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Liberty Track Ready for BSC Indoor Championships

February 25, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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The Liberty men's indoor track & field team will shoot for its 19th consecutive Big South championship, Friday and Saturday in Blacksburg, Va.

The Liberty men's indoor track & field team will shoot for its 19th consecutive Big South championship, Friday and Saturday in Blacksburg, Va.

Live Results

Men's Schedule

Women's Schedule

Friday Performance List

Saturday Performance List

Rector Field House

Liberty figures to be in the running for a pair of team titles at the 2016 Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships, Friday and Saturday in Blacksburg, Va. The Liberty men's squad will be seeking its 19th straight team title, while the Lady Flames hope to upend three-time defending women's champion Coastal Carolina, in the Chanticleers' final indoor championship as a Big South member.

For the 11th time in conference history, the two-day competition will be held at Virginia Tech's Rector Field House, which features a 200-meter banked track. The meet will get started Friday at 10 a.m., with the heptathlon 60-meter dash. Saturday's slate of events will also begin at 10 a.m., with the heptathlon 60-meter hurdles.

How to Follow the Action
Live event-by-event results will be available throughout the meet.

Additionally, periodic meet updates will be posted to the Liberty Gameday Twitter account (@LUGameday) and the Liberty Track & Field Twitter account (@Liberty_TF) throughout both days of competition.

Men's Meet Preview
The Liberty men's track & field team has been dominant ever since the inaugural Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships were held at Rector Field House in 1998. The Flames have captured 18 straight team titles, marking the longest string of conference championships in any sport in Big South Conference history. It is also the longest active championship streak in NCAA Division I men's indoor track & field.

Liberty's smallest margin of victory during the streak came the last time the meet was contested in Blacksburg (2014), when the Flames held off Campbell by 24.5 points (161.5 to 137). Last season, Liberty recorded an 89-point (235-146) victory over runner-up Campbell. The Camels and High Point figure to be Liberty's top competitors this weekend.

This year's meet will see each team limited to 28 participants, which will cause some difficult roster decisions for Head Coach Brant Tolsma and his staff. The Liberty men's squad took 40 athletes to Winston-Salem for the 2015 Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships, with 33 of them contributing points to the Flames' team victory.

Liberty returns a pair of double event champions from last year's conference meet, including juniors Aklesso Agama (long jump and triple jump) and Stephen Racanelli (200 and 400). David Scouten is the defending champion in the men's weight throw, while fellow redshirt senior thrower Fred Fulton captured the men's shot put crown in 2014 before redshirting the 2015 indoor season.

A number of Flames top the Big South performance list in their respective events entering this weekend's meet. The list includes Racanelli (200 and 400), Azaria Kirwa (5K), Jovaine Atkinson (60 hurdles), Darrel Jones (long jump and triple jump), Fulton (shot put) and Zach Davis (heptathlon).

Men's 60-Meter Dash
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 4:15 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 2 p.m.
Defending Champion: Tashinga Chitambira (Campbell) – 6.92
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Chitambira
2016 Leader: James House (High Point) – 6.82
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 4 (Guifaly Christolin – 2002)
Liberty Entrant: Greg Edwards
Outlook: Campbell's Tashinga Chitambira is the defending conference champion in the men's 60 dash but is only tied for fifth on the 2016 Big South performance list at 6.95. High Point sophomore James House has clocked the conference's fastest 60 time this season, 6.82, after finishing as the Big South 60 dash runner-up and outdoor 100 dash champion as a freshman in 2015. He is trailed by a pair of freshmen in Sean Banda (High Point) and Khai McLin (Campbell), each of whom have posted times of 6.88. Freshman Greg Edwards, with a season best of 7.08, will be Liberty's lone representative. The Flames have scored points in this event at all 18 previous Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships. However, Liberty has not had an All-Big South performer in the 60 since 2010 (Jacey Bailey – 2nd place) and has not won this event since 2002 (Guifaly Christolin).

Men's 200-Meter Dash
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 5:45 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 3:10 p.m.
Defending Champion: Stephen Racanelli (Liberty) – 21.93
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Racanelli
2016 Leader: Racanelli – 21.84 and James House (High Point) – 21.84 (Converted)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 6 (Stephen Racanelli - 2015)
Liberty Entrants: Stephen Racanelli, Greg Edwards
Outlook: Last season, Liberty's Stephen Racanelli became the Flames' first indoor men's 200-meter champion since 2003. This season, Racanelli will look to become Liberty's first repeat champion in the one-lap event since Liberty Athletics Hall of Famer Mike Decker won three titles in a row between 1999 and 2001. Boasting a season best of 21.84 seconds, Racanelli shares the top seed with High Point's James House, who placed second a year ago as a freshman. Fabian Jarrett of Campbell won this event at the 2014 Big South outdoor meet and is also in the field.

