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Flames, Lady Flames Claim Liberty's 1st-Ever ASUN Titles

February 23, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Flames, Lady Flames Claim Liberty's 1st-Ever ASUN Titles

The conference changed but the results remained the same for Liberty's men's and women's squads at the 2019 ASUN Indoor Track & Field Championships, which wrapped up Saturday at the Liberty Indoor Track Complex. In their ASUN meet debut, the Flames and Lady Flames claimed Liberty's first two ASUN Conference team titles in any sport.

The Liberty men's squad posted a 51-point victory (190 to 139) over Kennesaw State, halting the Owls' run of seven straight ASUN titles. The Flames have now captured 22 consecutive indoor conference crowns, also including their victories at each of the first 21 editions of the Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships.

The Lady Flames completed the sweep with a 38-point triumph (187 to 149) over Jacksonville, handing the Dolphins just their second defeat in the ASUN meet's 14-year history. Liberty has now won four straight conference titles overall.

Liberty also remained unbeaten at home in track & field conference championship meets all-time. The Flames and Lady Flames swept the men's and women's team titles at all eight Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships they hosted, as well as the 2018 Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships.

Brant Tolsma was voted ASUN Men's and Women's Coach of the Year, making him a 73-time conference coach of the year. Tolsma has now guided Liberty to 111 conference titles during his 33 years at the helm, spanning five different organizations (ASUN, Big South, Mason/Dixon, IC4A and ECAC).

The Flames won 10 events on Saturday, giving them first-place finishes in nearly half of the events (15 of 34) over the course of the two-day meet.

Liberty finished the meet with four new school records, eight meet records and two facility records with Alejandro Perlaza Zapata doing a lion's share of the record setting on Saturday.

The Olympian from Colombia won all three of his events on the day, including the 200 (meet, school and Colombian-record 21.04), 400 (meet and facility-record 46.15) and 4 x 400 relay (3:11.65), where he was preceded by Branson Rolle, Jahquez Durham and Michael Todd. Perlaza Zapata put himself in the running for selection to the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships in the 400 and became just the second athlete in meet history to sweep the men's 200 and 400 titles.

The Lady Flames also punctuated their victory with a thrilling win in the 4 x 400 relay, holding off top seed Jacksonville to do so. Cortney Dowling, Delaney McDowell, Tanner Ealum and Ty'Asia Dansbury teamed up for a new meet-record time of 3:41.74, the No. 2 clocking in program history.

Dowling had earlier lowered the school record for the women's 400 to 53.99 seconds while finishing a close second in the event.

Azaria Kirwa has now captured event titles at each of his two ASUN meet appearances. The 2018 ASUN men's cross country champion raced to a wire-to-wire victory in the men's 5K on Saturday, thanks to a meet and facility-record time of 14:17.38.

Lady Flames freshmen captured three event titles on Saturday, including victories by Chelsea Igberaese (weight throw, 64-7.75), Taylen Langin (pole vault, meet-record 12-7.5) and Jada Thomas (60 hurdles, 8.62).

Thomas' victory in the 60 hurdles helped swing the meet in the Lady Flames' favor for good. Liberty outscored Jacksonville 33-6 in the hurdles and concurrent triple jump event, providing enough buffer to withstand the Dolphins' 1-2-3-4 finish in the 200 later in the afternoon.

Kysheen Myrick was the Flames' other event champion, scoring 4,768 points in his Liberty heptathlon debut to outdistance runner-up Pritinder Singh of NJIT by 436 tallies.

Speaking of multi-event athletes, Liberty's point leaders for the meet included Branson Rolle (24.5 points) for the men's team and Kylie Polsgrove (21 points) for the Lady Flames.

Rolle's two days included victory in the men's long jump, a runner-up showing in the high jump, fourth place in the 60 hurdles and a leg of the Flames' winning 4 x 400 relay quartet.

Meanwhile, Polsgrove was the runner-up in both the pentathlon and high jump, while placing fourth in the long jump and sixth in the 60 hurdles.

Final Men's Team Scores
1) Liberty – 190
2) Kennesaw State – 139
3T) North Florida – 78
3T) Lipscomb – 78
5) NJIT – 40

Final Women's Team Scores
1) Liberty – 187
2) Jacksonville – 149
3) Kennesaw State – 109
4) North Florida – 45
5) Lipscomb – 35
6) NJIT – 2

Most Valuable Male Performer
Paris Williams, Kennesaw State

Most Valuable Female Performer
Jordan Gray, Kennesaw State

Men's Coach of the Year
Brant Tolsma, Liberty

Women's Coach of the Year
Brant Tolsma, Liberty

Men's ASUN Champions (Day 2)
Azaria Kirwa – 5K – 14:17.38
Kysheen Myrick – Heptathlon – 4,768
Alejandro Perlaza Zapata – 200 – 21.04
Alejandro Perlaza Zapata – 400 – 46.15
Jonny Saintil – Triple Jump – 48-10.25
Branson Rolle, Jahquez Durham, Michael Todd, Alejandro Perlaza Zapata – 4 x 400 – 3:11.65

