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Klase, Percival Finish 1-2 in Men's Javelin

April 6, 2012
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Melinda Bendik finished second in the women's hammer Friday afternoon, as her best throw of the day reached 191-1.

Liberty's duo of Daniel Klase and Gabriel Percival swept the top two places in the men's javelin, which was Friday's final event at the Liberty Collegiate Invitational. Their personal-best performances highlighted a sunny, breezy day at the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex.

Men's Meet Recap
Klase trailed teammate Percival in the men's javelin until the fifth round, when the freshman's 187-1 effort took the lead for good. Klase then improved to his winning distance of 187-5 on his sixth and final attempt of the evening.

Percival, a junior, had not thrown the javelin farther than 164-9 during his collegiate career, prior to Friday. However, four of his six attempts sailed past that mark, including his career-best 183-8 heave on his third try. That impressive effort stood up for a runner-up finish.

In Friday's other men's throwing event, the hammer, redshirt junior Ryan Smith stepped up for a third-place showing. His top throw on the day stretched the measuring tape to 183-9.

Freshman Nick Fifelski was the Flames' top decathlete on day one, scoring 2,959 points for fifth place in the current standings. His 38-4 mark in the shot put was the best among the 12-member field.

Women's Meet Recap
Liberty performed well in the women's hammer competition on Campus East, placing three throwers among the event's top nine finishers. Leading the way was redshirt senior Melinda Bendik, who claimed runner-up honors at 191-1. She fell just shy of her third straight Liberty Collegiate Invitational women's hammer crown, but did throw over 190 feet for the third time this season.

Behind Bendik, both Jocelyn Williams (164-0, sixth place) and Mychelle Cumings (156-10, ninth place) posted personal-best throws. Cumings climbed into a tie with Caitlyn Sutterfield for fourth place on Liberty's all-time performance list.

In the women's javelin, Grace Esden came in sixth at 102-0 and Jennifer Nicholson followed in seventh place at 101-9.

Reigning ECAC and Big South heptathlon champion Christina Mitchell tops the Lady Flames' three heptathletes through Friday's four events. She currently ranks fourth overall with 2,733 points, highlighted by a 34-7.5 mark in the shot put.

Freshman Riley Brandon was unable to finish the heptathlon 100-meter hurdles, sabotaging her chances at a strong overall score. However, she bounced back for a personal-best 5-4.25 high jump clearance in her very next event. Brandon is now tied with Krystle Matthews for ninth place on Liberty's all-time outdoor women's high jump list.

The second and final day of the 2012 Liberty Collegiate Invitational will begin Saturday at 9:30 a.m. with the decathlon 110-meter hurdles and women's pole vault. Running events will begin in earnest at noon, when the gun goes off for the men's 4 x 100 relay.