Men's 400-Meter Dash
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 4:45 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: Stephen Racanelli (Liberty) – 49.13
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Racanelli
2016 Leader: Racanelli – 48.04
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 8 (Stephen Racanelli – 2015)
Liberty Entrants: Stephen Racanelli, Jeff Jacobs, Ryan Davis, Andrew Garrett
Outlook: Liberty swept the top three places in the men's 400 last season, and the defending champion (Stephen Racanelli) and runner-up (Ryan Davis) from that race are back. Racanelli, this year's top seed at 48.04, was also the 2015 Big South outdoor 400-meter champion, while Davis went on to win the 2015 Big South outdoor 400 hurdles title. Liberty sophomore Jeff Jacobs (49.96 season best) is the only Big South runner other than Racanelli who has cracked the 50-second barrier this season.

Men's 800-Meter Run
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 5:15 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 2:25 p.m.
Defending Champion: Morgan Timiney (Campbell) – 1:55.46
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Paul O'Donoghue (High Point) – 2nd place
2016 Leader: O'Donoghue – 1:52.64
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 4 (Travis Campbell - 2007)
Liberty Entrants: Michael Todd, Colin Schultz, Andrew Crowell, Bradley Prentice
Outlook: High Point's Paul O'Donoghue enters as the pre-meet favorite after clocking a time of 1:52.64 at the Virginia Tech Challenge on Feb. 19. He placed third at this meet in 2014 and second a year ago before winning the 2015 Big South outdoor 800 title. Liberty boasts six of the Big South's top men's 800 runners this season and figures to challenge O'Donoghue with the quartet of freshman Michael Todd (No. 2 seed, 1:52.92), redshirt sophomore Colin Schultz (No. 3 seed, 1:53.84), sophomore Andrew Crowell (No. 4 seed, 1:54.36) and freshman Bradley Prentice (No. 5 seed, 1:54.86). Crowell placed fifth a year ago, but the Flames are still seeking their first Big South title in this event since Travis Campbell took top honors in 2007.

Men's Mile
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: Morgan Timiney (Campbell) – 4:14.89
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Paul O'Donoghue (High Point) – 5th place
2016 Leader: Vinny Todaro (High Point) – 4:10.31
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 8 (Sam Chelanga - 2011)
Liberty Entrants: Cameron Francis, Luke Jelen
Outlook: High Point will hope for big points in the mile, as the Panthers feature three of the top four seeds in the event plus Paul O'Donoghue, the top returnee from the 2015 Big South mile final (fifth place). The Panthers' Vinny Todaro, who tops the Big South performance list at 4:10.31, is the defending Big South outdoor 1,500 champion. Liberty's Cameron Francis ranks No. 2 in the conference at 4:15.60 after finishing sixth last year as a freshman. Teammate Luke Jelen is the No. 5 seed, thanks to his 4:21.89 clocking at the Tolsma Indoor Track Center on Feb. 12.

Men's 3,000-Meter Run
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 3:25 p.m.
Defending Champion: Amon Terer (Campbell) – 8:32.92
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Terer
2016 Leader: Terer – 8:30.14 (Converted)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 12 (Caleb Edmonds - 2013)
Liberty Entrants: Cameron Francis, Jeremie Bourget, Azaria Kirwa
Outlook: The men's 3K, which will be the first running event final of the meet, could feature a battle between defending champion Amon Terer of Campbell and Vinny Todaro of High Point up front. Terer edged Todaro by 14 hundredths of a second in this event at the High Point Panthers Team Challenge on Feb. 11. Liberty, which has won this event 12 times in the 18-year history of the meet, will counter with three of the top 11 finishers from the 2015 Big South Cross Country Championships. These include senior Jeremie Bourget (third place), freshman Azaria Kirwa (fifth) and sophomore Cameron Francis (11th). Francis has posted the Flames' fastest 3K time of 2016 at 8:30.37.

Men's 5,000-Meter Run
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 3:40 p.m.
Defending Champion: Amon Terer (Campbell) – 14:33.70 (Second in a row)
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Terer
2016 Leader: Azaria Kirwa (Liberty) – 14:55.21
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 10 (Josh MacDonald - 2013)
Liberty Entrants: Azaria Kirwa, James Zentmeyer, Josh Showalter, Jeremie Bourget
Outlook: Campbell's Amon Terer has yet to run a 5K this season, but figures to contend for his third Big South championship in a row. Only Liberty's Jordan McDougal (2006-08) has won three consecutive men's 5K titles at this meet. The Flames will enter the runners with the three fastest times in the Big South this season, including Azaria Kirwa (14:55.21), James Zentmeyer (15:01.72) and Josh Showalter (15:02.23). Liberty senior Jeremie Bourget will be running the 5K for the first time in 2016 but is a two-time All-Big South 5K performer during his career. No High Point Panthers have contested a 5K this season, but they figure to have at least a couple runners in the mix as well.

