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Liberty Track to Wrap Up Indoor Season in Boston

March 5, 2014  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Freshman Oasis Hernandez will compete in the 60, 200 and triple jump during her first visit to the ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships.

Freshman Oasis Hernandez will compete in the 60, 200 and triple jump during her first visit to the ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships.

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The Liberty men's and women's track & field teams will conclude the 2013-14 indoor season this weekend, when 39 Flames and Lady Flames travel to Boston for the 2014 IC4A and ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships.

For the second straight year, the men's IC4A and women's ECAC meets will be contested concurrently at the Boston University Track and Tennis Center, Friday through Sunday. The meet will begin Friday at 4 p.m. with the IC4A heptathlon 60-meter dash. Saturday's first events, set for a 10 a.m. start, will be the IC4A heptathlon 60-meter hurdles, triple jump and weight throw. The IC4A long jump and ECAC shot put will get things started on Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

How to Follow the Flames and Lady Flames
Live results will be available throughout all three days of action in Boston, courtesy of Lancer Timing.

Liberty's 23 IC4A Entrants
Aklesso Agama – Long Jump, Triple Jump
Jeremie Bourget – 5K
Jarred Cornfield – 1,000
Zach Davis – High Jump
Jacob DeValve – Shot Put
Caleb Edmonds – 3K
Fred Fulton – Shot Put, Weight Throw
Zach Gilroy – Heptathlon
Sam Hibbs – 3K
Trevor Hope – 4 x 800
Josh MacDonald – 5K
Tevan McIntire – Heptathlon
Jacob Onifer – 4 x 800
Stephen Racanelli – 60, 200
Ken Ritchey – Pole Vault
Colin Schultz – 4 x 800
Kenny Scott – Long Jump
David Scouten – Shot Put, Weight Throw
John Sherret – 4 x 800
ConRoy Smith – 60
Constand Van Rooyen – Shot Put
Kyle Wheeler – High Jump
Tarell Williams – Long Jump

Liberty's 16 ECAC Entrants
Audrey Bamford – Pentathlon
Rachel Barnes – Shot Put
Corinn Bedell – 400, 4 x 400
Riley Brandon – Pentathlon
Meghan Burggraf – 800, 4 x 400
Jacy Christiansen – 3K
Mychelle Cumings – Shot Put
Abigail Flower – 60, 200
Ansley Gebben – 400, 4 x 400
Jessica Harrison – Pentathlon
Oasis Hernandez – 60, 200, Triple Jump
Erika Jackson – Pentathlon
Janae Jones – Triple Jump
Melissa Rohwer – Triple Jump
Jocelyn Williams – Weight Throw
Mary Witmer – 4 x 400

What Do All of These Letters Stand For?
The acronym ECAC is short for Eastern College Athletic Conference. According to the ECAC website, it "is the nation's largest athletic conference and only multi-divisional conference, with approximately 300 member institutions ranging across 16 states from Maine to North Carolina and westerly to Wisconsin." This weekend's women's meet is officially titled the ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championship.

Meanwhile, the concurrent men's meet is called the IC4A Indoor Track & Field Championship. IC4A stands for Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America, and the name is only applied to the ECAC's Division I men's championships in cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field.

What's New?
In past years, the IC4A and ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships have provided athletes one final chance to qualify for the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships. That's not the case this season, as the NCAA qualifying period ended on Sunday and the list of national qualifiers has been finalized.

Liberty will not be represented at the 2014 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships. Junior Mychelle Cumings was the closest Lady Flame to earning a trip to Albuquerque, as her Big South-record shot put mark of 53-5.5 put her 11 inches and three spots on the national list away from qualifying.

Also new this year is an extra incentive to placing highly in Boston. The top six finishers in most events this weekend will earn automatic qualification for the corresponding events at the 2014 IC4A and ECAC Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, to be contested May 16-18 in Princeton, N.J.

Fifteen of Liberty's 39 athletes who will be competing in Boston will be making their IC4A/ECAC debuts this weekend, including nearly half of the men's athletes on the trip.

