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Liberty Sweeps Big South Triangular Team Titles

April 15, 2016  High Point, N.C.  RSS
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Ryan Davis finished first in both the men's 400 hurdles and 4 x 100 relay and second in the 110 hurdles on Friday at the Big South Triangular.

Ryan Davis finished first in both the men's 400 hurdles and 4 x 100 relay and second in the 110 hurdles on Friday at the Big South Triangular.

Liberty defeated Coastal Carolina and host High Point to sweep the men's and women's team titles at the Big South Triangular, Friday at Vert Stadium.

The Lady Flames tallied 150 points, outdistancing runner-up High Point (137) and Coastal Carolina (101). Liberty won 10 women's events, including eight on the track. Senior Erin Edmond led the way with four victories, including the 200, 400, 4 x 100 and 4 x 400.

On the men's side, Liberty finished with 133 points to hold off Coastal Carolina (118) and High Point (115) in a tight battle. Juniors Ryan Davis and Stephen Racanelli won two events apiece, contributing to the Flames' total of six first-place finishes on the day.

Women's Meet Recap
The Lady Flames set the tone early on, winning the afternoon's first three track races, including the steeplechase, 4 x 100 relay and 1,500.

Kat Bouton got things started with a victory in the steeplechase. The junior's winning time of 11:18.58 cut 21 seconds off of her previous best and moved her into fourth place on Liberty's all-time list.

Nicole Leonzo, Kate Flower, Dana Mercer and Edmond then won the 4 x 100 relay in a season-best 45.81 seconds, equaling the second fastest time in program history.

Torree Scull (personal-best 4:32.19) and Hannah Scherlacher (personal-best 4:34.91) followed that up with a 1-2 finish in the women's 1,500. Scull's time set a Liberty freshman record and moved the Illinois native into seventh place in program history.

Later on, the Lady Flames were able to showcase their depth at the 400-meter distance. Liberty swept the top five places in the 400 dash (although the Lady Flames only scored points for first and second under the triangular meet format) and went 1-2 in the 4 x 400 relay.

Edmond sped to a personal-best 400 time of 54.26 seconds, spearheading Liberty's domination of the event. She was followed consecutively by Leonzo (outdoor personal-best 55.83), Corinn Bedell (season-best 56.21), Olivia Behymer (56.27) and Bailey Reeves (personal-best 57.64).

In the 4 x 400, Liberty's victorious quartet consisted of Edmond, Ansley Gebben, Behymer and Leonzo, with the freshman anchor leg splitting a team-best 55.7 seconds toward the Lady Flames' official time of 3:47.49. Bedell, Reeves, Delaney McDowell and Mary Witmer took second place in 3:51.53.

Edmond's other victory came in the 200-meter dash, where she clocked 25.07 seconds. Flower added a fourth-place finish with a season-best effort of 25.32.

Gebben (personal-best 2:10.69), McDowell (2:11.04) and Alexis Taylor (outdoor personal-best 2:16.40) placed 1-2-4 in the women's 800, as each of the three was making her outdoor season debut at the distance. Gebben moved into fifth place in program history, while McDowell is now tied for sixth. The duo recorded the two fastest times by Big South runners thus far this season.

Witmer was Liberty's final winner on the oval, thanks to her 400 hurdles time of 1:01.95.

Flower (100 – 12.05) and Terrill Zentmeyer (3K – personal-best 10:22.48) added runner-up finishes in their respective track events.

The Lady Flames' top point haul in the field came in the shot put, where Mychelle Cumings threw a season-best 48-11 for first place and Dasiana Larson's personal-best mark of 44-9 was good for second.

Audrey Bamford took top honors in the high jump at 5-1.25.

Larson (172-8), Catherine Oyarzun (personal-best 169-3) and Holly Arey (personal-best 163-5) finished 3-4-5 in the women's hammer.

Arey also placed second in the discus (146-10) and third in the javelin (season-best 112-11) while competing in all four throwing events. Cumings added a third-place discus finish at 142-1.

Men's Meet Recap
Davis, Racanelli, Marquis Gilchrist and Greg Edwards won the men's 4 x 100 relay in a season-best time of 41.12 seconds early on in the meet.

Davis later led the Flames' 1-2 finish in the 400 hurdles at 52.71 seconds, followed by Michael Fairfax in 55.64. Davis also posted a season-best 110 hurdles time of 14.61 for second place, with Blake Kohring grabbing fourth place at 14.92.

Racanelli's other victory came at 400 meters in a season-best and Big South-leading time of 47.71 seconds. Teammate Jeff Jacobs followed in the fourth spot at 49.30.

Arguably the Flames' most impressive performance of the day came in the men's 800. Freshmen Michael Todd (1:51.11) and Bradley Prentice (1:51.43) placed first and second, respectively, ahead of defending Big South outdoor 800 champion Paul O'Donoghue of High Point. Liberty's Andrew Crowell followed closely in fourth at 1:53.05.

Todd, Prentice and Crowell all set new personal bests on Friday, with Todd (No. 7) and Prentice (No. 9) moving into Liberty's all-time top 10 for the men's 800.

In an exciting finish, Louis Paone edged High Point's Cody Seymour by .05 seconds to win the steeplechase in a personal-best 9:46.59 clocking.

Steve Feister accounted for the Flames' lone field event victory of the day, throwing the javelin 221-1.

In the meet's final track event, Liberty's unlikely 4 x 400 quartet of Colin Schultz, Jacob Onifer, Levi Mack and Jacobs placed a close second behind Coastal Carolina in 3:16.74. All four Flames recorded sub-50.00 splits, paced by Jacobs' 47.8-second anchor carry.

Earlier, Schultz had placed third at 1,500 meters in a personal-best 3:54.72, with Luke Jelen following in fourth place with his own personal-best time of 3:56.46.

Jelen went on to record another personal best of 8:57.20 for third place in the 3K, where he was followed closely by Josh Showalter in fourth (outdoor personal-best 8:57.60).

Edwards placed third in the 200 (22.10) and fourth in the 100 (10.96) for the Flames.

David Scouten was the runner-up in all three of his events on the day, including the shot put (season-best 51-11.75), discus (154-3) and hammer (season-best 180-10). Freshman teammate Robert Detz added a third-place showing in the shot put, reaching a personal-best 50-7.5 in the process.

Zach Davis high jumped 6-3.25 for second place, while Darrel Jones' season-best long jump effort of 22-8.5 earned third place.           

Liberty will be back in action next Friday and Saturday (April 22-23) at the Virginia Challenge. The meet will take place at Lannigan Field in Charlottesville, Va.