Men's 60-Meter Hurdles
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 2:55 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 1 p.m.
Defending Champion: Dennis Crawford (High Point) – 8.35
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Crawford
2016 Leader: Jovaine Atkinson (Liberty) – 8.25
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 6 (Matt Parker - 2009)
Liberty Entrants: Ryan Davis, Blake Kohring, Caleb Rider
Outlook: Liberty freshman Jovaine Atkinson owns the Big South's top 60 hurdles time this season, 8.25, but will miss the Big South Championship due to injury. In his absence, last year's top three finishers could claim the trio of podium spots once again. High Point's Dennis Crawford (8.36 season best) captured the 2015 title, followed by Liberty's Ryan Davis (8.34) and Gardner-Webb's Josh Wembolua (8.42). Davis' All-Big South honor last season was the first by a Flame in the 60 hurdles since 2009. Teammate Blake Kohring looks for a strong finish after placing sixth in the 60 hurdles and fifth in the outdoor 110 hurdles in 2015. He is coming off of a season-best 8.56 time at the Liberty Quad.

Men's 4 x 400 Relay
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 4:25 p.m.
Defending Champion: Liberty – 3:23.25
2016 Leader: Liberty – 3:17.21
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 10 (2015)
Outlook: Liberty is the defending Big South 4 x 400 relay champion and has claimed three of the past four titles in this event. The Flames, who have recorded the Big South's best time of the season, 3:17.21, are favored once again due to their myriad of relay lineup options. Campbell, Gardner-Webb and High Point figure to present the strongest challenges to the Flames on Saturday.

Men's Distance Medley Relay
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 6:20 p.m.
Defending Champion: Campbell – 10:16.47
2016 Leader: High Point – 10:01.35
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (2010)
Outlook: High Point has notched the Big South's fastest distance medley relay time this season, with an impressive 10:01.35 clocking, while Campbell is the defending champion. Liberty is seeking its first Big South distance medley relay title since 2010, when Sam Chelanga anchored the team to victory with a 4:07.3 split for 1,600 meters.

Men's Long Jump
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 2:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: Aklesso Agama (Liberty) – 23-6.75 (7.18m)
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Agama
2016 Leader: Darrel Jones (Liberty) – 24-3.5 (7.40m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (Aklesso Agama - 2015)
Liberty Entrants: Darrel Jones, Zach Davis, Aklesso Agama, Jonny Saintil
Outlook: Liberty has big point potential in the men's long jump, as the Flames' entrants include both the defending champion (Aklesso Agama) and the No. 1 seed (Darrel Jones, 24-3.5). Liberty's Zach Davis, who boasts a personal best of 23-10.25, could also be a factor in his first event of the meet. Campbell's Lorne Jenkins (23-5.25 season best) could also contend, after placing second indoors and fourth outdoors in 2015. Agama will aim to join Kevin Octave (2002 and 2003) as the only Flames to capture back-to-back Big South indoor men's long jump championships.

Men's Triple Jump
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 11:50 a.m.
Defending Champion: Aklesso Agama (Liberty) – 50-2 (15.29m)
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Agama
2016 Leader: Darrel Jones (Liberty) – 49-5.75 (15.08m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 8 (Aklesso Agama - 2015)
Liberty Entrants: Darrel Jones, Aklesso Agama, Jonny Saintil
Outlook: Liberty junior Aklesso Agama swept the Big South indoor and outdoor triple jump titles last season, but it is teammate Darrel Jones (49-5.75) who ranks No. 1 in the Big South thus far in 2016. Flames redshirt freshman Jonny Saintil has made it a trio of Liberty triple jumpers who will compete at the IC4A meet with his 48-2.75 leap at the Liberty Quad. The Liberty contingent will be challenged by last year's indoor runner-up (Campbell's Lorne Jenkins) and outdoor runner-up (High Point's Will Narramore).

Men's High Jump
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 5:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: Davian Rhodes (Campbell) – 6-9 (2.06m)
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Rhodes
2016 Leader: Rhodes – 6-11.5 (2.12m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 11 (Kyle Wheeler - 2014)
Liberty Entrants: Zach Davis, Zach Gilroy
Outlook: Davian Rhodes of Campbell will look to defend his title and is coming off of a career-best 6-11.5 high jump clearance at the Meyo Invitational. He is likely to be challenged by Liberty junior Zach Davis, whose top effort this season is 6-10.75. Davis, who came in third indoors and fourth outdoors last season, high jumped 6-11 during the Big South heptathlon competition in Blacksburg two years ago. This season, Davis is not entered in the heptathlon and will be focusing on individual events. Liberty's other high jumper, Zach Gilroy, will be competing in his sixth event of the day Friday afternoon. His personal-best clearance of 6-5 was achieved during the 2014 Big South heptathlon, like Davis.