Eleven men's athletes will be making their first visit to the IC4A meet, including Aklesso Agama, Zach Davis, Fred Fulton, Zach Gilroy, Sam Hibbs, Jacob Onifer, Stephen Racanelli, Ken Ritchey, Colin Schultz, Kenny Scott and Constand Van Rooyen.

Meanwhile, Lady Flames Corinn Bedell, Jessica Harrison, Oasis Hernandez and Mary Witmer will compete at the ECAC level for the first time.

Near the Top
The Liberty men's team placed fifth at the 2013 IC4A Indoor Track & Field Championships, marking the Flames' fourth top-five finish in the last six years at this meet. Liberty has claimed three IC4A outdoor team titles (1996, 2007 & 2008) but is still seeking its first-ever IC4A indoor crown. The Flames were the 2008 IC4A indoor runners-up and tied for second place in 2011.

Chatting Up the Champions
Redshirt junior Jocelyn Williams will compete at the ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships for the first time since winning the weight throw title in 2012. This season, she has already thrown nearly five feet farther (67-5.5) than her winning throw from two years ago (62-6.5).

Mychelle Cumings (2013 women's discus) and Josh MacDonald (2013 men's steeplechase) have both won ECAC/IC4A outdoor event championships during their careers. Cumings will throw the shot put and MacDonald will run the 5K this weekend.

Who to Watch
Five Liberty athletes rank among the top 15 on the IC4A/ECAC in their respective events entering this weekend's meet, led by Mychelle Cumings, who ranks No. 1 in the women's shot put at 53-5.5. Teammate Jocelyn Williams sits at No. 4 in the women's weight throw (67-5.5).

The Flames' other three athletes with lofty IC4A/ECAC rankings are newcomers this season, including Fred Fulton (No. 10 in the men's weight throw, 63-10.5 & No. 14 in the men's shot put, 57-5.5), Oasis Hernandez (No. 9 in the women's 60, 7.45) and Zach Davis (No. 14 in the men's high jump, 6-11).

Record Breakers
Liberty took down five women's program records at last weekend's Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships, and all five marks could be in jeopardy once again in Boston.

Freshman Oasis Hernandez took down the records in both the 60 (7.45) and 200 (24.37). Mychelle Cumings (shot put, 53-5.5) and Jocelyn Williams (weight throw, 67-5.5) both improved upon their own standards in the throwing events. Meanwhile, Ansley Gebben, Mary Witmer, Corinn Bedell and Meghan Burggraf ran a Liberty-record 3:46.28 in the 4 x 400 relay.

Big South's Best
Seven Liberty athletes captured Big South individual event titles last weekend, and all seven will be competing in the same events in Boston.

The Flames' newly-crowned Big South champions include Fred Fulton (men's shot put), Kyle Wheeler (men's high jump), Riley Brandon (women's pentathlon), Meghan Burggraf (women's 800), Mychelle Cumings (women's shot put), Oasis Hernandez (women's 60) and Jocelyn Williams (women's weight throw).

The last Liberty individual to win the same event at the Big South and IC4A/ECAC indoor meets during the same year was Clarence Powell. He achieved the Big South/IC4A high jump sweep in 2010. Cumings accomplished the Big South/ECAC outdoor sweep last season in the discus.

Upholding the Tradition
Through the years, Liberty's best events at the IC4A and ECAC meets have been the multi events. The Flames have captured 12 IC4A decathlon titles and one IC4A heptathlon crown. Meanwhile, the Lady Flames have won two ECAC heptathlon championships and a pair of ECAC pentathlon competitions.

Liberty has a half-dozen athletes entered in the multi events in Boston, including the quartet of Audrey Bamford, Riley Brandon, Jessica Harrison and Erika Jackson in the ECAC pentathlon and Zach Gilroy and Tevan McIntire in the IC4A heptathlon. Zach Davis was eligible to enter the IC4A heptathlon but will focus on the high jump instead, while Cody Bingham hit the IC4A heptathlon qualifying standard before suffering a season-ending injury.