Liberty earned two victories on Friday night at the Virginia Tech Sprint Challenge, held at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center.
The Lady Flames defeated the three-time defending NCAA Division II national champion Queens, 144-117, while downing VMI, 215-35. Liberty fell to the host Hokies, 182-80. Liberty moves to 3-2 on the season after tonight's 2-1 showing. Virginia Tech won all three of its head-to-head matchups, improving to 5-0. Queens (4-2) went 1-2, while VMI falls to 0-5 with three defeats today.
Rachel Hoeve provided the big highlight on the evening for Liberty, winning the 50 free in 23.62 for the Lady Flames' lone individual-event victory. It was Hoeve's ninth straight victory in the 50 free in dual-meet action, dating back to the start of the 2016-17 season. Hannah Baker (23.99) and Colleen Donlin (24.15) followed in fifth and sixth in the event.
Liberty's 200 freestyle relay posted a dramatic win to end the night, defeating Virginia Tech's A team by .01 seconds. Baker held off a charging Danielle Griggs, as Liberty won in 1:33.79 compared to the Hokies' 1:33.80. The winning Lady Flames were: Hoeve, Donlin, Brittany Weiss and Baker.
Weiss picked up a second-place finish in the 100 back, swimming 55.37, while being edged out by Virginia Tech's Emily Meilus (55.18) for the win. Payton Keiner placed fourth in 56.44.
Alicia Finnigan took second in the 200 fly, clocking 2:03.71. Teammates Lindsey Cohee (2:04.77) and Ashley Mauzy (2:08.10) finished in fourth and sixth, respectively.
The 200 backstroke saw Keiner finish second with a time of 2:04.83, while Emily Manly placed fourth in 2:06.97.
Liberty placed third in the 200 medley relay, following a 1-2 performance by Virginia Tech. Liberty's quartet of Keiner, Prudence Rooker, Weiss and Hoeve finished in 1:43.07. That times is seventh on Liberty's all-time top 10 performers list.
Rooker (1:05.00) and Ricki Lee Hodges (1:05.25) went 3-4 in the 100 breaststroke.
In the 200 IM, Rooker claimed another third-place finish with a time of 2:09.30. Finnigan placed fourth in 2:09.40.
Manly's sixth-place finish in 10:41.95 served as Liberty's top showing in the 1000 freestyle.
Baker finished sixth in the 200 free, at 1:54.21.
Weiss turned in a 52.67 in the 100 free, good for sixth place overall.
Rooker (2:22.61) and Morgan Noonan (2:23.36) finished fifth and sixth in the 200 breaststroke.
Sall earned fifth place in the 500 free with a 5:10.19 clocking, while Elizabeth Magnusson finished sixth in 5:11.51.
Finnigan took fifth in the 100 fly, clocking 57.09.
Liberty will next compete in a tri-meet, next Friday at 5 p.m. at Gardner-Webb. That meet will see the Lady Flames square off against conference opponents Gardner-Webb and Georgia Southern.
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