Men's Pole Vault
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at Noon
Defending Champion: Austin Miller (High Point) – 16-6.75 (5.05m)
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Miller
2016 Leader: Miller – 17-1.5 (5.22m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 11 (Cody Bingham - 2013)
Liberty Entrants: Ken Ritchey, Carson Waters, Alex Geniesse, Zach Gilroy
Outlook: The first field event of the meet, the men's pole vault could be one of the weekend's most competitive battles. The entry list features the last three Big South pole vault champions, in High Point's Austin Miller (2014 outdoor and 2015 indoor) and Liberty's Ken Ritchey (2015 outdoor). Miller, who set a meet record of 16-6.75 in 2015, is coming off of a career-best 17-1.5 clearance last weekend. Ritchey also achieved a new personal best in his last meet, vaulting 16-8.75 at the Liberty Quad on Feb. 12. The Flames' Carson Waters (16-2.75 season best), Alex Geniesse (15-3) and Zach Gilroy (15-3) are the only other Big South pole vaulters who have cleared 15 feet this season. Waters came in fourth indoors and third outdoors as a freshman in 2015. Only eight men are entered in the pole vault, seven of whom hail from either Liberty or High Point.

Men's Shot Put
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
Defending Champion: Jordan Smith (Gardner-Webb) – 52-4.5 (15.96m)
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Smith
2016 Leader: Fred Fulton (Liberty) – 53-9 (16.38m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 8 (Fred Fulton - 2014)
Liberty Entrants: Fred Fulton, David Scouten, Zach Davis
Outlook: Gardner-Webb's Jordan Smith is back after snapping Liberty's streak of eight consecutive Big South shot put titles last season. Redshirt seniors Fred Fulton and David Scouten will attempt to return the Flames to the top step of the awards podium on Saturday. Fulton was the 2014 Big South indoor champion before redshirting the 2015 indoor campaign. He also captured the 2015 Big South outdoor title and is the top seed this season at 53-9. Scouten, the No. 4 seed at 51-3.75, has recorded five top-three finishes in his first six Big South shot put competitions but is seeking his first Big South shot put crown. With a season best of 53-5.5, Gardner-Webb freshman Marcus Abraham could contend as well.

Men's Weight Throw
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 2:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: David Scouten (Liberty) – 61-10.25 (18.85m)
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Scouten
2016 Leader: Jordan Smith (Gardner-Webb) – 60-3.75 (18.38m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 4 (David Scouten - 2015)
Liberty Entrants: Fred Fulton, David Scouten
Outlook: Liberty's David Scouten will look to become the first Flame ever to win back-to-back Big South men's weight throw championships Friday afternoon. However, he is seeded third entering the meet, trailing Gardner-Webb's Jordan Smith (60-3.75) and Liberty's Fred Fulton (60-1.25). Fulton was the Big South runner-up in this event in Blacksburg in 2014. Liberty and Gardner-Webb have combined to win the last five Big South men's weight throw titles.

Men's Heptathlon
Event Schedule: Day One – Begins Friday at 10 a.m.; Day Two – Begins Saturday at 10 a.m.
Defending Champion: Tristan Faure (High Point) – 5,017
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Zach Gilroy (Liberty) – 3rd place
2016 Leader: Zach Davis (Liberty) – 5,185 (Converted)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 6 (Geren Woodbridge - 2011)
Liberty Entrants: Zach Gilroy, Lewis Williams, Caleb Rider
Outlook: Liberty's Zach Davis (5,161 points) owns the Big South's best heptathlon score of the season by more than 500 points but will focus on individual events this weekend. That leaves teammates Zach Gilroy (4,650) and Lewis Williams (4,589) as the top contenders to claim the Flames' first Big South heptathlon crown since 2011. Gilroy placed third in this event in both 2014 and 2015, while Williams has made significant strides this season after his best 2015 score was 4,095 points. Liberty freshman Caleb Rider is also slated to make his heptathlon debut this weekend. He posted a 55 hurdles time of 7.98 and a 15-2.25 pole vault clearance at Western Albemarle High School. UNC Asheville's Hunter Koike (4,481) and Winthrop's Cullen Barringer (4,176) are the only other two Big South athletes who have completed a heptathlon thus far in 2016, and just seven men are entered in the event this weekend.

Women's Meet Preview
Every time the Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships have been contested, either Liberty (10 titles) or Coastal Carolina (eight titles) has claimed the women's championship trophy. That string is anticipated to continue this year, with the Chanticleers and Lady Flames projected to duke it out for first place once again in Coastal Carolina's final indoor championship as a Big South member.

Last season, Coastal Carolina earned a 56.5-point triumph (196.5 to 140) over Liberty, during the two-day meet in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Chanticleers have now won three consecutive indoor conference titles since the Lady Flames' most recent championship, in 2012 in Blacksburg.

As with the men's competition, each Big South women's squad will be limited to 28 entrants in Blacksburg. Last season, the Lady Flames' Big South indoor roster totaled 40 athletes, including 25 point scorers.

Ednah Kurgat is the Lady Flames' only returning individual champion from the 2015 Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships, having captured the women's 3K title as a freshman. Mychelle Cumings was redshirted last season, following three consecutive Big South women's shot put crowns (2012-14). Oasis Hernandez was the Big South women's 60 dash champion as a freshman in 2014, but is not expected to compete this weekend due to injury.

