Abigail Flower will be one of the Lady Flames' seniors honored during Wednesday's Liberty Twilight Qualifier, the Flames' final home meet of the 2015 outdoor track & field season.
Meet Schedule Performance List Live Results Lynchburg Weather Liberty Gameday Twitter (@LUGameday) Liberty will close out the home portion of its 2015 outdoor track & field season on Wednesday, welcoming competitors from 29 different colleges and a number of talented post-collegiate athletes to the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex for the Liberty Twilight Qualifier.
The action-packed one-day meet will begin at 1 p.m. with the women's discus and men's shot put. Running events will commence at 2 p.m. with the men's 100-meter dash prelims. The Flames' senior athletes will be recognized on the track at 5:15 p.m., prior to the start of the men's steeplechase.
How to Follow the Flames and Lady Flames Live results will be available throughout the meet. Meanwhile, periodic updates will be posted to the Liberty Gameday Twitter account (@LUGameday).
Weather Report Wednesday's high temperature is expected to reach the upper 60s under mostly cloudy skies. There is a 20 percent of chance of scattered rain showers Wednesday afternoon and evening in the Lynchburg area.
Saluting the Seniors At 5:15 p.m., Liberty's 19 seniors will be honored on the track during the team's third annual Senior Night celebration. The Flames' 2015 senior class, which has combined to win 13 Big South individual event titles and 54 All-Big South honors, includes Tim Abbott, Alexandru Barker, Cody Bingham, Trevor Hope, Joey Imhoff, Daniel Klase, Tevan McIntire, John Sherret, Ryan Versen, Kyle Wheeler, Jacy Christiansen, Mary Cate Cooper, Olivia Davis, Abigail Flower, Meredith Mistretta, Caroline Parris, Melissa Rohwer, Jennifer Smith and Jocelyn Williams.
Looking Back at Last Year The 2014 Liberty Twilight Qualifier produced a number of impressive performances, including a pair of facility records. Liberty's Zach Davis high jumped a facility-record 7-0.25, while Ryan Grinnell set a new men's triple jump standard at 52-10.25.
Olympic medalist Bershawn "Batman" Jackson thrilled the crowd with his victory in the men's 400 hurdles in 49.63 seconds, while Nike's Barbara Pierre won the women's 100 title in 11.15 seconds.
The men's sprinters fared well, as it took a time of 10.55 to qualify for the 100 dash final and seven men ran 20.89 or faster for the 200. The Flames' ConRoy Smith clocked a personal-best 100 time of 10.45, punching his ticket to the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet.
Gearing Up for Big South A few Liberty athletes are expected to compete at the Jesse Owens Track & Field Classic and Duke Twilight during the next week. However, for most Flames and Lady Flames, Wednesday's meet will be their final tune-up for the 2015 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships, set for May 14-16 in High Point, N.C.
The Flames will square off against some Big South competition at the Liberty Twilight Qualifier, as Campbell has entered many of its top athletes in the meet.
Events to Watch (Organized Chronologically) 1 p.m. – Women's Discus – Liberty's Mychelle Cumings (165-10) and Jennifer Smith (154-7) rank 1-2 on the Big South women's discus list this season. However, they will have plenty of competition on Wednesday. Amber Monroe, who threw 179-9 and qualified for the NCAA national meet for Miami in 2014, is entered. NC State's Nicole Chavis is the defending Liberty Twilight Qualifier women's discus champion and has reached 161-6 this season. The facility (169-5) and Liberty program (167-0) records could both be challenged.
3 p.m. (approximately) – Men's Discus – The Flames' Fred Fulton enters as the defending champion and top seed at 180-2. He has won three discus titles this spring, but could be challenged by NC State's Jule Rich on Wednesday. Rich owns a season-best mark of 172-2. Liberty's David Scouten has also been progressing throughout the season. He won the Campbell Invitational discus title on April 18 with a season-best 167-4 toss.
3:30 p.m. – Men's 200 – Last year's men's 200 dash saw seven men clock times of 20.89 or faster, and fast times are expected once again, based upon the performance list. Nine sprinters have entered with times of 21.00 or faster. Liberty's Stephen Racanelli clocked his outdoor 200 personal best (21.43) at last year's Liberty Twilight Qualifier.
4 p.m. – Women's Triple Jump – Liberty's Janae Jones was one of three triple jumpers to sail past 40 feet at the 2014 Liberty Twilight Qualifier, winning the event with a personal-best 41-0.25 leap. In her final tune-up before defending her Big South women's triple jump title, Jones will face Ayanna Alexander, who boasts a career best of 47-3 and represented Trinidad and Tobago at the 2012 Olympics. Tajanel McNeill of Winston-Salem State is coming off of a 41-8.75 leap at the Penn Relays, while Campbell's Sabina Allen edged Jones at the Campbell Invitational on April 18.
