Liberty track & field senior standouts Delaney McDowell (800 – 2:06.70) and Kylie Polsgrove (heptathlon – 5,333) made successful season debuts in their specialty events, Friday at the Tennessee Relays at Tom Black Track. Both Lady Flames placed inside the top five and each set a new personal best in the process.
Polsgrove's heptathlon score of 5,333, a new personal best by 149 points, placed her fourth in the two-day competition. The North Carolina native posted the ASUN's top score this season and currently ranks No. 11 nationally among NCAA Division I heptathletes. Polsgrove now sits No. 2 on the Lady Flames' all-time heptathlon list, trailing only Liberty Athletics Hall of Famer Danielle (McNaney) Detmer.
Polsgrove resided in eighth place in the heptathlon standings following a season-best 17-11 long jump before moving up during the final two events.
Polsgrove's javelin throw of 122-11 added 6.5 feet to her previous best and marked her third personal best of the competition (also 37-3 shot put and 25.17 200 on Thursday). It also ranks No. 4 all-time among Liberty heptathletes.
Polsgrove then punctuated her effort by winning the heptathlon 800 in a new outdoor personal-best time of 2:19.43. As with the javelin performance, the time ranks No. 4 on the all-time Liberty heptathlon chart.
McDowell's lifetime-best 2:06.70 clocking for 800 meters was good for fifth place in a loaded field. Two of the only four runners to top McDowell were the NCAA's reigning indoor (Penn's Nia Akins) and outdoor (Middle Tennessee's Abike Egbeniyi) national runners-up at 800 meters.
McDowell, who clocked nearly identical splits of 1:03.26 and 1:03.44 for her two laps, punched her ticket to the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet for the second straight year. Her time is the fastest in the ASUN this season by two seconds.
New Women's NCAA East Preliminary Round Qualifiers Delaney McDowell – 800 – 2:06.70
Updates to Liberty's All-Time Women's Top 10 List Heptathlon – No. 2 – Kylie Polsgrove – 5,333 800 – No. 3 – Delaney McDowell – 2:06.70
Up Next Liberty will split its athletes between two different meets on Saturday. A sizeable group of Flames and Lady Flames will compete in the Gamecock Invitational in Columbia, S.C., while others will remain in Lynchburg for the WildCat Invitational at Randolph College. Both meets will begin at 9 a.m.