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MacDonald Places 3rd in IC4A Steeplechase
Day 1 Blog
Four different Liberty athletes scored points during Friday's action at the IC4A and ECAC Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, and all four were freshmen and sophomores. Leading the way for the Flames at Weaver Track & Field Stadium was sophomore Josh MacDonald, who came in third in the IC4A steeplechase final.
MacDonald's effort, coupled with Caleb Edmonds' seventh-place finish in the 5K, gave the Flames eight team points through Friday's trio of IC4A event finals. That has Liberty in a tie for sixth place with Dartmouth and MIT. Leading the IC4A standings is defending champion Duke, with 21 points.
On the women's side, freshmen Jennifer Nicholson and Mychelle Cumings combined for five points in the ECAC discus final. As a result, the Lady Flames share ninth place in the team standings with Albany, Connecticut, Maryland and Monmouth. Duke also leads the way in the ECAC race, tallying 31 points through four events.
Men's IC4A Recap
MacDonald led for a good portion of the IC4A steeplechase final and was still in contention for the victory entering the final straightaway. He ended up third at the finish line, after clocking the second-fastest time of his career, 8:57.34.
Senior Pedro Carela also competed in the steeplechase Friday evening, placing 21st in a time of 9:20.65 in his IC4A debut.
Edmonds, a redshirt freshman, improved his personal-best 5K time by two seconds on a cool New Jersey evening. His official time of 14:19.09 earned seventh place and also achieved a few family bragging rights. Edmonds' clocking enabled him to leapfrog older brother Josh Edmonds for fifth place on Liberty's all-time outdoor men's 5K performance list.
Edmonds was joined in the 5K by David Ricksecker, who placed 18th in a 14:30.04 effort.
Running his first 10K since winning the Big South title in the event, sophomore Ngetich Kipchirchir sliced 32 seconds off of his previous best time. He stopped the clock in 30:27.90 for ninth place in both the race and on Liberty's all-time 10K list.
Big South decathlon champion Jacob DeValve sits in fifth place through Friday's five events, with a decathlon score of 3,467. His top discipline on the day was the shot put, where the redshirt sophomore's mark of 48-2.75 was more than five feet longer than his nearest competitor.
Women's ECAC Recap
Prior to this season, only one women's discus thrower in program history (Janet Rorer) had ever reached the 150-foot mark. Friday evening, two Lady Flame freshmen did so in the same competition.
Nicholson led the way with a third throw that reached a season-best 150-3. That mark held up for sixth place in the event and puts Nicholson in the No. 3 spot all-time at Liberty.
Classmate Cumings followed closely at 150-1, taking seventh place in the competition.
Junior Khristina Kanagy wrapped up her successful year with a 16th-place showing in the women's 10K final. Her time was 37:01.08.
Christina Mitchell will have to play a bit of catch up if she hopes to repeat as ECAC heptathlon champion on Saturday. She ranks seventh through Friday's quartet of disciplines, with 2,724 points. Like DeValve in the decathlon, Mitchell won the heptathlon shot put. Her best throw of 38-2 landed a foot past any other heptathlete.
DeValve and Mitchell will be the first two Liberty athletes in action on a full Saturday of competition. DeValve will run the decathlon 110-meter hurdles at 9 a.m., the same time that Mitchell will begin the heptathlon long jump. Running events will commence at 10:30 a.m., with the ECAC 4 x 100 relay preliminaries.