Darrel Jones (left) and Stephen Racanelli (right) are this week's Big South Men's Field and Track Athletes of the Week, respectively.
Thanks to standout performances at the Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup, Liberty swept the Big South men's indoor track & field weekly honors on Wednesday. Junior Stephen Racanelli was named Big South Men's Track Athlete of the Week, while sophomore Darrel Jones was honored as Big South Men's Field Athlete of the Week.
Racanelli's first career Big South weekly award was earned on a busy Saturday in University Park, Pa. His day started with a third-place finish in the men's 400 dash, thanks to an indoor personal-best time of 48.04. That effort ranks No. 3 in program history and was the fastest indoor 400 by a Flame since Mike Decker's program-record 46.33 effort at the 2001 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Racanelli later punched his IC4A ticket in the 200 dash with his time of 21.85 which was good for seventh place in the one-lapper. He then anchored the Flames' 4 x 400 relay squad to fourth place in an IC4A-qualifying time of 3:17.21. He was joined by Ryan Davis, Michael Todd and Jeff Jacobs.
Racanelli, the defending Big South men's indoor champion at 200 and 400 meters, currently ranks No. 1 in the conference in the 400 and No. 2 in the 200 this season. The Flames also own the Big South's fastest 4 x 400 clocking of the year.
Jones garnered his second career Big South Athlete of the Week honor after an incredible start to his sophomore season. The New York native won both the men's long jump and triple jump titles last weekend, becoming the first Flame ever to win two events at the same Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup meet.
On Friday, Jones captured the men's long jump title with a leap of 24-3.5, adding 11.5 inches to his previous best. He qualified for the IC4A meet, climbed to No. 4 in program history and moved to the top of the Big South leaderboard for 2016.
The following day, Jones dominated the men's triple jump competition, as his top mark of 49-5.75 outdistanced runner-up Malik Snead of UConn by more than two feet. Jones qualified for the IC4A meet in a second event, matched his indoor personal best triple jump distance and now ranks No. 1 on the Big South men's triple jump list for 2016.
Liberty athletes will compete in three different meets on Friday. Jones and Racanelli will both be part of the Flames' contingent who competes in the Samford Invitational in Birmingham, Ala. Liberty will also play host to the 10th annual Liberty Quad, which will serve as the team's final home meet at the Tolsma Indoor Track Center before the facility closes. Finally, sophomore Ednah Kurgat will run the 5K at the Husky Classic in Seattle, Wash.
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