Championship Central Page Women's Schedule Live Results Video Streaming (Friday Only) Charleston Weather Liberty Gameday Twitter (@LUGameday) The Liberty men's and women's squads will both look to defend their titles at the 2017 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which will be contested Wednesday through Friday at Bagwell-Settle Track in Charleston, S.C.
The Liberty men's team will aim for its 11th consecutive championship and its 22nd overall title at this meet. The Flames have won 21 straight Big South indoor and outdoor men's track & field championships since 2007.
Meanwhile, the Lady Flames will attempt to make it three Big South outdoor titles in a row. Liberty has notched 15 women's team championships in the 23-year history of this meet.
The 2017 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships will begin Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. with the decathlon 100-meter dash. The three-day meet is scheduled to conclude at approximately 4:30 p.m. Friday, with the women's 4 x 400 relay wrapping up the championship.
Charleston Southern is hosting the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships for the first time since 2010. That meet saw Liberty sweep the men's and women's team titles, wrapping up the program's first-ever Big South "Double Triple" of men's cross country, men's indoor track, men's outdoor track, women's cross country, women's indoor track and women's outdoor track championships in 2009-10.
The Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be contested in May for the third year in a row. The meet will provide athletes with a great opportunity to post qualifying marks for the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet, set for May 25-27 in Lexington, Ky.
How to Follow the Action Saturday's events will be video streamed, free of charge, on the Big South Network.
Live results will be available throughout the meet, courtesy of Timing, Inc.
Periodic updates will also be posted to the Liberty Gameday Twitter account (@LUGameday) during the meet.
Weather Report The preliminary forecast for Charleston appears hot and dry, for a meet which has seen numerous weather delays in recent years.
Wednesday – High in the mid 90s, sunny
Thursday – High in the mid 90s, partly cloudy
Friday – High in the low 90s, partly cloudy
Women's Meet Preview Liberty has captured back-to-back team titles at the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships and is a strong favorite to make it three in a row. Campbell finished just 33 points behind the Lady Flames at the 2017 Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships, but the Camels could be in a battle for second place with High Point this week.
The Lady Flames are seeded No. 1 in 11 events, including the 400 (Tanner Ealum), 1,500 (Anna Van Wyk), 5K (Anna Van Wyk), 4 x 400 relay, high jump (Erin Zappia), pole vault (Jessie Glynn), triple jump (Janae Jones), shot put (Dasiana Larson), hammer (Dasiana Larson), javelin (Brenna Smith) and heptathlon (Kylie Polsgrove). Moreover, at least one Liberty athlete is seeded inside the top three of every event except the 100, 200 and 100 hurdles.
Janae Jones is the only current Lady Flame who has won an individual event at the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships, taking back-to-back triple jump titles in 2014 and 2015 before redshirting the 2016 season.
Jones (triple jump) is one of seven Lady Flames who took home event titles at the 2017 Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships in February, joining Ealum (400), Delaney McDowell (800), Zappia (high jump), Glynn (pole vault), Larson (shot put) and Polsgrove (pentathlon).
Women's 100-Meter Dash Event Schedule: Prelims – Thursday at 5:25 p.m.; Final – Friday at 2:10 p.m. Defending Champion: Latesha Simpson (Coastal Carolina) – 11.71 Top Returnee from 2016 Meet: Jasmine Pilgrim (Charleston Southern) – 2nd place 2017 Indoor Champion (60 Meters): Kanajzae Brown (High Point) – 7.60 2017 Leader: Pilgrim – 11.72 Liberty Event Titles (Last): 6 (Abigail Flower - 2015) Liberty Entrants: Dana Mercer and Ayanna Johnson Outlook: Charleston Southern's Jasmine Pilgrim is the top returnee from the 2016 Big South women's 100 final (second place) and the No. 1 seed at 11.72 seconds. However, she has not run a time under 12 seconds since March. Campbell's Lilla Juhasz, best known for her hurdling, sits at No. 2 at 11.86. No woman has ever swept the 100 and 100 hurdles titles at the same Big South meet. Freshmen Kanajzae Brown of High Point (11.88) and Janai Scott of Campbell (11.89) should contend as well. Brown, the Big South indoor 60 champion, will shoot for the Panthers' first outdoor 100 crown this week. Liberty's Dana Mercer, who has lowered her 100 best to 12.05 this season, will attempt to qualify for her first Big South 100 final. The Lady Flames have placed at least one runner in the women's 100 final at all 23 editions of the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Women's 200-Meter Dash Event Schedule: Prelims – Wednesday at 7:15 p.m.; Final – Friday at 3:10 p.m. Defending Champion: Latesha Simpson (Coastal Carolina) – 23.92 Top Returnee from 2016 Meet: Kolisha Coleman (Charleston Southern) – 2nd place 2017 Indoor Champion: Janai Scott (Campbell) – 24.39 2017 Leader: Scott – 23.95 Liberty Event Titles (Last): 6 (Abigail Flower - 2015) Liberty Entrants: Tanner Ealum, Nicole Leonzo and Dana Mercer Outlook: Campbell freshman Janai Scott raced to the 2017 Big South indoor 200 title and ranks No. 1 outdoors at 23.95. She will attempt to become the conference's first freshman outdoor 200 champion since the Camels' Anna Scott (no relation) in 2014. CSU's Kolisha Coleman, the No. 2 seed at 24.21, placed second at the most recent Big South indoor and outdoor meets. She is one of four Buccaneers who are back from the 2016 Big South outdoor 200 final. Liberty's top hopes lie with freshman Tanner Ealum. The third-place finisher in the 2017 Big South indoor 200, Ealum is seeded No. 6 outdoors at 24.72. The last six Big South women's 100 champions have gone on to win the 200 later the same day.
Women's 400-Meter Dash Event Schedule: Prelims – Thursday at 4:55 p.m.; Final – Friday at 1:50 p.m. Defending Champion: Erin Edmond (Liberty) – 54.08 Top Returnee from 2016 Meet: Danielle Burnett (Charleston Southern) – 2nd place 2017 Indoor Champion: Tanner Ealum (Liberty) – 55.45 2017 Leader: Ealum – 54.33 Liberty Event Titles (Last): 9 (Erin Edmond - 2016) Liberty Entrants: Tanner Ealum, Nicole Leonzo, Olivia Behymer and Maggie McDermott Outlook: Liberty freshman Tanner Ealum won the Big South indoor 400 title by more than a second and tops the 2017 Big South outdoor list at 54.33 seconds. While she was the only Lady Flame to qualify for the indoor 400 final, Ealum hopes to have some company outdoors. Nicole Leonzo (54.97) and Olivia Behymer (55.04) both made the 2016 Big South outdoor 400 final and rank second and fourth, respectively, this season. Charleston Southern's Danielle Burnett appears to be the Lady Flames' top competitor in this event. The reigning indoor and outdoor 400 runner-up has run 54.99 seconds in 2017.
Women's 800-Meter Run Event Schedule: Prelims – Thursday at 6:05 p.m.; Final – Friday at 2:30 p.m. Defending Champion: Ansley Gebben (Liberty) – 2:08.41 Top Returnee from 2016 Meet: Delaney McDowell (Liberty) – 2nd place 2017 Indoor Champion: McDowell – 2:12.25 2017 Leader: Keaton Case (High Point) – 2:08.66 Liberty Event Titles (Last): 12 (Ansley Gebben - 2016) Liberty Entrants: Delaney McDowell and Brooke Turner Outlook: The women's 800 is one of many Big South events which has seen a youth movement of late. The top four finishers in the 2017 Big South indoor 800 final, who are also the top four seeds outdoors, consist of a freshman (Liberty's Brooke Turner) and three sophomores (Liberty's Delaney McDowell, High Point's Keaton Case and Campbell's Roshae Jackson). McDowell won her second straight Big South 800 title in February and has never lost a Big South 800 final to a non-teammate. Ansley Gebben edged McDowell for the 2016 outdoor championship. However, McDowell's season-best time of 2:08.76 is just behind fellow southwest Ohio native Case's 2:08.66 atop the 2017 Big South list. Turner, who finished fourth indoors, has lowered her personal best to 2:12.34 outdoors. Case will aim for High Point's first outdoor 800 crown since 2005 (Sumiyya Hunter), while Campbell has never won this event outdoors.
