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Liberty Freshman Trio to Compete in Bloomington
Liberty freshmen Jacy Christiansen, Mychelle Cumings and Daniel Klase will travel to Bloomington, Ind., for this weekend's USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The three-day meet will run from Friday through Sunday at Indiana's Robert C. Haugh Track & Field Complex.
The meet, open to athletes who will not turn 20 years of age before the end of 2012, will determine Team USA's qualifiers for the 2012 IAAF World Junior Track & Field Championships. That event will be held July 10-15 in Barcelona, Spain. The top two finishers in each event this weekend will be eligible to compete in Barcelona, provided they have met the qualifying standards.
Cumings will be the first Liberty athlete to compete this weekend, throwing the discus Friday at 5:45 p.m. Fifteen minutes later, Klase will begin the men's javelin competition. Cumings will also throw the shot put, starting Sunday at 3 p.m. Christiansen is entered in the meet's final event, the women's 3K run, which is slated to begin Sunday at 4:45 p.m.
How to Follow the Flames and Lady Flames
Live results are expected to be posted on USATF.org's meet webpage throughout the USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Bloomington Weather Report
Bloomington is expecting some hot weather for this weekend's meet, including a forecasted high temperature of 91 degrees under sunny skies on Friday. Sunday's forecast calls for a high of 89 degrees and a 30 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms.
USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championship Event Capsules (Organized Chronologically)
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 5:45 p.m.
Liberty Competitor: Mychelle Cumings (Fr., Madison, Tenn.)
How She Got Here: Cumings' school-record discus throw of 167-0 from the April 7 Liberty Collegiate Invitational has the talented freshman seeded No. 8 in the field. Only one Lady Flame had ever thrown over 150 feet in the discus, before Cumings did so at six consecutive meets this season.
Cumings' year of discus throwing was highlighted by a Big South title and an ECAC seventh-place finish. She also qualified for the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet, where the co-Big South Women's Freshman of the Year placed 29th.
A Look at the Competition: Shelbi Vaughan of Mansfield Legacy High School is back to defend her title from 2011. The Texas A&M signee broke the national high school girls' discus record earlier this month, throwing 193-11 at the Golden West Invitational. That is 14 feet past the longest throw of anyone else in the field at Bloomington.
Vaughan will square off with a strong field of collegiate throwers, including 11 NCAA Division I Preliminary Round qualifiers. Two of them advanced to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, where USC's Alex Collatz placed 14th and Miami's Amber Monroe came in 21st.
Cumings will see a face that may look a bit familiar, as Hickory High School senior Taylor Woods is entered. She is the younger sister of Cumings' teammate at Liberty, Emily Woods. The younger Woods, who was the Pennsylvania Class AA state discus runner-up, will throw for Buffalo next season.
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 6 p.m.
Liberty Competitor: Daniel Klase (Fr., Birdsboro, Pa.)
How He Got Here: Klase made significant improvement in the javelin this season, throwing 192-10 after arriving at Liberty with a 176-6 personal best. His top throw came at the Highlander Invitational on April 27, six days after the Keystone State native placed sixth in the event at the Big South meet. Klase also threw the javelin at the IC4A Outdoor Track & Field Championship, where he placed 16th.
A Look at the Competition: Sean Keller, a senior at Heritage High School in Vancouver, Wash., is the top seed at 244-1. The No. 2 javelin thrower in high school history will also compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials later this month.
Texas A&M freshman Devin Bogert, who has thrown 236-1, came in 12th in the men's javelin final at last week's NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, while LSU's Jeremy Tuttle placed 21st.
Klase is one of two Big South throwers in the field, as he will be joined by High Point freshman Christian Spaulding. The Panther placed third in the Big South and 20th at the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet.
Women's Shot Put
Event Schedule: Final – Sunday at 3 p.m.
Liberty Competitor: Mychelle Cumings (Fr., Madison, Tenn.)
How She Got Here: Cumings shattered the Liberty indoor (51-3) and outdoor (51-2.75) shot put records during her freshman season. Her indoor mark, a sizeable improvement over her high school best of 45-7, has her seeded No. 5 in Bloomington.
The Big South indoor and outdoor women's shot put champion, Cumings placed fourth at the ECAC outdoor meet and 37th at the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet.
A Look at the Competition: Iowa State's Christina Hillman, who redshirted her freshman outdoor campaign, is the field's top seed at 53-11.25. She finished second at this meet in 2011.
Behind Hillman, Cumings is one of eight competitors who threw the shot put at the NCAA Division I Preliminary Round meets this season.
Torie Owers, a three-time Georgia state champion in the shot put, is the top high school entrant in the event. The California signee has thrown 51-3.75 in 2012.
Cumings will face Big South foe Joshlyn Noga on Sunday. The Charleston Southern freshman finished third in the shot put at the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championship.
Women's 3,000-Meter Run
Event Schedule: Final – Sunday at 4:45 p.m.
Liberty Competitor: Jacy Christiansen (Fr., New Ipswich, N.H.)
How She Got Here: Christiansen's fastest 3K time of the year, 9:53.19, came at the ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championship, where she placed 19th. That effort set a Liberty freshman record for the event and has her seeded No. 7 in Bloomington.
The Big South indoor women's 3K runner-up was limited by injury during much of the outdoor season. Christiansen was able to qualify for the women's 1,500 final at the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championship and came in 13th in the ECAC outdoor 3K.
Sunday's race will be Christiansen's first as a 19-year-old, after she celebrates her birthday on Friday.
A Look at the Competition: The top four contenders in the women's 3K are collegiate freshmen, in Stanford's Aisling Cuffe, Connecticut's Lindsay Crevoiserat, Oregon's Allison Woodward and Virginia Tech's Sarah Rapp.
Cuffe, the No. 1 seed at 9:07.79, placed 14th in the women's 3K final at this year's NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships. Crevoiserat took home the ECAC outdoor 3K title last month.
Woodward is coming off of an impressive performance at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, where the Duck came in fifth in the women's 10K final in 32:56.94. Meanwhile, Rapp clocked a 5K time of 16:37.76 this season, qualifying for the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet.