Sophomore Jessie Glynn became just the second Lady Flame to clear 13 feet in the women's pole vault, with her winning height of 13-1.75 on Friday at the Highlander Invitational.
Liberty sophomore Jessie Glynn's personal-best 13-1.75 pole vault clearance won the event and provided the Flames' biggest highlight on the opening day of the Highlander Invitational, Friday at Cupp Stadium. On the men's side, Jeremie Bourget was victorious in the men's 1,500, headlining a group of five Flames in the top six.
Women's Day One Recap One year after cracking the 11-foot barrier for the first time in her collegiate career at the 2014 Highlander Invitational, Glynn continued her rapid improvement in the event on Friday. Her 13-1.75 clearance improved upon her previous best by 8.25 inches and enabled her to join All-American Andrea Wildrick as the only Lady Flames ever to surpass the 13-foot barrier. In the process, Glynn likely punched her ticket to the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet.
Behind Glynn, freshman Mariel Finger cleared a collegiate-best 11-6.25 to share sixth place in the women's pole vault. She is now in sole possession of the eighth spot on Liberty's all-time list for the event.
Another Lady Flames freshman, Brenna Smith, hurled the javelin a personal-best 140-10, putting her behind only Virginia Tech All-American Eva Vivod in the event. Smith moves up to third in program history for the women's javelin. Classmate Holly Arey came in fifth with a personal-best mark of 121-10, to go along with her fifth-place showing in the discus (130-7) earlier in the day.
Continuing the run of impressive performances by Liberty rookies, freshman Ednah Kurgat placed second in her debut at the 1,500-meter distance. Her time of 4:33.85 ranks eighth on Liberty's all-time list. Teammate Jacy Christiansen followed closely in third, clocking a season-best 4:34.04.
Liberty claimed three of the top five spots in the women's long jump, thanks to Melissa Rohwer (third, 18-2.5), Janae Jones (fourth, season-best 17-5.5) and Allison Corbin (fifth, personal-best 17-5.25).
Men's Day One Recap Bourget's 1,500-meter triumph came in a personal-best time of 4:00.38, as each of the Flames' top five finishers in the event recorded new personal bests on Friday evening. Bourget was trailed by freshmen Stalline Kurgat (second, 4:00.94), Titus Koech (fourth, 4:01.56), Luke Jelen (fifth, 4:02.60) and Cameron Francis (sixth, 4:02.78).
Six different Flames have now run under 4:02 for the 1,500 this season, but none have yet dipped under 4:00.
Alexandru Barker made it over a personal-best 15-7.25, tying for the runner-up spot in the men's pole vault. Carson Waters shared the fourth position, thanks to his 15-1.5 clearance.
Competing in the long jump for the first time since the Liberty Open on Jan. 17, Kyle Wheeler finished third with a leap of 22-3.75. Zach Davis added a fourth-place finish with a top mark of 21-10.25.
Josh Showalter clocked 15:06.99 to capture fourth place in the men's 5K.
Zach Gilroy led the way for the Flames in the javelin, reaching 139-1 for fifth place in the event.
Liberty's athletes will compete in two different meets on Saturday. Day two of the Highlander Invitational in Radford, Va., will begin at 9 a.m., with the men's discus and women's shot put.
Meanwhile, the Flames' day at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pa. will get going at 9 a.m., when Pennsylvania natives Steve Feister and Daniel Klase compete in the college section of the men's javelin.
NBC Sports Network will air live coverage of the Penn Relays from 12:30-3 p.m. During that broadcast window, the Flames will compete in the IC4A 4 x 100 relay final at 1:35.