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Smith Added to Preliminary Round Discus
After a late scratch, Liberty redshirt junior Ryan Smith has been added to the men's discus field at the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet, which will be contested May 24-26 at North Florida's Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla.
Smith was added by virtue of his season-best discus throw of 169-11. That heave, which happened on April 21, earned Smith the Big South men's discus title. Smith will now become the first Liberty thrower ever to compete in three events at the NCAA Preliminary Round meet, as he also qualified in the men's shot put and hammer.
The Georgia native will be the Flames' busiest athlete in Jacksonville, competing in one event on each of the meet's three days. Smith will start out throwing the discus on May 24 at 1 p.m. The following day, he will compete in the hammer at 10 a.m. Smith will wrap up his weekend on May 26 at 5 p.m., when he throws the shot put.
Four other Liberty men's competitors made the field, as announced on Thursday, including Taylor Courtney (400 Hurdles), Josh MacDonald (3K Steeplechase), Kolby Shepherd (Pole Vault) and Kyle Wheeler (High Jump).
On the women's side, five Lady Flames will also compete in Jacksonville, including Mia Aghaji (Triple Jump and High Jump), Melinda Bendik (Hammer), Mychelle Cumings (Shot Put and Discus), Jennifer Klugh (1,500) and Christina Mitchell (Javelin).
Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa will be the site of the 2012 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, June 6-9. The top 12 finishers in each event at the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet will advance to Des Moines. They will be joined in Des Moines by 12 qualifiers per event from the NCAA Division I West Preliminary Round meet, which will take place in Austin, Texas.