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Flames, Lady Flames to Compete in Texas Relays

March 29, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Fred Fulton will compete in the

Fred Fulton will compete in the "A" section of both the men's shot put and discus at the Texas Relays, along with the men's hammer.

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Meet Schedule (All Times Listed are Central)

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Women's Competitors

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Twenty-five of Liberty's top track & field athletes will compete against high-level collegiate and professional opponents at the 89th Nike Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, Wednesday through Saturday at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas.

More than 7,500 participants from 32 states and 20 countries are entered in the Texas Relays, which will begin with the heptathlon Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. Eastern and continue through Saturday afternoon.

How to Follow the Flames and Lady Flames
Live results will be available throughout the meet, courtesy of Prime Time Timing.

Additionally, the Longhorn Network will air 14 hours of coverage, including the following time slots. (All times listed are Eastern.)

Wednesday – 9-10:30 p.m. (tape delay of multi-events)

Thursday – 5:30-7 p.m. (tape delay of multi-events), 7-9 p.m. (live)

Friday – 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (live), 8-10 p.m. (live)

Saturday – 2:30-6:30 p.m. (live)

Weather Report
The weather forecast for Austin calls for high temperatures in the low 80s on Wednesday and Thursday and highs in the mid 70s on Friday and Saturday. Wednesday could see scattered thunderstorms, and there is also a chance of rain Friday morning.

Who's Heading to Austin?
Liberty will send 14 men's athletes and 11 women's athletes to the Texas Relays this week.

The Flames bound for Austin include Andrew Crowell, Ryan Davis, Zach Davis, Steve Feister, Fred Fulton, Jeff Jacobs, Darrel Jones, Denzel Pratt, Bradley Prentice, Stephen Racanelli, Ken Ritchey, Colin Schultz, Michael Todd and Carson Waters.

The Lady Flames' Texas Relays entrants include Riley Brandon, Mychelle Cumings, Erin Edmond, Kate Flower, Ansley Gebben, Erika Jackson, Nicole Leonzo, Delaney McDowell, Dana Mercer, Torree Scull and Alexis Taylor.

Brandon (Carrollton) and Edmond (Oak Leaf) will each return to their home state of Texas. Both Brandon and Edmond hail from the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area, approximately three hours north of Austin.

Accomplished Duo
Seniors Riley Brandon and Erika Jackson will be the first Lady Flames to compete in Austin this week, taking part in the heptathlon, Wednesday and Thursday.

The duo has combined to win the last five Big South multi-event competitions, including three by Brandon (2014 pentathlon and heptathlon, 2015 pentathlon) and two by Jackson (2015 heptathlon, 2016 pentathlon). Jackson went on to capture the 2016 ECAC pentathlon title as well.

Brandon ranks sixth in program history with a career-best score of 4,926 points, while Jackson ranks eighth with 4,869. Only three Lady Flames (Danielle McNaney, Arlene Zelinskas and Delethea Quarles) have ever eclipsed the 5,000-point barrier.

Brandon and Jackson will be the first two Lady Flames to compete in the Texas Relays heptathlon since Christina Mitchell placed 15th with a career-best 4,968 points in 2011.

Rounding Up the Relays
Liberty is not planning to attend the Penn Relays this season, so the Texas Relays will be the Flames' biggest relay competition of the 2016 outdoor campaign.

Liberty is entered in eight different relay races in Austin, including the men's 4 x 400, 4 x 800 and sprint medley and the women's 4 x 100, 4 x 200, 4 x 400, 4 x 800 and sprint medley.

The Lady Flames have set program records in three relays during 2016, including the outdoor 4 x 200 (1:37.33 by Dana Mercer, Erin Edmond, Nicole Leonzo, Kate Flower), indoor 4 x 400 (3:42.64 by Corinn Bedell, Nicole Leonzo, Ansley Gebben, Erin Edmond) and indoor 4 x 800 (8:47.12 by Ansley Gebben, Alexis Taylor, Torree Scull, Delaney McDowell).

One of Liberty's current program records, the women's sprint medley relay, was set at the 2014 Texas Relays. Ansley Gebben ran the 400-meter leg of that relay, helping the Lady Flames clock a time of 3:53.34.

Bring Your "A" Game
The "A" section of events at the Texas Relays usually features some of the nation's top collegiate athletes, as well as some high-level professional athletes. Liberty is entered in five "A" section events this week.

Men's Shot Put (Fred Fulton) – Fulton, the reigning Big South indoor and outdoor men's shot put champion, will face four-time NCAA Division I shot put champion Ryan Crouser. The former Texas Longhorn boasts a personal best of 71-3.5 and is the three-time defending Texas Relays men's shot put titlist. Purdue's Chukwuebuka Enekwechi is the most accomplished college athlete in the field, as he placed fourth at the 2016 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships and has thrown 65-5.5.

Men's Discus (Fred Fulton) – Fulton is also entered in the "A" section of the men's discus. The field is highlighted by Sam Mattis of Penn. The defending NCAA Division I men's discus champion, Mattis has already achieved the No. 2 mark in NCAA history, 221-3, this season.

Men's Javelin (Steve Feister and Denzel Pratt) – Feister (school-record 234-7) and Pratt (Liberty freshman-record 219-7) have gotten off to a strong start in the men's javelin this season. On Friday, they will face Texas A&M's Ioannis Kyriazis, who placed fourth at the 2015 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships and ranks No. 2 nationally this year, at 255-8. Pratt is the only freshman who was invited to compete in the "A" section of the men's javelin.

Women's 1,500 (Torree Scull) – Scull will make her collegiate 1,500 debut in the "A" section of the event on Saturday. The top names on the start list include Oregon alum Laura Roesler and UTSA alum Dana Mecke. Roesler was a two-time NCAA Division I women's 800-meter champion and recently placed fourth in the event at the indoor world championships. Mecke boasts a personal best of 4:13.34.

Women's Shot Put (Mychelle Cumings) – Cumings returns to the "A" section of the women's shot put, after placing ninth a year ago. She will be part of a loaded field, including Rice's Claire Uke (58-10.75 personal best), Baylor's Cion Hicks (57-0.75), Auburn's Valentina Muzaric (57-0) and TCU's Megan Smith (56-5.75).

Big South's Best
At this early stage of the 2016 outdoor track & field season, Liberty tops the Big South Conference performance list in a number of events.

In men's events, the Flames' conference leaders include Steve Feister (javelin – 234-7), Cameron Francis (1,500 – converted time of 3:55.26), Fred Fulton (discus – 173-5) and Michael Todd (800 – 1:52.10).

Lady Flames who rank No. 1 in the Big South include Mychelle Cumings (discus – 152-6), Erin Edmond (400 – 54.57), Dasiana Larson (shot put – 44-0.5) and the 4 x 400 relay team of Nicole Leonzo, Ansley Gebben, Olivia Behymer and Erin Edmond (3:45.17).