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Virginia Cup Next Up for Liberty Track

March 19, 2015  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Jennifer Smith is the two-time defending champion in the women's discus at the Virginia Cup.

Jennifer Smith is the two-time defending champion in the women's discus at the Virginia Cup.

Live Results

Meet Schedule

Meet Information

Charlottesville Weather

The Liberty men's and women's track & field teams will compete in the Virginia Cup, their first team-scored meet of the 2015 outdoor season, Saturday at Lannigan Field in Charlottesville, Va.

Liberty, Norfolk State, Virginia, James Madison (women only) and Radford (women only) will take part in the one-day event, which will be scored as a series of dual meets.

The meet will get started with the women's hammer at noon. Running events will commence at 2:15 p.m. with the women's 4 x 100 relay.

How to Follow the Flames and Lady Flames
Live results will be available on Saturday, courtesy of Flash Results, Inc.

Weather Report
Saturday's weather forecast in Charlottesville looks quite pleasant, with partly cloudy skies and a high temperature near 70 degrees.

Victorious at the Virginia Cup
Liberty has fared quite well at the Virginia Cup during each of the past two seasons, going 15-1 in its dual meets. The men's squad went a perfect 7-0 at the 2013 and 2014 Virginia Cup competitions, while the Lady Flames are a combined 8-1 during the last two years.

Individually, Jennifer Smith is the two-time defending champion in the women's discus. Current Flames have also accounted for back-to-back Virginia Cup titles in both the men's pole vault (Cody Bingham in 2013, Ken Ritchey in 2014) and men's javelin (Daniel Klase in 2013, Steve Feister in 2014).

Other past Virginia Cup champions who will be in action on Saturday include Ryan Davis (2014 men's 400 hurdles), David Scouten (2014 men's hammer), Ansley Gebben (2014 women's 400 hurdles) and Janae Jones (2013 women's triple jump).

Keeping Score
The Virginia Cup is the first of three scored meets Liberty is slated to compete in during the 2015 regular season. Both the Duke Invitational (April 10-11) and Big South Quad (April 18) will also feature team scoring.

Full-Fledged Season Opener
After a limited number of Liberty athletes opened the 2015 outdoor season at last weekend's Coastal Carolina Invitational, Saturday's Virginia Cup will kick off the year in earnest. Liberty has entered 97 athletes in the meet, including 46 men and 51 women.

With unlimited entries in each event, Liberty will have quite a presence in Charlottesville. For example, 14 Flames are entered in the men's 1,500-meter run.

Outdoor Debuts to Watch
Abigail Flower is scheduled to run the 200-meter dash at the Virginia Cup, competing at the distance for the first time since setting the indoor program record (24.14) for the event at the ECAC meet on March 8. Flower already owns the Liberty outdoor women's 200 record at 23.48 seconds.

Big South Indoor Women's Freshman of the Year Ednah Kurgat will make her outdoor debut at the 1,500-meter distance on Saturday. Meanwhile, fellow standouts from the Big South meet Aklesso Agama (100, long jump, triple jump) and Stephen Racanelli (200, 400) are also slated to make their outdoor season debuts in Charlottesville.

Defending Big South men's 400 hurdles champion Ryan Davis will contest the 110 hurdles for the first time during his collegiate career. At Highlands Christian Academy, he clocked a 110 hurdles time of 14.44 and posted a pair of top-four finishes at the Florida 1A state meet.

Unusual Events
The Virginia Cup will feature one event that is not commonly contested at the collegiate level, the women's 2,000-meter steeplechase. Lady Flames Kaitlyn Hutchins and Heather Wyatt are entered in the event, which is set for a 4:40 p.m. start time.

Meanwhile, other Liberty athletes are slated to compete in events which are outside their usual spectrum on Saturday, including both Jacy Christiansen and Oasis Hernandez in the women's 800.

Jumping Ahead to Jacksonville
Liberty's top performers already have their sights set on Jacksonville, Fla., which will host the 2015 NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet between May 28-30. The top 48 athletes in each event from the East Region will qualify for the meet.

After the Coastal Carolina Invitational, Liberty's Fred Fulton (men's shot put, 55-3.5) and Mychelle Cumings (women's shot put, 49-6.5) both rank No. 1 in the East Region.

Additionally, Cumings (women's shot put and women's discus, 163-6) and Steve Feister (men's javelin, 217-11) have each already surpassed the marks required to qualify for the 2014 NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet in their respective events.