Kurgat, who set a Liberty and Big South women's 5K record of 15:47.89 on Feb. 12, headlines the Lady Flames' conference leaders entering this weekend's meet. Erin Edmond (200 and 400), Delaney McDowell (800), Erin Zappia (high jump), Mariel Finger (pole vault), Dana Mercer (long jump), Cumings (shot put) and Erika Jackson (pentathlon) also rank No. 1 in the Big South in their respective events.

Women's 60-Meter Dash
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 4:30 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 2:10 p.m.
Defending Champion: Abigail Flower (Liberty) – 7.49
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Lilla Juhasz (Campbell) – 2nd place
2016 Leader: Jasmine Pilgrim (Charleston Southern) – 7.63
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 2 (Abigail Flower - 2015)
Liberty Entrants: Dana Mercer, Kate Flower
Outlook: Liberty has won back-to-back Big South women's 60 dash titles, but 2014 champion Oasis Hernandez is currently injured and 2015 titlist Abigail Flower has since graduated. Lady Flame Dana Mercer is seeded fourth at 7.78, trailing the Charleston Southern duo of Jasmine Pilgrim (7.63) and Aluntrea Davis (7.66) and Coastal Carolina freshman Karissa Lunn (7.75). Pilgrim and Davis will look to give CSU its first Big South women's 60 title since 2005. Campbell's Lilla Juhasz, best known for her hurdling exploits, placed second to Flower last season but ranks just 10th in the Big South this year at 7.82.

Women's 200-Meter Dash
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 6 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 3:25 p.m.
Defending Champion: Abigail Flower (Liberty) – 24.60
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Latesha Simpson (Coastal Carolina) – 2nd place
2016 Leader: Erin Edmond (Liberty) – 24.78 (Converted)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 2 (Abigail Flower - 2015)
Liberty Entrants: Erin Edmond, Nicole Leonzo, Kate Flower, Dana Mercer
Outlook: Liberty's Abigail Flower swept the Big South indoor and outdoor 200 titles in 2015. After her graduation, Erin Edmond will aim to keep the Lady Flames atop the Big South podium. She enters this weekend's meet as the No. 1 seed, thanks to her impressive 25.16 flat track clocking at the Liberty Kickoff. Coastal Carolina's Latesha Simpson was the Big South indoor and outdoor 200 dash runner-up last year, while Charleston Southern's Jasmine Pilgrim and Aluntrea Davis have each posted times of 24.95 this season. Liberty's Kate Flower could also be in the mix, after placing fifth at the 2015 Big South indoor and outdoor meets.

Women's 400-Meter Dash
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 5 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 1:45 p.m.
Defending Champion: Jessica Gelibert (Coastal Carolina) – 55.52
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Alesha Love (Winthrop) – 6th place
2016 Leader: Erin Edmond (Liberty) – 55.52
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 3 (Jaime Watson - 2010)
Liberty Entrants: Erin Edmond, Corinn Bedell, Nicole Leonzo, Olivia Behymer
Outlook: The 400 dash will have a much different look this season, as Winthrop's Alesha Love (sixth place) is the only finalist from 2015 expected to contest the event this weekend. Coastal Carolina sprinters have captured three straight Big South indoor 400 titles, but no Chanticleers are entered in the event this season. The Chanticleers have outscored Liberty in this event by a combined score of 68-15 over the past three years, but the Lady Flames could turn the tables this time around. Even with last year's third-place finisher Ansley Gebben stepping up to the 800 in 2016, the Lady Flames boast three of the top four seeds in Erin Edmond (No. 1, 55.52), Corinn Bedell (No. 2, 56.35) and Nicole Leonzo (No. 4, 56.65). Love (No. 3, 56.37) is the only other Big South runner who has dipped under 57 seconds this season. Liberty is seeking its first Big South indoor 400 title since Jaime Watson took top honors in 2010.

Women's 800-Meter Run
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 5:30 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 2:45 p.m.
Defending Champion: Teresa Williamson (Radford) – 2:14.66
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Aynslee Van Graan (Coastal Carolina) – 3rd place
2016 Leader: Delaney McDowell (Liberty) – 2:12.47
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 9 (Meghan Burggraf - 2014)
Liberty Entrants: Delaney McDowell, Ansley Gebben, Alexis Taylor, Jasmin Sutton
Outlook: Liberty was shut out of the 2015 Big South indoor 800 final, but that should not be the case this time around. Freshman Delaney McDowell (2:12.47) and new 800 runner Ansley Gebben (2:12.60) rank 1-2 on the Big South performance list this season, more than two seconds ahead of their nearest competitor. Coastal Carolina will counter with the duo of Aynslee Van Graan and Imani Boatwright. Last season, Van Graan placed third and Boatwright was fourth at the Big South indoor meet, while it was Boatwright finishing second and Van Graan third outdoors. Campbell freshman Roshae Jackson could be a dark horse contender, after clocking a flat track time of 2:16.59 two weeks ago at the High Point Panthers Team Challenge. Alexis Taylor (No. 6 seed, 2:16.13) and Jasmin Sutton (No. 9, 2:18.28) give Liberty good depth in this event. Sutton came in sixth in the 2015 Big South outdoor 800 final.

