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MacDonald, Williams Stand Out at Penn State
Liberty's Josh MacDonald was victorious in the men's 5K and Jocelyn Williams smashed her own school record in the women's weight throw, Saturday at the Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup. The Flames' successful day inside Penn State's Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track also featured eight new IC4A and ECAC qualifying peformances.
In Liberty's first team-scored invitational of the 2011-12 indoor season, the men's squad finished fifth out of 14 squads with 49 points. Meanwhile, the Lady Flames came in 12th of 16 teams with 24 points. Liberty was edged by Big South rival Coastal Carolina in the women's standings, as the Chanticleers totaled 31 points for ninth place. Host Penn State comfortably captured both team titles, racking up 142 points on the men's side and 181 points on the women's side.
Women's Meet Recap
Almost exactly two months after she first set the women's weight throw program record of 56-8.5 at the Liberty Kickoff, Williams bettered that mark on all six of her attempts Saturday. Her sixth and final throw landed at 59-8.5, earning third place in the competition and adding exactly three feet to her record entering the day.
Liberty performed well in the mid-distance and distance races, garnering a trio of fifth-place finishes and three ECAC qualifications.
Meghan Burggraf's first 800-meter race of the season was clocked in 2:12.72, placing the junior fifth in the race and meeting the ECAC standard.
Jennifer Klugh ran the mile for the first time during the 2011-12 indoor campaign, stopping the clock in an ECAC-qualifying time of 4:55.91 and coming in fifth.
Jacy Christiansen's 3K effort of 9:57.43 not only placed fifth and earned her a spot at the ECAC meet, but was notable for a couple other reasons as well. It set a new Liberty freshman record and made her the fifth Lady Flame ever to break 10:00 in the indoor 3K.
The Lady Flames qualified two runners to the women's 60-meter hurdles final, and both hit the ECAC standard for the first time this year. Rachel Houseknecht sped to a personal-best time of 8.69 in the prelims, moving up to No. 4 in program history for the event. She then came in eighth in the final.
Teammate Olivia Charnuski saved her best effort for the 60 hurdles final, posting a season-best time of 8.70 for fifth place.
In the 60-meter dash, freshmen Abigail Flower (7.70) and Meme Layne (7.74) both raced to personal-best times. Flower, who placed eighth in the event, is now tied for the No. 3 spot in program history. Layne, who came in 11th, is now sixth in program history for the women's 60.
Men's Meet Recap
MacDonald got the Flames off to a good start in the first running event of the day, the men's 5K. His personal-best time of 14:47.51 gave him a 10-second victory.
Liberty scored a total of 13 team points in the event, as Ngetich Kipchirchir recorded a 15:10.95 for sixth place in the 5K final.
The Flames also had multiple point scorers in the long jump, where Tarell Williams came in sixth and Aaron Johnson was eighth. Williams' best leap of 23-0.75 qualified him for the IC4A meet, while Johnson's top effort was a season-best 22-11.25.
Leonard Robbins hit the IC4A standard in the 200-meter dash with his time of 22.09 seconds. He came in seventh in the event and cracked Liberty's all-time indoor 200-meter performance list at No. 10.
Isaac Wendland was successful in his initial 800-meter race of the year, clocking his best-ever indoor time of 1:52.79, an IC4A qualifier. The Iowa native came in 10th in the event and now ranks No. 4 in program history.
Ryan Smith notched a new personal best in the men's weight throw, at 61-6.75. However, he was not quite able to defend his weight throw title from last year's meet. On Saturday, Smith placed second, one inch behind Penn State's Will Barr.
In the shot put, Smith recorded a solid mark of 56-6.5. However, he suffered his first shot put defeat of the 2011-12 season, finishing fourth.
Paul Arslain ran the second-fastest 600-meter time in program history, a 1:19.47 that stood up for second place in the event.
Arslain also helped the Flames run 10:33.31 in the distance medley relay for fifth place. He was joined by Andrew Rigler, John Sherret and Jacob Onifer.
Liberty's 4 x 400 relay quartet also came in fifth, with a season-best 3:17.31 effort. That quartet consisted of Andre Washington, Taylor Courtney, Kyle Gill and Robbins.
The Flames' final point in the team scoring came courtesy of Caleb Edmonds' eighth-place finish in the 3K. He crossed the line in a personal-best time of 8:28.74.
Liberty has a pair of meets on the schedule next weekend. On Friday, the Flames will host their third and final home meet of the 2011-12 indoor campaign, the Liberty Quad. The one-day competition at the Tolsma Indoor Track Center will get started at 3:30 p.m.
Some of the Flames and Lady Flames will travel to Boston next Friday and Saturday for the Valentine Invitational. All of the women's events will take place on Friday, beginning at 2:50 p.m. inside the Boston University Track and Tennis Center.