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Duke Invitational Up Next for Liberty Track

April 9, 2015  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Holly Arey will be the first athlete ever to compete at Duke's Morris Williams Track and Field Stadium, throwing the women's hammer Friday at 3:30 p.m.

Holly Arey will be the first athlete ever to compete at Duke's Morris Williams Track and Field Stadium, throwing the women's hammer Friday at 3:30 p.m.

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Live Video Streaming (Saturday 4-8 p.m.)

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Morris Williams Track and Field Stadium

The Liberty men's and women's outdoor track & field teams will help christen Morris Williams Track and Field Stadium Friday and Saturday, as the facility plays host to its inaugural meet, the team-scored Duke Invitational.

Liberty will compete against Clemson, North Carolina, NC State, North Carolina Central and host Duke in the two-day competition, which will begin Friday at 3:30 p.m. with the women's hammer.

Morris Williams Track and Field Stadium will be officially dedicated Saturday at 10:30 a.m., prior to the start of that day's events. Saturday's schedule will commence with the women's discus and women's high jump at noon. Track events will get started with the women's 4 x 100 relay at 4 p.m.

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

Live video streaming of Saturday's running events will be provided, beginning at 4 p.m. A subscription to the Blue Devil Network is required to access the stream.

Weather Report
Liberty should finally enjoy an outdoor meet with warm weather this weekend, if the weather forecast is correct. Friday's high temperature in Durham is predicted to reach the mid 80s, while Saturday's high will be in the mid 70s. There is a chance of showers and thunderstorms on Friday, but Saturday should feature a considerable amount of sunshine.

Keeping Score
The Duke Invitational will be scored as a six-team meet, with the top six finishers in each event scoring points (10-8-6-4-2-1).

The women's meet in particular should feature some strong competition, headlined by No. 16 Clemson and No. 22 NC State. Five of the top 10 women's teams in the Southeast Region will be on hand, including Clemson (No. 2 in the region), North Carolina (No. 3), NC State (No. 4), Duke (No. 6) and Liberty (No. 10).

The men's competition will include four of the Southeast Region's top nine squads, including Clemson (No. 4), Liberty (No. 5), NC State (No. 8) and North Carolina (No. 9).

The Duke Invitational will be Liberty's second scored meet of the 2015 outdoor season, after the Virginia Cup (March 21). That day, the Flames won both of their dual meets, headlined by a victory over host Virginia. Meanwhile, the Lady Flames went 3-1, falling only to Virginia.

More on Morris Williams
Morris Williams Track and Field Stadium is a state-of-the-art track & field-only facility on Duke's campus, adjacent to Koskinen Stadium (soccer and lacrosse). Construction was completed earlier this year on the facility, which features venues for all field events inside the eight-lane track oval. The track was constructed by Beynon Sports Surfaces, the same company which refurbished the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex prior to the 2013 outdoor season.

Liberty freshman Holly Arey will have the honor of being the first athlete ever to officially compete at Morris Williams Track and Field Stadium, as she is scheduled as the first thrower in the women's hammer competition, Friday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.

Waving Goodbye to Wallace Wade
Morris Williams Track and Field Stadium was built after the track was removed at Duke's Wallace Wade Stadium as part of renovations for football. Wallace Wade Stadium played host to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships in both 1990 and 2000.

The 2000 NCAA meet was memorable for the Flames. Four Liberty athletes competed, including Andrea Wildrick (women's pole vault), Mike Decker (men's 400), James Johnson (decathlon) and Josh Jones (decathlon). Wildrick became the first Lady Flame ever to earn NCAA Division I All-America honors, while Decker set the Liberty and Big South men's 400 record at 45.59, which still stands 15 years later.

Focus on Fulton
Redshirt junior Fred Fulton's first outdoor track & field season as a Liberty Flame is off to an outstanding start. He has been named Big South Men's Field Athlete of the Week three times in the last four weeks, thanks to his prowess in the shot put, discus and hammer.

Fulton leads the Big South in both the men's shot put (58-8) and discus (180-2) and has essentially punched his ticket to the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet in both events. He also sits No. 2 on the Big South men's hammer list at 193-0.

Fulton has already made his mark on Liberty's all-time top 10 lists. He ranks No. 3 in both the shot put and discus and No. 5 in the hammer. His 180-2 discus mark at the Liberty Collegiate Invitational was the longest discus throw by a Big South Conference athlete in six years.

Fulton is slated to throw the shot put, discus and hammer at the Duke Invitational. He should have some good competition, including Duke's Stephen Boals (59-7 shot put personal best, 176-4 discus best) and Michael Foley (189-4 hammer best), North Carolina's AJ Hicks (175-0 discus best, 191-5 hammer best) and NC State's Jule Rich (172-8 discus best).

Fast 5K
The women's 5K figures to be a race to watch, Saturday at 7:25 p.m., as Liberty's duo of Jacy Christiansen and Ednah Kurgat will both make their outdoor season debuts at the distance. Christiansen ranks No. 2 in program history for the outdoor women's 5K at 16:45.99, while Kurgat owns the Liberty indoor 5K record at 16:28.29.

NC State's Laura Hoer has run 16:29.06 for the 5K, but that effort came in 2012. Meanwhile, Duke's Jessie Rubin boasts a personal-best time of 16:30.42 and teammate Kelsey Lakowske has clocked 16:41.29. North Carolina freshman Stella Radford will be making her collegiate 5K debut but notched a 10:25.18 steeplechase last weekend.

Big South's Best
Five weeks before the start of the 2015 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships, a number of Liberty athletes top the conference leaderboard in their respective events.

Liberty's No. 1 rankers in men's events include John Sherret (800, 1:52.52), Ryan Davis (400 hurdles, 52.53), Aklesso Agama (long jump, 24-0.25 and triple jump, 49-10.5), Fred Fulton (shot put, 58-8 and discus, 180-2), Steve Feister (javelin, 221-11) and Zach Davis (decathlon, 7,049).

On the women's side, the Lady Flames' Big South leaders include Abigail Flower (100, 11.91 and 200, 23.96), the 4 x 100 relay quartet of Olivia Davis, Abigail Flower, Dana Mercer and Kate Flower (46.32), Dana Mercer (long jump, 18-9.25), Mychelle Cumings (shot put, 49-6.5 and discus, 163-9) and Audrey Bamford (heptathlon, 4,506).

Jumping Ahead to Jacksonville
The 2015 NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet will be contested at North Florida's Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla., May 28-30. Based upon past history, the following Flames and Lady Flames should be bound for Jacksonville.

Aklesso Agama – men's triple jump
Mychelle Cumings – women's shot put and discus
Steve Feister – men's javelin
Fred Fulton – men's shot put and discus
Daniel Klase – men's javelin
Ednah Kurgat – women's 10K