Women's ASUN Champions (Day 2)
Chelsea Igberaese – Weight Throw – 64-7.75
Taylen Langin – Pole Vault – 12-7.5
Jada Thomas – 60 Hurdles – 8.62
Cortney Dowling, Delaney McDowell, Tanner Ealum, Ty'Asia Dansbury – 4 x 400 – 3:41.74

Other Men's Top 3 Finishers (Day 2)
2nd – Felix Kandie – Mile – 4:09.57
3rd – Jahquez Durham – 400 – 48.35
3rd – Sam Mastro – Weight Throw – 51-3
3rd – Caleb Rider – Heptathlon – 4,133
3rd – Michael Todd – 800 – 1:52.82

Other Women's Top 3 Finishers (Day 2)
2nd – Cortney Dowling – 400 – 53.99
2nd – Delaney McDowell – 800 – 2:07.61
2nd – Makenzy Mizera – Triple Jump – 39-10
2nd – Noel Palmer – 5K – 17:11.91
2nd – Kylie Polsgrove – High Jump – 5-5
3rd – Naomi Bowser – Pole Vault – 10-8
3rd – Tanner Ealum – 400 – 55.24
3rd – Adrianna Mitchell – Triple Jump – 39-8.75
3rd – Jaiden Mulder – 60 Hurdles – 8.76
3rd – Abby Thorpe – High Jump – 5-5
3rd – Marvalyn Vernon – Weight Throw – 60-10.75

Men's Record Breakers (Day 2)
Meet, School and Colombian Record – 200 – Alejandro Perlaza Zapata – 21.04
Old Meet Record: 21.22 by ETSU's Duronal Monal in 2010
Old School and Colombian Records: 21.17 by Perlaza Zapata on Jan. 26

Meet and Facility Record – 400 – Alejandro Perlaza Zapata – 46.15
Old Meet Record: 48.30 by ETSU's Tim O'Dell in 2012
Old Facility Record: 46.80 by Perlaza Zapata in 2018

Meet and Facility Record – 5K – Azaria Kirwa – 14:17.38
Old Meet Record: 14:23.67 by Kennesaw State's Natan Reuter in 2014
Old Facility Record: 14:22.51 by Campbell's Amon Kemboi in 2018

Meet Record – 4 x 400 – Branson Rolle, Jahquez Durham, Michael Todd, Alejandro Perlaza Zapata – 3:11.65
Old Meet Record: 3:15.67 by Kennesaw State in 2010

Freshman Record – Mile – Felix Kandie – 4:09.57
Old Record: 4:09.59 by Kandie on Jan. 26

Women's Record Breakers (Day 2)
Meet Record – 4 x 400 – Cortney Dowling, Delaney McDowell, Tanner Ealum, Ty'Asia Dansbury – 3:41.74
Old Record: 3:45.14 by Jacksonville in 2011

Meet Record – Pole Vault – Taylen Langin – 12-7.5
Old Record: 12-7.25 by Kennesaw State's Erica Sergeant in 2018

School Record – 400 – Cortney Dowling – 53.99
Old Record: 54.41 by Erin Edmond in 2016

Freshman Record – 60 Hurdles – Jada Thomas – 8.62
Old Record: 8.66 by Thomas during Friday's prelims

Freshman Record – Weight Throw – Chelsea Igberaese – 64-7.75
Old Record: 59-9 by Igberaese on Jan. 18

Possible Men's NCAA Qualifier (Day 2)
Alejandro Perlaza Zapata – 400 – 46.15
Note: Currently tied for No. 13 nationally

New Women's ECAC Qualifiers (Day 2)
Makenzy Mizera – Triple Jump – 39-10
Alexis Rolan – 200 – 24.66
Alexis Wilson – 200 – 24.56

Updates to Liberty's All-Time Men's Top 10 List (Day 2)
200 – No. 1 – Alejandro Perlaza Zapata – 21.04
4 x 400 – No. 3 – Rolle, Durham, Todd, Perlaza Zapata – 3:11.65
Mile – No. 6 – Felix Kandie – 4:09.57

Updates to Liberty's All-Time Women's Top 10 List (Day 2)
400 – No. 1 – Cortney Dowling – 53.99
60 Hurdles – No. 2 – Jada Thomas – 8.62
4 x 400 – No. 2 – Dowling, McDowell, Ealum, Dansbury – 3:41.74
800 – No. 3 – Delaney McDowell – 2:07.61
Weight Throw – No. 3 – Chelsea Igberaese – 64-7.75
200 – No. 6 – Alexis Wilson – 24.56
800 – No. 6 – Naomi Bowser – 2:14.38
Triple Jump – No. 6 – Makenzy Mizera – 39-10
200 – No. 7 – Alexis Rolan – 24.66
Triple Jump – No. 7 – Adrianna Mitchell – 39-8.75
60 Hurdles – No. 9 – Katie Dodson – 8.80

Up Next
Perlaza Zapata will learn on Tuesday evening whether or not he has qualified for the 2019 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships, which will be contested March 8-9 in Birmingham, Ala.

Liberty will compete in a conference meet for the second consecutive weekend, traveling to Boston for the 2019 IC4A and ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships. The Lady Flames are the defending ECAC champions at the three-day meet which will take place Friday through Sunday at the Boston University Track & Field Pavilion.