Head Coach Brant Tolsma recently chatted with Alan York to recap Liberty's 2018 track & field season, one of the greatest years in program history.
National Success Liberty sent five athletes (Markus Ballengee, Darrel Jones, Dasiana Larson, Alejandro Perlaza Zapata and Denzel Pratt) to the 2018 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, equaling the 2007 squad for the most national qualifiers in program history.
Ballengee earned first team All-America honors with a seventh-place finish in the decathlon.
Fellow sophomore Jovaine Atkinson was a first team All-American indoors, placing fourth in the men's 60 hurdles at the 2018 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships
Packing Them Into the Preliminary Round A group of 27 Flames and Lady Flames competed at the 2018 NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet, marking Liberty's most qualifiers in the meet's nine-year history.
The Flames' previous record was 16 NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round qualifiers at the inaugural meet in 2010.
Bringing Trophies Home from Boston The Lady Flames captured their first-ever ECAC team championship, taking home the team title trophy from the 2018 IC4A and ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Meanwhile, the Flames matched their best-ever IC4A indoor showing, placing a close second to meet champion UConn.
Going Out with a Bang Liberty swept all four team titles in dominating fashion in its final year as a Big South Conference member.
Hosting the Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Liberty Indoor Track Complex for the first time, the men's team won its 21st straight Big South title by 102.5 points (224 to 121.5) over runner-up Campbell.
The Lady Flames' indoor title came by a record 124.5 points over second-place Campbell. Liberty earned its third straight Big South women's indoor championship and its 13th crown in meet history.
At the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships, the Liberty men's squad earned its 12th straight first-place finish and its 23rd title in the meet's 25-year history. The Flames won by 92 points (251.5 to 159.5) over Campbell.
During the women's outdoor championship, the Lady Flames set meet records for points scored (289) and event titles won (15). Liberty's fourth consecutive Big South women's outdoor title was its 17th overall championship in meet history.
We Are the Champions Liberty collected a sizeable number of first-place conference finishes throughout the year.
IC4A Indoor Titles Markus Ballengee – Heptathlon
Alejandro Perlaza Zapata – 400
Jahquez Durham, Michael Todd, Jeff Jacobs, Alejandro Perlaza Zapata – 4 x 400 Relay
ECAC Indoor Titles Tanner Ealum – 500
Dasiana Larson – Weight Throw
Big South Men's Indoor Titles Jovaine Atkinson – 60 and 60 Hurdles
Darrel Jones – Triple Jump
Alejandro Perlaza Zapata – 200 and 400
Carson Waters – Pole Vault
Big South Women's Indoor Titles Kimone Green – 200 and 400
Delaney McDowell – 800
Naomi Mojica – Shot Put
Kylie Polsgrove – High Jump and Pentathlon
Kimone Green, Ty'Asia Dansbury, Olivia Behymer, Tanner Ealum – 4 x 400 Relay
Alyssa Karle, Tanner Ealum, Delaney McDowell, Anna Van Wyk – Distance Medley Relay
Big South Men's Outdoor Titles Darrel Jones – Triple Jump
William Partridge – Shot Put
Denzel Pratt – Javelin
Branson Rolle – 400 Hurdles
Travis Henderson, Alejandro Perlaza Zapata, Greg Edwards, Jahquez Durham – 4 x 100 Relay
Alejandro Perlaza Zapata, Michael Todd, Jeff Jacobs, Jahquez Durham – 4 x 400 Relay
Big South Women's Outdoor Titles Ty'Asia Dansbury – 100 and 200
Cortney Dowling – 400
Tanner Ealum – 800
Jessie Glynn – Pole Vault
Kimone Green – 400 Hurdles
Dasiana Larson – Hammer
Kylie Polsgrove – 100 Hurdles and Heptathlon
Brenna Smith – Javelin
Patria Vaimaona - Discus
Erin Zappia – High Jump
Alexis Wilson, Ty'Asia Dansbury, Kimone Green, Cortney Dowling – 4 x 100 Relay