Women's 1,500-Meter Run Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 1:10 p.m. Defending Champion: Cozette Collin (High Point) – 4:27.23 Top Returnee from 2016 Meet: Collin 2017 Indoor Champion (Mile): Joan Maritim (Campbell) – 5:08.77 2017 Leader: Anna Van Wyk (Liberty) – 4:28.47 Liberty Event Titles (Last): 8 (Jennifer Klugh - 2012) Liberty Entrants: Anna Van Wyk and Hannah Scherlacher Outlook: The 1,500 was a key event for the Lady Flames the last time Charleston Southern hosted the Big South meet, in 2010. Current assistant coach Rebekah Ricksecker led a 1-2-3 finish for the Lady Flames. Liberty will not repeat that performance on Friday, but still could be in line for a strong finish in the "metric mile." Redshirt freshman Anna Van Wyk is the top seed at 4:28.47 and defeated two of her top competitors head-to-head at last week's Liberty Twilight Qualifier. They included defending 1,500 champion Cozette Collin and defending steeplechase winner Natalia Ocasio, both of High Point. Campbell's Joan Maritim won the 2017 Big South indoor mile title and placed third in the outdoor 1,500 last season. However, she has not contested a 1,500 in 2017 and will not run the distance this week. Liberty's Hannah Scherlacher, who came in fifth in the 2016 1,500 final, is seeded only 14th this season. However, she is coming off of a season-best 2:15.20 800 last week. Only 10 women's runners have entered this year's 1,500, which will be contested as a final on Friday.
Women's 3,000-Meter Steeplechase Event Schedule: Final – Thursday at 6:40 p.m. Defending Champion: Natalia Ocasio (High Point) – 10:53.86 (Second in a row) Top Returnee from 2016 Meet: Ocasio 2017 Leader: Ocasio – 10:54.32 Liberty Event Titles (Last): 2 (Hailey Neal – 2010) Liberty Entrants: Alyssa Karle and Kat Bouton Outlook: High Point senior Natalia Ocasio, the only back-to-back Big South women's steeplechase champion in meet history, is favored to make it three in a row Thursday evening. Liberty's Alyssa Karle could be Ocasio's top competitor, as she placed second in 2016 and is the No. 2 seed this season at 11:03.83. Kat Bouton is also back for the Lady Flames, following a fourth-place finish in 2016. Liberty has not won the Big South steeplechase crown since Hailey Neal took top honors in 2010, the last time CSU hosted the meet.
Women's 5,000-Meter Run Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 3:45 p.m. Defending Champion: Joan Maritim (Campbell) – 17:13.07 Top Returnee from 2016 Meet: Maritim 2017 Indoor Champion: Maritim – 17:09.74 2017 Leader: Anna Van Wyk (Liberty) – 17:40.37 Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (Jacy Christiansen - 2014) Liberty Entrants: Anna Van Wyk, Terrill Zentmeyer, Kammi Kurtz and Kat Bouton Outlook: The women's 5K could be a war of attrition, as most entrants will have already competed in previous events and the temperature will likely be in the 90s at race time. Campbell's Joan Maritim is the prerace favorite, entering as the defending indoor and outdoor conference champion. She will attempt to become the first back-to-back 5K winner since Liberty's Carol Jefferson in 2006 and 2007. The Lady Flames' Anna Van Wyk placed second to Maritim indoors and is the No. 1 seed outdoors at 17:40.37. Maritim has not competed in a 5K since the Big South indoor final in February.
Women's 10,000-Meter Run Event Schedule: Final – Wednesday at 9:15 p.m. Defending Champion: Ednah Kurgat (Liberty) – 37:32.96 Top Returnee from 2016 Meet: Sarah Heisner (UNC Asheville) – 2nd place 2017 Leader: Joan Maritim (Campbell) – 34:35.83 Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (Ednah Kurgat - 2016) Liberty Entrants: Jessie Proehl, Kammi Kurtz and Terrill Zentmeyer Outlook: Campbell's Joan Maritim will be the overwhelming favorite to win the Camels' first-ever Big South women's 10K title. Her 34:35.83 clocking from the Raleigh Relays in March is the fastest in the conference this season by nearly three minutes, but that is the last time she ran a race. Liberty looks for a strong showing, as Terrill Zentmeyer placed fourth in 2016, Jessie Proehl is the conference's No. 3 seed this season and Kammi Kurtz will make her 10K debut on Wednesday.
Women's 100-Meter Hurdles Event Schedule: Prelims – Thursday at 4:15 p.m.; Final – Friday at 1:30 p.m. Defending Champion: Lilla Juhasz (Campbell) – 13.46 (Second in a row) Top Returnee from 2016 Meet: Juhasz 2017 Indoor Champion (60 Hurdles): Juhasz – 8.36 2017 Leader: Juhasz – 13.56 Liberty Event Titles (Last): 9 (Olivia Charnuski - 2011) Liberty Entrants: Katie Dodson and Jaiden Mulder Outlook: Campbell returns last year's 100 hurdles champion (Lilla Juhasz) and runner-up (Tatiana Wolfe), but will be challenged to repeat a 1-2 finish on Friday. Juhasz is a big favorite to capture her third straight title. However, Wolfe will have to battle sub-14.00 hurdlers TeJyrica Robinson of host Charleston Southern and Alesha Love of Winthrop. Freshman Katie Dodson is Liberty's top hope, and her fastest time (14.22) was achieved during the outdoor season opener at CSU. Lady Flame Kylie Polsgrove placed seventh a year ago, but will focus on other events this week.
