Erika Jackson became Liberty's fourth 5,000-point scorer in the heptathlon.
Liberty senior Erika Jackson became the fourth Lady Flame ever to eclipse the 5,000-point milestone in the heptathlon, finishing with 5,056 points at the Mt. SAC Relays Multi Events, Thursday at Azusa Pacific's Cougar Athletic Stadium.
Jackson built upon her strong opening day, beginning Thursday's competition with a personal-best long jump of 17-11.5, the top mark by a Lady Flame this season. The Lynchburg native then hurled the javelin a season-best 105-10, putting her within striking distance of 5,000 points with only the 800-meter run remaining.
Jackson left no doubt, shaving more than three seconds off of her previous personal best with a 2:21.54 clocking. She ended up placing 15th out of 51 heptathletes in the California Invitational section with 5,056 points.
Jackson added 187 points to her previous heptathlon best of 4,869, achieved while winning the 2015 Big South title. She joins Danielle McNaney, Arlene Zelinskas and Delethea Quarles as Liberty's lone members of the 5,000-point club.
Three years earlier, Jackson's first career heptathlon had seen her score 4,011 points at the 2013 Liberty Collegiate Invitational. By way of comparison, freshman Kylie Polsgrove wrapped up her heptathlon debut with 4,734 points on Thursday. She placed 27th in the competition while moving into 10th place in both Liberty and Big South Conference history for the heptathlon.
Polsgrove set a new personal best of 17-2.75 in the long jump before finishing just shy of her best-ever marks in both the javelin (100-6) and 800 (2:26.75).
Redshirt senior Riley Brandon followed in 28th place with a season-best score of 4,704 points. She finished the competition in style, recording an outdoor personal-best 800 time of 2:15.95. Brandon won her heat of the 800, posted the fifth fastest time overall among the heptathletes in the California Invitational section and finished with the fastest 800 clocking by a Lady Flame in 2016.
In Section B of the California Invitational decathlon, Zach Gilroy placed 11th with 5,872 points. The junior posted his best-ever pole vault clearance within a decathlon (14-11) and ran a personal-best 1,500 time of 4:35.03 on Thursday.
Lewis Williams ended up with 5,538 points for 15th place in the competition. His second day included a season-best discus mark of 112-11.
Liberty athletes will participate in three different meets on Friday. A large number of Flames and Lady Flames will face competitors from Coastal Carolina and High Point at the team-scored Big South Triangular at Vert Stadium in High Point, N.C. The meet will begin at 2 p.m. with the men's shot put and women's javelin.
Ken Ritchey and Carson Waters will pole vault at the Bryan Clay Invitational, with their event slated for a 5:30 p.m. Eastern start at Cougar Athletic Stadium in Azusa, Calif.
Finally, Ednah Kurgat will open her 2016 outdoor track season Friday at 10:45 p.m. Eastern, when she races in the women's 5K at the Mt. SAC Relays in Norwalk, Calif.