Kimone Green, Tanner Ealum, Cortney Dowling, Ty'Asia Dansbury – 4 x 400 Relay
Record Breakers Liberty broke 24 different school records in 2018, including the following:
Men's Indoor 60 Hurdles – 7.64 – Jovaine Atkinson (3/9/18)
Men's Indoor 400 – 46.14 – Alejandro Perlaza Zapata (3/4/18) (Also South American indoor record)
Men's Indoor 4 x 400 Relay – 3:09.88 – Durham, Todd, Jacobs, Perlaza Zapata (3/4/18)
Men's Indoor Distance Medley Relay – 9:47.30 – Crowell, Rolle, Prentice, Schultz (3/4/18)
Men's Indoor Triple Jump – 51-0 (15.54m) – Darrel Jones (2/18/18)
Men's Indoor Heptathlon – 5,537 – Markus Ballengee (3/2-3/18)
Women's Indoor 200 – 23.98 – Kimone Green (2/24/18)
Women's Indoor 500 – 1:11.17 – Tanner Ealum (3/4/18) (No. 4 in the world for 2018)
Women's Indoor 1,000 – 2:49.95 – Delaney McDowell (1/27/18)
Women's Indoor 4 x 400 Relay – 3:41.09 – Dansbury, Dowling, Behymer, Ealum (3/4/18)
Women's Indoor Distance Medley Relay – 11:44.49 – Karle, Dansbury, Smith, Van Wyk (3/4/18)
Women's Indoor Shuttle Hurdles Relay – 35.08 – Mulder, Polsgrove, Green, Dodson (2/2/18)
Men's Outdoor 110 Hurdles – 13.77 – Jovaine Atkinson (3/31/18)
Men's Outdoor 400 – 44.86 – Alejandro Perlaza Zapata (5/11/18) (Also Colombian record)
Men's Outdoor 800 – 1:48.70 – Bradley Prentice (5/24/18)
Men's Outdoor 1,500 – 3:43.58 – Colin Schultz (5/11/18)
Men's Outdoor Sprint Medley Relay – 3:20.65 – Henderson, Durham, Perlaza Zapata, Todd (3/30/18)
Women's Outdoor 400 Hurdles – 58.46 – Kimone Green (5/11/18)
Women's Outdoor 4 x 100 Relay – 44.80 – Wilson, Dansbury, Green, Dowling (5/11/18)
Women's Outdoor 4 x 400 Relay – 3:36.56 – Green, Ealum, Dowling, Dansbury (5/26/18)
Women's Outdoor Shot Put – 52-3.25 (15.93m) – Naomi Mojica (5/10/18)
Women's Outdoor Discus – 168-7 (51.39m) – Patria Vaimaona (5/9/18)
Women's Outdoor Hammer - 206-6 (62.94m) – Dasiana Larson (5/11/18)
Women's Outdoor Javelin – 161-7 (49.26m) – Brenna Smith (4/21/18)
Award Winners The following Flames won awards in 2018:
Samuel Arter – Big South Men's All-Academic Team (Outdoor)
Jovaine Atkinson – Big South Men's Outstanding Track Performer (Indoor), Google Cloud Academic All-District, Big South Men's Scholar-Athlete of the Year (Indoor), Big South Men's All-Academic Team (Indoor), Big South Men's Track Athlete of the Week (1/24)
Markus Ballengee – 3-time Big South Men's Field Athlete of the Week (1/31, 3/8, 4/4)
Ty'Asia Dansbury – Big South Women's Freshman of the Year (Outdoor)
Paige Demetriades – Big South Women's Field Athlete of the Week (3/21)
Tanner Ealum – 2-time Big South Women's Track Athlete of the Week (2/14, 3/8)
Jessie Glynn – Big South Women's Field Athlete of the Week (3/28)
Kimone Green – Big South Women's Outstanding Track Performer (Indoor), 2-time Big South Women's Track Athlete of the Week (4/11, 4/25)
Graham Hansel – Big South Christenberry Award
Darrel Jones – 3-time Big South Men's Field Athlete of the Week (2/7, 2/21, 4/25)
Dasiana Larson – 4-time Big South Women's Field Athlete of the Week (1/24, 2/14, 3/8, 4/4)
Delaney McDowell – Big South Women's Track Athlete of the Week (1/31)
Naomi Mojica – Big South Women's Field Athlete of the Week (2/7)
Alejandro Perlaza Zapata – Big South Men's Outstanding Track Performer (Outdoor), 2-time Big South Men's Track Athlete of the Week (1/31, 3/8)
Kylie Polsgrove – Big South Women's Field Athlete of the Week (1/31)
Denzel Pratt – Big South Men's Field Athlete of the Week (3/28)
Colin Schultz – 2-time Big South Men's Track Athlete of the Week (3/28, 4/4)
Brenna Smith – Big South Women's All-Academic Team (Outdoor)
Brant Tolsma – Big South Men's and Women's Coach of the Year (Indoor and Outdoor)
Carson Waters – 2-time Big South Men's Field Athlete of the Week (2/14, 4/11)
Erin Zappia – Big South Women's All-Academic Team (Indoor)
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