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Liberty Racks Up 17 Event Victories During Outdoor Opener

March 16, 2019  Charleston, S.C.  RSS
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Jose Ballivian won the men's shot put and discus on Saturday.

Jose Ballivian won the men's shot put and discus on Saturday.

Liberty opened its 2019 outdoor track & field season in most impressive fashion on a breezy Saturday at the Jim Settle Spring Break Invitational. The Flames won 17 events at Charleston Southern's Bagwell-Settle Track, including a pair (men's shot put and discus) by Jose Ballivian.

Ballivian, a first-year Flame from Chile, moved into Liberty's all-time top 10 with his winning marks in both the shot put (58-1) and discus (166-9). The shot put effort ranks No. 4 in program history and makes him the first Flame to qualify for the 2019 NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet.

Liberty won seven of the meet's eight throwing events, also including the men's hammer (Sam Mastro, 160-10), men's javelin (Denzel Pratt, 201-10), women's shot put (Naomi Mojica, 50-1.25), women's discus (Chelsea Igberaese, 150-2) and women's javelin (Paige Demetriades, 125-3). Both Demetriades and Igberaese successfully defended their titles from last year's spring break meet at CSU.

Four of the Flames' victories came in jumping events, with three of the triumphs being achieved by freshmen. These included first-place finishes in the men's pole vault (Anders Janes, 13-5.25), women's pole vault (Taylen Langin, 12-5.5) and women's high jump (Abby Thorpe, 5-5). Sophomore Alexis Rolan added a long jump win, thanks to an 18-1 leap.

Langin's 12-5.5 pole vault clearance in less than ideal conditions broke the Liberty freshman record and ranks No. 4 all-time for the Lady Flames.

A number of Liberty runners won races at distances other than their specialties, including Ally Kipchirchir in the men's 400 (49.51), Cortney Dowling in the women's 800 (2:15.44) and Delaney McDowell in the women's 1,500 (4:38.06).

Liberty did not compete in any relays on Saturday, but two of their relay aces (Ty'Asia Dansbury and Tanner Ealum) recorded victories in the women's 200 and 400 dashes, respectively. Dansbury also placed second in the women's 100 final (11.94) after speeding to a wind-aided 11.83 in the prelims.

Competing about 300 miles down the East Coast from his hometown of Beaufort, N.C., Isidro Johnson won a tight men's 400 hurdles race in 57.51 seconds.

Senior Kylie Polsgrove built upon the successful conclusion to her indoor season, placing second in the women's long jump (17-9.75), third in the 100 hurdles (14.31) and sixth in the javelin (personal-best 116-6).

Fellow senior Azaria Kirwa crossed the finish line second overall and first among collegiate competitors in the men's 1,500, clocking a new personal-best time of 3:55.26.

Women's Event Winners (10)
Ty'Asia Dansbury – 200 – 24.28
Paige Demetriades – Javelin – 125-3
Cortney Dowling – 800 – 2:15.44
Tanner Ealum – 400 – 55.61
Chelsea Igberaese – Discus – 150-2 (Won the competition on her final throw)
Taylen Langin – Pole Vault – 12-5.5
Delaney McDowell – 1,500 – 4:38.06
Naomi Mojica – Shot Put – 50-1.25 (Won by more than eight feet)
Alexis Rolan – Long Jump – 18-1
Abby Thorpe – High Jump – 5-5

Men's Event Winners (7)
Jose Ballivian – Shot Put – 58-1
Jose Ballivian – Discus – 166-9 (Won by nearly 11 feet)
Anders Janes – Pole Vault – 13-5.25
Isidro Johnson – 400 Hurdles – 57.51
Ally Kipchirchir – 400 – 49.51
Sam Mastro – Hammer – 160-10 (Won by nearly 10 feet)
Denzel Pratt – Javelin – 201-10 (Won by 28.5 feet)

Other Women's Top 3 Finishers
2nd – Naomi Bowser – 1,500 – 4:43.75
2nd – Natalee Cole – 800 – 2:19.79
2nd – Ty'Asia Dansbury – 100 – 11.94
2nd – Chelsea Igberaese – Hammer – 174-4
2nd – Katie MacDougall – Steeplechase – 12:10.80
2nd – Rachel Milnes – Pole Vault – 10-6
2nd – Kylie Polsgrove – Long Jump – 17-9.75
3rd – Mackenzie Hainley – Javelin – 123-1
3rd – Clara Lynch – Steeplechase – 12:34.41
3rd – Kylie Polsgrove – 100 Hurdles – 14.31
3rd – Marvalyn Vernon – Hammer – 170-6
3rd – Alexis Wilson – 100 – 12.06

Other Men's Top 3 Finishers
2nd – Caleb Hart – Javelin – 173-3
2nd – Azaria Kirwa – 1,500 – 3:55.26 (1st collegiate finisher)
2nd – Kyle Mitchell – Shot Put – 55-11.25
2nd – Michael Todd – 400 – 49.76
3rd – Ryan Fox – Pole Vault – 12-11.5
3rd – Michael Fairfax – 400 Hurdles – 57.70
3rd – Kyle Mitchell – Discus – 143-5
3rd – Kysheen Myrick – 110 Hurdles – 15.48

Women's Record Breakers
Freshman Record – Pole Vault – Taylen Langin – 12-5.5
Old Record: 12-4.5 by Rachel Milnes at the 2018 Big South meet

Men's NCAA East Preliminary Round Qualifiers
Jose Ballivian – Shot Put – 58-1

Updates to Liberty's All-Time Women's Top 10 List
Pole Vault – No. 4 – Taylen Langin – 12-5.5
Hammer – No. 9 – Marvalyn Vernon – 170-6
High Jump – Tie for No. 9 – Abby Thorpe – 5-5

Updates to Liberty's All-Time Men's Top 10 List
Shot Put – No. 4 – Jose Ballivian – 58-1
Shot Put – No. 7 – Kyle Mitchell – 55-11.25
Discus – No. 10 – Jose Ballivian – 166-9

Up Next
Liberty will compete in the FSU Relays, Friday at Mike Long Track in Tallahassee, Fla. The one-day team-scored competition will pit the Flames against Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Pitt and Virginia Tech and will begin at 9 a.m.