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Bendik Boosts Liberty Hammer Record to 192-2
Liberty redshirt senior Melinda Bendik improved her own Liberty women's hammer record to 192-2, highlighting the opening day of the Flames' 2012 outdoor track & field season on Friday. Despite a light schedule of events at the Coastal Carolina Invitational, the Liberty men's and women's squads combined for four ECAC and IC4A-qualifying performances.
Women's Meet Recap
Bendik was dominant in Friday's women's hammer competition, as her record-breaking 192-2 heave landed more than 17 feet past the best effort of runner-up Shantelle Patterson from Coastal Carolina. Bendik's mark, an ECAC qualifier, improved upon her previous Liberty standard of 183-6, which had been set at the 2010 ECAC Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Teammate Jocelyn Williams came in fourth after adding nearly 10 feet to her hammer personal best with a 161-1 effort. Freshman Mychelle Cumings followed in seventh place in her hammer throw debut, reaching 155-10. Williams and Cumings now rank No. 3 and No. 5, respectively on the Lady Flames' all-time women's hammer performance list.
The women's hammer competition was dominated by Liberty and host Coastal Carolina, with Lady Flames and Chanticleers combining to claim six of the top eight spots in the final standings.
Shelley Parker provided another highlight in the women's field events, winning the pole vault with an 11-11.75 clearance.
Men's Meet Recap
Liberty closed out the day of competition with a bang Friday evening, notching two IC4A qualifiers in the day's final race, the men's 10K. Josh MacDonald won the 25-lapper in a time of 30:57.09, while Ngetich Kipchirchir followed closely in second place at 30:59.80. Not only did the two of them punch their IC4A tickets, but they also became the 10th and 11th sub-31:00 men's 10K runners in program history.
The Flames' other IC4A qualifier on Friday was Ryan Smith in the men's hammer throw. The redshirt junior improved his personal best to 189-8, placing third in the event.
In the men's javelin, Jacob DeValve came in third at 184-9 and teammate Daniel Klase was sixth with a 178-2 mark.
Liberty also got a pair of top-six finishes in the men's long jump. Kyle Wheeler jumped 21-11 for fifth place, while Tarell Williams was sixth with a 21-10 leap.
The Coastal Carolina Invitational will draw to a close with a full slate of events on Saturday at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium. Things will get started at 10 a.m., with the men's discus, women's shot put, women's high jump and women's 3K.