4 p.m. (approximately) – Women's 200 – Lady Flames senior Abigail Flower will run her final individual event at the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex in a Liberty uniform. She set the program 200 dash record of 23.48 at her home facility in 2013 and will be one of the favorites to take home top honors Wednesday afternoon. Flower will go head-to-head with former Campbell standout Anna Scott, who was the only sprinter to defeat her in the 2014 Big South outdoor women's 200 final.
4:45 p.m. (approximately) – Women's Pole Vault – The question here is how high Liberty sophomore Jessie Glynn can fly. Her last five meets have seen Glynn progress from 11-5.75 to 11-11.75 to 12-3.5 to 12-5.5 to 13-1.75. Glynn's 13-1.75 clearance at the Highlander Invitational on Friday made her just the second Lady Flame ever to surpass the 13-foot barrier.
5:30 p.m. (approximately) – Men's Triple Jump – Ryan Grinnell's facility record of 52-10.25 from the 2014 Liberty Twilight Qualifier may be in jeopardy on Wednesday. Nigerian Olu Olamigoke has reached 54-10.75, while former Virginia Tech All-American Hasheem Halim's personal best is 53-6.5. Liberty sophomore Aklesso Agama, the reigning Big South indoor men's triple jump champion, is looking for his first career outdoor 50-foot hop, skip and jump.
6:05 p.m. – Men's 1,500 – The men's 1,500 has often been one of the most compelling events at the Liberty Twilight Qualifier, and this year should be no different. The entry list features a head-to-head clash between Campbell's top distance runners (Morgan Timiney, Lawrence Kipkoech, Amon Terer and Eric Baldwin) and Liberty's distance crew, headlined by Jeremie Bourget, Sam Hibbs, Stalline Kurgat and Titus Koech. Talented Campbell (Chris Schulist) and Liberty (Isaac Wendland) graduates should also be in the hunt amongst a field which will be chasing the facility record of 3:46.09.
7:10 p.m. – Men's 400 Hurdles – Liberty's Ryan Davis is the defending Big South men's 400 hurdles champion and has lowered his personal best to 52.53 seconds this season. He will have plenty of competition on Wednesday, headlined by Roxroy Cato. The 2014 NCAA Division II national champion in this event for St. Augustine's, Cato owns a personal best of 48.48. Former Virginia State star Daniel Ross and Ottawa's Gabriel Tesfaye have both run sub-52.00 times for the event.
7:20 p.m. (approximately) – Women's 400 Hurdles – Jernail Hayes of Brooks is back to defend her 400 hurdles title from 2014, when her winning time of 57.13 scared the facility record of 56.95. Hayes went on to place sixth at the 2014 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Jamaican Yanique Haye-Smith, the runner-up to Hayes a year ago, has clocked 57.32 during her career. Liberty sophomore Mary Witmer will look to improve upon her season best of 1:01.96 and boost her standing in what is one of the Big South's deepest events this year.
Big South's Best Just two weeks before the start of the 2015 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Liberty athletes top the Big South Conference performance list in a number of events.
On the men's side, the Flames' conference leaders include Ken Ritchey (pole vault, 16-0.75), Aklesso Agama (long jump, 24-0.25; triple jump, 49-10.5), Fred Fulton (shot put, 58-8; discus, 180-2), Steve Feister (javelin, 225-11) and Zach Davis (decathlon, 7,049).
Lady Flames currently ranked No. 1 in the Big South include Abigail Flower (100, 11.70; 200, 23.90), Ednah Kurgat (5K, 16:49.00), Dana Mercer (long jump, 18-9.25), Jessie Glynn (pole vault, 13-1.75), Mychelle Cumings (shot put, 50-1.25; discus, 165-10) 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. The top 48 athletes in each event in the East Region will qualify for the meet. The following Flames and Lady Flames currently rank in the top 48 of their respective events, with two and a half weeks remaining to post qualifying marks:
No. 13 – Ednah Kurgat – women's 10K No. 20 – Steve Feister – men's javelin No. 24 – Mychelle Cumings – women's shot put No. 25 – Fred Fulton – men's discus No. 26 – Mychelle Cumings – women's discus No. 28 – Fred Fulton – men's shot put No. 28 – Jessie Glynn – women's pole vault No. 28 – Daniel Klase – men's javelin No. 34 – Aklesso Agama – men's triple jump No. 37 – Aklesso Agama – men's long jump No. 39 – Ken Ritchey – men's pole vault No. 42 - Ryan Davis – men's 400 hurdles No. 45 – Kyle Wheeler – men's high jump
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