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Liberty Men's Team Leads after Big South Day 1

April 17, 2014  Rock Hill, S.C.  RSS
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Josh MacDonald was the Big South men's 10K runner-up Thursday evening.

Josh MacDonald was the Big South men's 10K runner-up Thursday evening.

Day 1 Blog

Runner-up finishes by Josh MacDonald (10K) and Kenny Scott (long jump) helped Liberty's men's squad take the lead after day one of the 2014 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Meanwhile, the Lady Flames rank third after Thursday's trio of women's event finals at a sunny, breezy Irwin Belk Track.

The Liberty men's team totaled 28 points in three events, putting the seven-time defending champions six points ahead of second-place Charleston Southern's 22 tallies.

Junior Jacy Christiansen was the Lady Flames' top finisher on Thursday, coming in second in the women's 10K and contributing to Liberty's total of 21 points. The Lady Flames trail Coastal Carolina (32 points) and host Winthrop (22 points) at this early juncture of the meet.

Men's Day One Recap
The 10K runners took advantage of Thursday evening's cool, calm conditions to post some fast times. MacDonald set a fast early pace, clocking 4:46 for the first 1,600 meters. The California native led for more than four miles before eventual champion Amon Terer of Campbell surged into the lead.

In the end, Terer (29:51.19) and MacDonald (30:12.89) both bettered the previous meet record of 30:13.20 while repeating their 1-2 finish from this year's Big South indoor 5K final. For MacDonald, it was his ninth career All-Big South honor and his second at the 10K distance.

Sophomore Jeremie Bourget clocked a personal-best time of 30:56.07 for fifth place, with redshirt freshman teammate Sam Hibbs following in sixth in 31:02.65 during his 10K debut. MacDonald, Bourget and Hibbs all qualified for the IC4A meet with Thursday's performances.

Competing in his first meet of the 2014 outdoor season due to spring football practice, Scott long jumped a personal-best 23-10 on his first attempt. That kept him in the lead until round five, when he was overtaken for the victory by Charleston Southern All-American Braxton Drummond. Scott ended up second in the competition, improving upon his third-place effort at the Big South indoor meet.

Conversely, senior teammate ConRoy Smith saved his best jump for last. He sailed out to a personal-best 23-1.25 during the sixth and final round, moving up to fifth place in the final standings.

Redshirt sophomore David Scouten was the lone Flame to score points in the men's hammer final. He threw 179-4 for eighth place.

Freshman Zach Davis is faring well in his second career decathlon, ranking second through five events. He totaled 3,401 points on Thursday, just 48 fewer than overall leader Quincy Murphy of VMI.

Davis topped all 11 decathletes in both the long jump (21-4.75) and high jump (6-9). His high jump mark tied his own record for the best-ever clearance by a Liberty decathlete.

Women's Day Two Recap
Running the first 10K of her collegiate career, Christiansen placed a clear second Thursday evening. After clocking about 18:20 for the first 5K, she picked it up during the second half of the race for a final time of 36:24.50.

Christiansen qualified for the ECAC meet, claimed the No. 5 spot on Liberty's all-time 10K list and garnered her ninth career All-Big South award.

Freshman Oasis Hernandez's third All-Big South notation of her rookie year came thanks to a third-place finish in the women's long jump final. Her best leap of the day measured a season-best 18-3.75.

Teammate Janae Jones also recorded a season-best long jump of 18-1.75 for fifth place, while Melissa Rohwer came in sixth at 17-11.75.

Junior Riley Brandon (2,832 points) and sophomore Erika Jackson (2,630 points) currently rank first and third, respectively, through Thursday's four heptathlon disciplines.

Brandon owns a 94-point lead after recording her best-ever day one score. She recorded personal bests in three events on the afternoon, including the 100 hurdles (15.33), shot put (36-6.75) and 200 (26.94).

Friday's events will get started with the men's javelin at 10 a.m. The decathlon will resume at 1:30 p.m. with the 110 hurdles, while the heptathlon's first event of the day will be the long jump at 2 p.m. Running event preliminaries will dominate the late afternoon and early evening, beginning with the women's 1,500 at 4:30.