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Flames Sweep Darius Dixon Shuttle Hurdles Relay Titles

February 2, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Katie Dodson anchored the Lady Flames' shuttle hurdles relay quartet to victory on Friday.

Katie Dodson anchored the Lady Flames' shuttle hurdles relay quartet to victory on Friday.

Host Liberty closed out the opening day of the fourth annual Darius Dixon Memorial Invitational by sweeping the men's and women's shuttle hurdles relay titles. The Flames' Friday at the Liberty Indoor Track Complex also included three additional top-three finishes, one new ECAC qualification and one new IC4A qualifier.

Women's Day One Recap
The Lady Flames' shuttle hurdles quartet of Jaiden Mulder, Kylie Polsgrove, Kimone Green and Katie Dodson each clocked sub-9.00 splits, adding up to a winning time of 35.08. Polsgrove's second leg of 8.54 seconds put Liberty on top for good as the Lady Flames set school, facility and meet records in the rarely contested event.

Earlier in the evening, Liberty placed second in the women's distance medley relay in 11:56.20, punching its ECAC ticket and trailing only High Point's Big South-record winning time of 11:45.81.

Running her first competitive race since winning the 2017 Big South outdoor 5K title, Anna Van Wyk led off with a 3:39.62 split for the Lady Flames' 1,200-meter leg. Olivia Behymer closed up the gap on High Point by clocking 55.90 for her 400-meter leg. Freshmen then finished off the fourth-fastest relay in program history and the sixth-fastest relay in Big South history, including Heidi Smith (2:16.89 for 800) and anchor Noel Palmer (5:03.81 for 1,600).

Liberty continued its strong season in the women's weight throw by claiming three of the top 10 spots on Friday. Dasiana Larson took third place with a top mark of 59-9.75. Fellow senior Catherine Oyarzun improved her personal best to 57-3 for seventh place, with classmate Holly Arey throwing 54-6.75 for the 10th position.

Men's Day One Recap
Liberty's team of Jovaine Atkinson, Markus Ballengee, Branson Rolle and Jeremy Davis successfully defended its Darius Dixon Memorial Invitational men's shuttle hurdles title with a 33.38 effort. Atkinson (7.93) and Ballengee (7.95) got the Flames off to a flying start, building a lead VCU could not overcome.

In just his second meet at Liberty, junior college transfer William Partridge placed second in the men's weight throw at 56-9.5. His effort, an IC4A qualifier, ranks No. 8 in program history and No. 2 in the Big South this season.

Up Next
Day two of the Darius Dixon Memorial Invitational will begin Saturday at 10 a.m. with the men's long jump, women's long jump and women's pole vault. The men's 60-meter hurdle prelims will get track action started at 10:30 a.m.

Meanwhile, Azaria Kirwa will head to the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, N.C. to compete against Olympic silver medalist Paul Chelimo and a loaded field in the men's 3K at the Camel City Invitational, Saturday at 2 p.m.