Women's Mile
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 12:45 p.m.
Defending Champion: Aynslee Van Graan (Coastal Carolina) – 4:52.58
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Van Graan
2016 Leader: Van Graan – 4:51.95
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (Jennifer Klugh – 2012)
Liberty Entrants: Hannah Scherlacher, Torree Scull, Kat Bouton, Ednah Kurgat
Outlook: Saturday's first women's running event figures to be a good battle between Liberty and Coastal Carolina, as five of the top seven names on the Big South performance list are either Lady Flames or Chanticleers. Additionally, Ednah Kurgat will make her season debut in the mile after placing third in 4:55.67 at last year's Big South meet. Lady Flame Hannah Scherlacher has enjoyed a breakthrough season and is seeded fifth at 5:03.36, followed closely by freshman teammate Torree Scull at seventh (5:06.67). Defending champion Aynslee Van Graan headlines the Coastal Carolina contingent, having run a conference-best time of 4:51.95 this season. She is joined by sister Kyla Van Graan (No. 2 seed, 4:57.24) and Lisha Van Onselen (No. 6, 5:06.57). Campbell's Joan Maritim will look to break up the party, as the 2015 Big South outdoor 1,500 runner-up is seeded third at 5:02.91. With the event broken up into two heats, Kurgat is entered in the slow section due to her lack of a seed time.

Women's 3,000-Meter Run
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 3:50 p.m.
Defending Champion: Ednah Kurgat (Liberty) – 9:52.57
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Kurgat
2016 Leader: Kyla Van Graan (Coastal Carolina) – 9:39.37
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 6 (Ednah Kurgat – 2015)
Liberty Entrants: Kat Bouton, Ednah Kurgat
Outlook: Liberty's Ednah Kurgat has only run one race all season, but could run three times in two days this weekend, starting with an attempt to defend her 3K title Friday afternoon. The sophomore will try to become the Lady Flames' seventh Big South women's 3K champion in the last eight years but figures to be challenged by Coastal Carolina's Kyla Van Graan. Last year's fourth-place finisher has clocked a Big South-leading 9:39.37 effort this year for the Chanticleers. Campbell's Joan Maritim (9:52.66 seed time) is the only other Big South runner who has broken 10 minutes in 2016. As in the mile, Kurgat will race in the slowest of the two sections because she lacks a seed time this season.

Women's 5,000-Meter Run
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 4 p.m.
Defending Champion: Letitia Saayman (Coastal Carolina) – 16:52.74 (Second in a row)
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Julia Zautcke (High Point) – 5th place
2016 Leader: Ednah Kurgat (Liberty) – 15:47.89
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 6 (Khristina Kanagy - 2012)
Liberty Entrants: Ednah Kurgat, Aryn Embretson, Terrill Zentmeyer, Kat Bouton
Outlook: When Liberty has won the Big South team title in recent years, it has usually sealed its victory with key points in the 5K. This year, the Lady Flames boast the overwhelming favorite in Ednah Kurgat, who shattered her own Big South record with a 15:47.89 effort at the Feb. 12 Husky Classic. No other conference runner has even broken the 18-minute barrier this season, although Coastal Carolina's Kyla Van Graan owns a personal best of 16:53.40. High Point's Julia Zautcke is the top returnee from the 2015 final (fifth place) and is seeded second at 18:04.19. Behind her, Lady Flames Aryn Embretson (18:12.93) and Terrill Zentmeyer (18:21.58) are seeded third and fourth, respectively, thanks to their personal-best efforts at the Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup.

Women's 60-Meter Hurdles
Event Schedule: Prelims – Friday at 3:10 p.m.; Final – Saturday at 1:15 p.m.
Defending Champion: Jessica Gelibert (Coastal Carolina) – 8.47
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Lilla Juhasz (Campbell) – 4th place
2016 Leader: Juhasz – 8.35
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (Arlene Zelinskas - 2007)
Liberty Entrants: Audrey Bamford, Kylie Polsgrove, Erika Jackson
Outlook: Coastal Carolina has dominated Liberty in the 60 hurdles in recent years, outscoring the Lady Flames, 56-4, during its three-year run of conference titles. The Chanticleers went 1-2-3 in the event a year ago, while the Lady Flames have not had an athlete reach the final since 2013. However, all three of Coastal Carolina's podium finishers from 2015 are gone, leaving Chanticleer freshman Anacia Hines (No. 5 seed, 8.96) as its best chance at points. Liberty pentathletes Audrey Bamford (No. 7 seed, 9.07), Kylie Polsgrove (No. 8 seed, 9.08) and Erika Jackson (No. 9 seed, 9.11) will try to squeeze out some points during their busy competition schedule. Up front, Campbell junior Lilla Juhasz is a strong favorite for first place, with a season-best time of 8.35 which is far ahead of her closest competitor, teammate Tatiana Wolfe (8.67). Juhasz placed fourth in the 2015 Big South indoor 60 hurdles final before winning the 100 hurdles title outdoors.

