Jacob DeValve won the men's shot put title at the Highlander Invitational with a personal-best 55-10.5 heave.
Liberty redshirt senior Jacob DeValve headlined the Flames' best event at the Highlander Invitational on Saturday, with his personal-best 55-10.5 shot put leading a 1-3-4-5 Liberty finish. Meanwhile, senior Kristen Willeford was the Lady Flames' top performer on a warm, sunny day at Cupp Stadium, winning the women's high jump with a personal-best 5-6 clearance.
Men's Day Two Recap The recently crowned Big South men's shot put champion, DeValve uncorked a throw of 55-10.5 on his second attempt. That exceeded his previous personal best by 10 inches and won the event by 16.5 inches. In the process, DeValve passed Liberty Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Bill Gillespie for fourth place in program history. Redshirt junior Tim Abbott added more than two feet to his shot put personal best on Saturday, finishing third at 52-4. The effort made him the third different Flame to qualify for the IC4A meet in the men's shot put this season. Redshirt sophomore David Scouten finished just one-quarter inch behind Abbott in fourth place, thanks to a season-best put of 52-3.75. Big South runner-up Constand Van Rooyen came in fifth on Saturday, topping out at 51-1.5. Abbott and Scouten also fared well in Saturday's other throwing events, beginning with the discus, where Abbott's season-best 163-5 toss earned third place. Scouten followed in fourth place with a 156-2 mark in the discus, while his personal-best 180-3 effort placed seventh in the hammer competition. Sophomore Patrick Donigan cleared a season-best 6-4 on his first attempt to win the men's high jump. Tevan McIntire (15.08) and Caleb Fraley (15.22) both clocked personal-best times to finish second and third, respectively, behind Radford star Vincent Wyatt in the men's 110 hurdles. Ken Ritchey was Liberty's top finisher in the men's pole vault, tying for fifth place at 14-9. Fred Fulton, who is redshirting the 2014 outdoor season, enjoyed a successful Saturday in the throwing events while competing unattached. The junior was the runner-up in both the shot put (54-6) and discus (personal-best 172-4), while placing fourth in the hammer (personal-best 193-5).
Women's Day Two Recap Willeford made first-attempt clearances at each of her first four heights in the high jump on Saturday, including her winning mark of 5-6. She then made three tries at 5-7.25, which would have qualified her for the ECAC meet, but was unsuccessful. Freshman Jessie Glynn went over the 11-foot mark in the pole vault for the first time in her collegiate career, sailing over 11-0.25 on her second try. Glynn, who tied for second in the competition, is now tied with Danelle DeKrey (2002) for ninth place on the Lady Flames' all-time list. Teammate and classmate Brooke Shelton also got over 11-0.25, but needed three tries to do so and finished fourth overall. Senior Rachel Barnes threw the shot put 41-5.75 for third place, while junior Jennifer Nicholson's 157-2 mark in the hammer stood up for fourth place. The best placement among Big South heptathlon champion Riley Brandon's three events on the weekend was a fourth-place showing in the long jump. The junior reached 16-5.75 on her top jump of the day. Christieanna Apon was the Lady Flames' highest finisher in a track event, coming in sixth in the 800 with a time of 2:18.18. Liberty's redshirted athletes performed well while competing unattached, highlighted by event victories in the women's shot put (Mychelle Cumings, 49-11.25) and hammer (Jocelyn Williams, 185-4). Meanwhile, Audrey Bamford raced to a personal-best time of 14.49 seconds while finishing fourth in the 100 hurdles.
The Flames will now prepare for their final home meet of the 2014 season, Wednesday's Liberty Twilight Qualifier. The one-day event will get started at 1 p.m. at the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex with the women's discus and men's shot put.