Women's 400-Meter Hurdles Event Schedule: Prelims – Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.; Final – Friday at 2:50 p.m. Defending Champion: Tatiana Wolfe (Campbell) – 1:01.51 Top Returnee from 2016 Meet: Wolfe 2017 Leader: Alesha Love (Winthrop) – 58.00 Liberty Event Titles (Last): 9 (Arlene Zelinskas - 2007) Liberty Entrants: Mary Witmer and Kylie Polsgrove Outlook: Last year, Campbell's Tatiana Wolfe raced to the 400 hurdles title in 1:01.51. This season, she is one of five Big South athletes who have run faster than that. They include Winthrop's Alesha Love (58.00), Liberty's Mary Witmer (1:00.08), Wolfe (1:00.44), Radford's Tenae Washington (1:00.92) and UNC Asheville's Kayli Nichols (1:00.93). Love is favored to win Winthrop's first-ever 400 hurdles title. Witmer clocked a school-record 59.92 seconds to place fourth in the 2015 final before an injury kept her out of the 2016 Big South meet. Lady Flame Kylie Polsgrove is seeded sixth at 1:03.02. If she makes Friday's final, it will mark her 10th and final event of the three-day meet.
Women's 4 x 100 Relay Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 12:50 p.m. Defending Champion: Liberty – 45.60 (Second in a row) 2017 Leader: Campbell – 46.11 Liberty Event Titles (Last): 10 (2016) Outlook: Liberty has won back-to-back Big South 4 x 100 relay titles, setting school records each time. Two members of last year's championship 4 x 100 squad are back, in Nicole Leonzo and Dana Mercer. However, the Lady Flames are seeded third (46.82), trailing Campbell (46.11) and Charleston Southern (46.14). Campbell has never won the 4 x 100 title, while CSU has not finished first since doing so on its home track in 2010.
Women's 4 x 400 Relay Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 4:20 p.m. Defending Champion: Liberty – 3:41.92 2017 Indoor Champion: Liberty – 3:46.28 2017 Leader: Liberty – 3:40.32 Liberty Event Titles (Last): 9 (2016) Outlook: Liberty is coming off its first Big South outdoor 4 x 400 relay title since 2004 and is a considerable favorite to repeat despite returning only one member (Olivia Behymer) of last year's championship-winning squad. The Lady Flames won the Big South indoor 4 x 400 crown by seven seconds and are the outdoor No. 1 seed by seven seconds with their program-record time of 3:40.32 from the Penn Relays. If Liberty can improve upon that time Friday, the Lady Flames could send their first-ever relay to the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet. Liberty has not won consecutive outdoor 4 x 400 crowns since 2000 and 2001.
Women's Long Jump Event Schedule: Final – Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. Defending Champion: Sabina Allen (Campbell) – 20-1 (6.12m) Top Returnee from 2016 Meet: Allen 2017 Indoor Champion: Allen – 18-10 (5.74m) 2017 Leader: Allen – 19-5.25 (5.92m) Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (Danielle McNaney - 2003) Liberty Entrants: Ayanna Johnson, Dana Mercer and Janae Jones Outlook: Campbell's Sabina Allen, the defending Big South indoor and outdoor long jump champion, is the conference's top seed at 19-5.25. Teammate Shenelle McKay is seeded No. 2 at 18-10 after placing second to Allen indoors. Liberty also has a good chance to put someone on the podium, as freshman Ayanna Johnson is seeded third at 18-9.25 and redshirt senior Dana Mercer is fourth at 18-6. Mercer is a two-time All-Big South long jumper indoors, including a third-place finish this year, but is seeking her first top-three performance outdoors. Oasis Hernandez was the last Lady Flame to stand on the Big South outdoor long jump podium, finishing third in 2014.