Women's 4 x 400 Relay
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 4:40 p.m.
Defending Champion: Coastal Carolina – 3:46.01 (Third in a row)
2016 Leader: Liberty – 3:48.46
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (2008)
Outlook: Coastal Carolina has won three straight Big South indoor 4 x 400 relay titles and five of the last six. However, Liberty owns the conference's fastest time of 2016 (3:48.46) and has a shot at its first 4 x 400 crown since 2008 as well as the school record of 3:46.28. Campbell and Charleston Southern could contend as well.

Women's Distance Medley Relay
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 6:35 p.m.
Defending Champion: Radford – 11:57.86
2016 Leader: Campbell – 12:10.29 (Converted)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 6 (2014)
Outlook: Campbell is seeded No. 1 in the distance medley relay, but it is always a difficult event to forecast. Liberty, Coastal Carolina, High Point and UNC Asheville all could be in the hunt for first place, depending on which athletes are entered. Hannah Scherlacher has competed on Liberty's distance medley relay quartet each of the past two seasons, including the Lady Flames' Big South champion team in 2014. Her emergence in the mile this season could assist Liberty's chances.

Women's Long Jump
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 3:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: Amirah Al-Bayinnah (Coastal Carolina) – 18-7.75 (5.68m)
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Al-Bayinnah
2016 Leader: Dana Mercer (Liberty) – 18-11.25 (5.77m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 4 (Alyssa Pegues - 2011)
Liberty Entrants: Dana Mercer, Erika Jackson, Audrey Bamford
Outlook: The women's long jump field features two past conference champions, including Coastal Carolina's Amirah Al-Bayinnah (2015 indoor) and Latesha Simpson (2014 outdoor, 2015 outdoor). However, it is Liberty's Dana Mercer who tops the Big South performance list by six inches at 18-11.25. Campbell boasts two of the conference's 18-foot jumpers this season in Sabina Allen (No. 2 seed, 18-5.25) and Shenelle McKay (No. 4 seed, 18-1.75). Only 4.25 inches separate McKay from No. 9 seed Carmen Rollizo of Winthrop, making this a difficult event to call. Liberty's Erika Jackson has reached a personal-best 17-10.25 this season, but the long jump will be her seventh event of the day on Friday.

Women's Triple Jump
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 1:15 p.m.
Defending Champion: Amirah Al-Bayinnah (Coastal Carolina) – 40-6.25 (12.35m) (Second in a row)
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Al-Bayinnah
2016 Leader: Al-Bayinnah – 41-10 (12.75m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 3 (Mia Aghaji - 2011)
Liberty Entrants: None
Outlook: With Liberty's Janae Jones redshirting the season and teammate Oasis Hernandez sidelined due to injury, the Lady Flames will not enter anyone in the triple jump on Saturday. Coastal Carolina's Amirah Al-Bayinnah, with a season best of 41-10, is favored to capture her third straight Big South indoor triple jump championship. If she falters, Campbell sophomore Sabina Allen is in the best position to capitalize. She has reached 41-0.5 this season, after placing third at the 2015 Big South indoor meet and second at the 2015 Big South outdoor championship as a freshman.

Women's High Jump
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 11 a.m.
Defending Champion: Latesha Simpson (Coastal Carolina) – 5-6 (1.68m)
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Simpson
2016 Leader: Erin Zappia (Liberty) and Kayin Mujahid (Gardner-Webb) – 5-7 (1.70m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 9 (Kristen Willeford - 2013)
Liberty Entrants: Erin Zappia, Erika Jackson, Kylie Polsgrove, Audrey Bamford
Outlook: Coastal Carolina's Latesha Simpson is a three-time Big South women's high jump champion during her career, including the 2013 outdoor title and the 2015 indoor and outdoor crowns. Kayin Mujahid of Gardner-Webb captured the 2014 outdoor high jump crown before placing second to Simpson both indoors and outdoors a year ago. Mujahid and Liberty's Erin Zappia are tied for the Big South's top clearance of 2016, at 5-7. Lady Flames Kylie Polsgrove and Erika Jackson are also among the eight conference athletes who have made it over 5-5 or higher this season, but both will be coming off of Friday's pentathlon competition.

