheeler (Wilson, Texas) – A senior at Trinity Christian School, Wheeler is the younger brother of current Lady Flame high jumper Marianne Wheeler. This season, Wheeler has set personal-best marks of 7-0 in the high jump, 23-6.75 in the long jump and 45-10.75 in the triple jump. He won TAPPS 4A state titles in all three disciplines, including his third straight state high jump crown.
Stephanie Buda (Highland Heights, Ohio) – Buda recently ran a personal-best time of 5:15.19 in the 1,600-meter run for Mayfield High School. She placed eighth in the event at the Ohio Division I regional meet last weekend. Buda was also a swimmer during her time at Mayfield.
Meyhonia Layne (Culpeper, Va.) – A year ago, Layne finished second in the 100 and third in the 200 at the Virginia Group AA state meet, representing Eastern View High School. This season, Layne has posted a 100-meter dash time of 11.95 seconds. She also played basketball for Eastern View.
Bari Minter (Richmond, Texas) – Minter, a sprinter/jumper at Wallis Brazos High School, is the daughter of former NFL linebacker Barry Minter. The triple jump is her strongest event, as Minter owns a personal-best leap of 37-11.75. She placed seventh in triple jump at the 2011 Texas 2A state meet, after taking fifth place a year ago.
Meredith Mistretta (Durham, N.H.) – Mistretta joins Jacy Christiansen as the second female distance runner from New Hampshire to sign with Liberty this spring. A senior at Oyster River High School, Mistretta ran the two-mile in 11:15.14 to claim sixth place at the 2011 New Balance Indoor Nationals. At the New Hampshire Division II state meets this year, Mistretta placed sixth in cross country, second in the indoor 3K, third in the indoor 1,500 and fifth in the outdoor 3,200.
Caroline Parris (Leonard, Md.) – Parris was a regular placer at the Maryland 2A state meets during her senior year at Calvert High School. In cross country, she came in seventh overall, helping Calvert place third in the team competition. Indoors, Parris was fourth in the state 1,600 final and fifth in the 3,200. Most recently, she placed in a trio of events at the Maryland 2A state outdoor meet, taking fifth in the 3,200, sixth in the 800 and seventh in the 1,600. She ran a personal-best 3,200-meter time of 11:32.81 at the SMAC Championships.
Melissa Rohwer (Nampa, Idaho) – Rohwer was a big reason why Nampa Christian won its seventh straight Idaho 2A state women's track & field title this spring. Not only did she win both the long jump and triple jump state championships for the second year in a row, but Rohwer was also on the winning 4 x 100 relay quartet and came in second in the 100 hurdles. Her top marks include 39-7.75 in the triple jump and 18-6.75 in the long jump.
Emily Woods (Hermitage, Pa.) – The second transfer to join Liberty's incoming class, Woods spent her freshman year at Ohio University. This season, she recorded throws of 42-11.5 in the shot put, 153-10 in the discus and 145-6 in the hammer for the Bobcats. Her top discus heave this year was superior to Liberty's long-standing school record of 151-8. Woods won the 2010 Pennsylvania AA state discus crown, competing for Hickory High School.