Women's Triple Jump Event Schedule: Final – Friday at Noon Defending Champion: Sabina Allen (Campbell) – 41-5.25 (12.63m) Top Returnee from 2016 Meet: Allen 2017 Indoor Champion: Janae Jones (Liberty) – 41-0.5 (12.51m) 2017 Leader: Jones – 41-9.75 (12.74m) Liberty Event Titles (Last): 11 (Janae Jones - 2015) Liberty Entrants: Janae Jones, Mary Witmer and Ayanna Johnson Outlook: Friday's first women's event promises the final Big South showdown between Liberty's Janae Jones and Campbell's Sabina Allen. Jones is coming off of a victory at the Penn Relays where she triple jumped a personal-best 41-9.75, putting her one inch ahead of Allen on the 2017 list. Jones is a three-time Big South triple jump champion (2014 outdoor, 2015 outdoor, 2017 indoor), while Allen swept the 2016 indoor and outdoor triple jump titles in Jones' absence. Liberty's Mary Witmer, best known as a 400 hurdler, has only triple jumped three times in her collegiate career. However, one of those three appearances resulted in a fifth-place finish at the 2017 Big South indoor meet.
Women's High Jump Event Schedule: Final – Thursday at 1 p.m. Defending Champion: Latesha Simpson (Coastal Carolina) – 5-8 (1.73m) (Second in a row) Top Returnee from 2016 Meet: Shenelle McKay (Campbell) – 3rd place 2017 Indoor Champion: Erin Zappia (Liberty) – 5-7.75 (1.72m) 2017 Leader: Zappia – 5-8.75 (1.75m) Liberty Event Titles (Last): 8 (Mia Aghaji - 2008) Liberty Entrants: Erin Zappia and Kylie Polsgrove Outlook: Liberty has not won the Big South women's high jump title since 2008 and has not recorded a top-three finish in the event since 2013. However, the Lady Flames boast the top two seeds in Erin Zappia (5-8.75) and Kylie Polsgrove (5-8). Zappia, the reigning Big South indoor women's high jump champion, is coming off of a personal-best 5-8.75 clearance at last week's Liberty Twilight Qualifier. Polsgrove has cleared 5-8 this season, but will be high jumping shortly after wrapping up the heptathlon competition on Thursday. Campbell's Shenelle McKay, the 2016 Big South indoor high jump champion, owns a season best of 5-7.75. She will attempt to become her school's first outdoor high jump titlist since Tammy Stafford was victorious at the inaugural Big South meet in 1994.
Women's Pole Vault Event Schedule: Final – Thursday at 4 p.m. Defending Champion: Jill Marois (High Point) – 13-10 (4.22m) Top Returnee from 2016 Meet: Mariel Finger (Liberty) – T-4th place 2017 Indoor Champion: Jessie Glynn (Liberty) – 11-11.75 (3.65m) 2017 Leader: Glynn – 12-6.75 (3.83m) Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (Shelley Parker – 2011) Liberty Entrants: Jessie Glynn, Mariel Finger, Audrey Rabe and Lea Carter Outlook: The pole vault is another event where the Lady Flames hope to achieve their best showing in recent years. Liberty's last title came in 2011 (Shelley Parker), while their last All-Big South effort happened in 2012 (Rachel Houseknecht – tie for 3rd place). Jessie Glynn, Audrey Rabe and Mariel Finger swept the top three places at the 2017 Big South indoor meet for the Lady Flames, and they are three of the four conference performers who have made it over 12-0 outdoors. The fourth is Gardner-Webb's Elise Moffatt, who won the 2015 Big South outdoor pole vault championship.
Women's Shot Put Event Schedule: Final – Friday at 2 p.m. Defending Champion: Mychelle Cumings (Liberty) – 49-6.25 (15.09m) (Second in a row) Top Returnee from 2016 Meet: Dasiana Larson (Liberty) – 3rd place 2017 Indoor Champion: Larson – 44-3.25 (13.49m) 2017 Leader: Larson – 46-1.25 (14.05m) Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (Mychelle Cumings - 2016) Liberty Entrants: Dasiana Larson and Holly Arey Outlook: Liberty's Mychelle Cumings won all eight Big South shot put competitions she entered, indoors and outdoors, before graduating last season. In her absence, former teammate Dasiana Larson has stepped up as the athlete to beat. The Liberty junior won the Big South indoor title and is the No. 1 seed outdoors at 46-1.5. Larson is also the only returning All-Big South shot putter from the 2016 outdoor meet, where the Iowa native placed third. Classmate Holly Arey, a surprise third-place finisher in the 2017 indoor shot put competition, enters Friday's competition seeded fourth at 41-2.25.