Women's Pole Vault
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 4 p.m.
Defending Champion: Jill Marois (High Point) – 11-9.75 (3.60m)
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Marois
2016 Leader: Mariel Finger (Liberty) – 12-9.5 (3.90m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (Shelley Parker - 2011)
Liberty Entrants: Mariel Finger, Audrey Rabe, Rachael Fasana
Outlook: High Point's Jill Marois won her second Big South women's pole vault title (also 2014 outdoor) a year ago at 11-9.75, but the bar is likely to climb much higher than that on Friday. Marois (12-7.5) is one of four Big South vaulters who have cleared 12 feet this season, along with Liberty's Mariel Finger (12-9.5), High Point's Alyssa Palenchar (12-6.25) and Coastal Carolina's Emma Kroger (12-5.5). Finger, who has enjoyed a breakthrough sophomore season after tying for seventh indoors and sharing eighth place outdoors a year ago, could become Liberty's first champion in this event since Shelley Parker in 2011. Gardner-Webb's Elise Moffatt, the 2015 Big South outdoor champion, is also entered.

Women's Shot Put
Event Schedule: Final – Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: Joshlyn Noga (Charleston Southern) – 46-7.25 (14.20m)
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Shania Williams (Radford) – 3rd place
2016 Leader: Mychelle Cumings (Liberty) – 51-5.75 (15.69m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 3 (Mychelle Cumings - 2014)
Liberty Entrants: Mychelle Cumings, Dasiana Larson, Holly Arey, Jessica Harrison
Outlook: Back from a redshirt season, Liberty redshirt senior Mychelle Cumings will attempt to win her fourth Big South indoor shot put title, after capturing three in a row between 2012 and 2014. Cumings has won all six Big South shot put competitions she has entered in her career, also including three outdoor titles. Her season-best mark of 51-5.75 is more than six feet superior to that of No. 2 seed Shania Williams from Radford (44-9.5). Cumings is aiming to become the first-ever four-time Big South women's indoor shot put champion and the second Lady Flame to win four titles in any event at this meet (also Kena Butts in the high jump, 2003-06). Williams finished third indoors and was the outdoor Big South runner-up as a freshman in 2015. Sophomores Dasiana Larson (No. 4 seed, 44-4.75) and Holly Arey (No. 6 seed, 41-4.25) will attempt to earn additional points for the Lady Flames in an event where Coastal Carolina has no one ranked inside the top 20. Last season, Larson came in fifth and Arey was eighth at this meet.

Women's Weight Throw
Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 4:45 p.m.
Defending Champion: Marthaline Cooper (Winthrop) – 62-8 (19.10m)
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Cooper
2016 Leader: Cooper – 71-11.5 (21.93m)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 1 (Jocelyn Williams - 2014)
Liberty Entrants: Dasiana Larson, Holly Arey
Outlook: Defending champion Marthaline Cooper of Winthrop will be nearly impossible to beat on Friday. In her last meet, the Virginia Tech Challenge, Cooper threw the weight a personal-best 71-11.5, claiming the No. 1 spot in the nation for 2016. She will chase the conference (72-11.75) and meet (72-0.75) records of Coastal Carolina great Amber Campbell as Cooper aims to become the first back-to-back champion in this event since Radford's Aimee Veatch in 2009 and 2010. Veatch's younger sister Ashlen Veatch (Radford) is one of five Big South women who have thrown between 55 and 58 feet this season, at 57-7. The list also includes Gardner-Webb's Sarah Mitchell (56-8.75), Winthrop's Cynthia Gordon (56-0.5), Liberty's Dasiana Larson (55-2.75) and High Point's Jamie Schnuck (55-0). Coastal Carolina's top weight thrower, freshman Samantha Layko, is seeded No. 15 at 49-8.25.

Women's Pentathlon
Event Schedule: Begins Friday at 10:30 a.m.
Defending Champion: Riley Brandon (Liberty) – 3,636 (Second in a row)
Top Returnee from 2015 Meet: Erika Jackson (Liberty) – 2nd place
2016 Leader: Jackson – 3,595 (Converted)
Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (Riley Brandon - 2015)
Liberty Entrants: Erika Jackson, Kylie Polsgrove, Audrey Bamford, Jessica Harrison
Outlook: Liberty has won seven of the 10 Big South pentathlon competitions all-time, including Riley Brandon's titles the last two seasons. With Brandon out of indoor eligibility, Lady Flame Erika Jackson appears poised to extend Liberty's championship tradition in this event. Jackson placed second to Brandon in both 2014 and 2015 before winning the 2015 Big South heptathlon crown outdoors. Jackson is the Big South's top seed at 3,595 points, more than 300 points ahead of freshman teammate Kylie Polsgrove (3,271). Lady Flames Audrey Bamford (3,241) and Jessica Harrison (3,131) are seeded third and fifth, respectively, making this a potentially huge event for Liberty. Bamford is a three-time All-Big South finisher in the multi events during her career, while Harrison came in fifth a year ago. Gardner-Webb senior Meredith Byl racked up a personal-best score of 3,146 at the Liberty Quad two weeks ago and could be the top contender to break up a Liberty sweep in this event. The pentathlon field is uncharacteristically large this year (16 entrants), but features zero Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.