Women's Discus Event Schedule: Final – Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. Defending Champion: Makenzi Holmes-DiGiovine (High Point) – 162-0 (49.38m) Top Returnee from 2016 Meet: Holmes-DiGiovine 2017 Leader: Holmes-DiGiovine – 158-10 (48.42m) Liberty Event Titles (Last): 4 (Jennifer Smith - 2015) Liberty Entrants: Holly Arey and Catherine Oyarzun Outlook: High Point's Makenzi Holmes-DiGiovine is favored to defend her Big South women's discus title, entering as the No. 1 seed at 158-10. Liberty's Holly Arey could have the best chance of knocking her off, as Arey threw a personal-best 156-4 to defeat Holmes-DiGiovine at the VertKlasse Meeting in March. Arey has made steady progress in this event, placing eighth as a freshman and fourth as a junior. Liberty's Catherine Oyarzun has also improved in 2017, claiming the No. 4 seed at 140-6 after finishing 11th in this event a year ago.
Women's Javelin Event Schedule: Final – Wednesday at 6 p.m. Defending Champion: Christine Rickert (High Point) – 164-7 (50.18m) (Third in a row) Top Returnee from 2016 Meet: Brenna Smith (Liberty) – 3rd place 2017 Leader: Smith – 144-11 (44.19m) Liberty Event Titles (Last): 7 (Christina Mitchell - 2013) Liberty Entrants: Brenna Smith, Nicole Bishop, Holly Arey and Savannah Pidkaminy Outlook: After the graduation of three-time defending Big South javelin champion Christine Rickert of High Point, Liberty's duo of Brenna Smith and Nicole Bishop have become the throwers to beat. Smith, who has placed third in this event as both a freshman and sophomore, is the No. 1 seed at 145-0. Teammate Bishop threw a personal-best 138-9 at CSU earlier this season, putting her 15 feet ahead of No. 3 seed Tori Waddington of Winthrop. Liberty has never finished 1-2 in the Big South women's javelin competition.
Women's Hammer Event Schedule: Final – Thursday at 4 p.m. Defending Champion: Marthaline Cooper (Winthrop) – 192-1 (58.55m) (Third in a row) Top Returnee from 2016 Meet: Natasha Akbarizadeh (Gardner-Webb) – 2nd place 2017 Indoor Champion (Weight): Cooper – 69-6.25 (21.18m) 2017 Leader: Dasiana Larson (Liberty) – 196-3 (59.82m) Liberty Event Titles (Last): 2 (Melinda Bendik - 2012) Liberty Entrants: Dasiana Larson, Catherine Oyarzun and Holly Arey Outlook: Winthrop's Marthaline Cooper, who has won three straight Big South women's hammer titles and placed third at the 2016 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, is redshirting the 2017 season. However, the women's hammer is still one of the Big South's strongest events. Four conference throwers are likely to qualify for the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet, including Liberty's Dasiana Larson (196-3), Gardner-Webb's Natasha Akbarizadeh (194-6), High Point's Jamie Schnuck (191-10) and Gardner-Webb's Petra Jakelijic (191-9). Larson threw at the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet last season but finished just seventh at the Big South meet. Liberty senior Catherine Oyarzun, last year's Big South fourth-place finisher, is seeded No. 5 at 177-9. Neither Gardner-Webb nor High Point have won a Big South women's hammer championship, while Liberty has not claimed a title since 2012 (Melinda Bendik).
Women's Heptathlon Event Schedule: Day One – Begins Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.; Day Two – Begins Thursday at 9:30 a.m. Defending Champion: Erika Jackson (Liberty) – 4,921 (Second in a row) Top Returnee from 2016 Meet: Kylie Polsgrove (Liberty) – 3rd place 2017 Indoor Champion (Pentathlon): Polsgrove – 3,569 2017 Leader: Polsgrove – 5,184 Liberty Event Titles (Last): 12 (Erika Jackson - 2016) Liberty Entrants: Kylie Polsgrove Outlook: Liberty has won the Big South heptathlon title 12 times in the 16 years the event has been contested, including the last six in a row. Kylie Polsgrove is favored to continue that streak, and could threaten the meet record of 4,921 points, after scoring a personal-best 5,184 points at the Virginia Challenge. Polsgrove is the top returnee from the 2016 Big South heptathlon (third place) and captured the 2017 Big South pentathlon title indoors. If she falters, Winthrop's Taryn DeLeon could capitalize. She finished one spot behind Polsgrove in the 2016 Big South heptathlon and 2017 Big South pentathlon and scored 4,711 points earlier this season.
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