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Liberty Track to Open 2020 Indoor Season at VT

January 15, 2020  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Returning national qualifiers Cortney Strohman (left) and Tanner Ealum (right) will open their senior season at this weekend's Virginia Tech Invitational.

Returning national qualifiers Cortney Strohman (left) and Tanner Ealum (right) will open their senior season at this weekend's Virginia Tech Invitational.

Meet Information/Schedule

Live Results Page

@Liberty_XCTF Twitter

For the second consecutive year, the Liberty men's and women's indoor track & field teams will open their seasons in Blacksburg. The Flames and Lady Flames are set to compete in the Virginia Tech Invitational, Friday and Saturday at Rector Field House.

The meet will begin Friday at 5 p.m. with the women's 60 hurdles prelims, men's triple jump, women's triple jump, men's weight throw and unseeded women's pole vault. Saturday's slate of events will get started at 11 a.m. with the women's high jump and seeded women's pole vault.

How to Follow the Flames and Lady Flames
Live results, featuring live field event updates, will be available throughout the Virginia Tech Invitational, courtesy of Flash Results.

Periodic updates will also be posted to the Liberty Track & Field/Cross Country Twitter account, @Liberty_XCTF.

Scouting the Competition
The Lady Flames will square off against some high-level competition this weekend, as the 12-team field features six ACC members (Duke, North Carolina, Pitt, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest) and Tennessee of the SEC.

About the Facility
Virginia Tech's on-campus Rector Field House features a 200-meter banked track and served as the site of the 2019 ACC Indoor Track & Field Championships.

Liberty has competed at Rector Field House numerous times over the years, as the facility played host to 11 Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships between 1998-2016.

Looking Back
Liberty got its 2019 indoor season off to a successful beginning at the Hokie Invitational, Jan. 18-19 in Blacksburg. Nick Doan captured the men's 3K title and was one of 21 Flames and Lady Flames to post IC4A/ECAC qualifiers on the weekend.

Noting the National Qualifiers
This year's men's and women's teams feature five athletes who have appeared at either the NCAA Division I Indoor or Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Jovaine Atkinson – 2018 Indoor
Tanner Ealum – 2019 Outdoor
Chelsea Igberaese – 2019 Outdoor
Felix Kandie – 2019 Outdoor
Cortney Strohman – 2019 Outdoor

Four of the five are entered in this weekend's meet, with Kandie planning to open his season at next weekend's Liberty Kickoff.

Strohman is the new last name of Cortney Dowling, who was married during the off-season. Fellow Lady Flame Naomi Armstrong is also a newlywed, changing her last name from Bowser.

ASUN's Best
Liberty returns five individual champions from last year's ASUN Indoor Track & Field Championships, all of whom are field event athletes.

Jose Ballivian – Men's Shot Put
Chelsea Igberaese – Women's Weight Throw
Taylen Langin – Women's Pole Vault
Naomi Mojica – Women's Shot Put
Branson Rolle – Men's Long Jump

Welcome Back
Several Flames and Lady Flames will be returning to action this weekend following lengthy absences from competition.

Jovaine Atkinson – The All-American has not raced since the 2019 ASUN indoor meet due to injury.

Nikayla Hoyte – Her last meet was the 2018 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships, where she placed third in the women's long jump. She missed the 2019 indoor and outdoor campaigns due to injury.

Maggie McDermott – She did not compete at all in 2019 after qualifying for the Big South women's indoor 400 final in 2018.

Noel Palmer – A distance standout, Palmer redshirted the 2019 cross country season and has not raced since the World University Games in July 2019 in Italy.

Bradley Prentice – He sat out the 2019 indoor and outdoor seasons to focus on his nursing major. When we last saw Prentice in a Flames uniform, he clocked a program-record 800 time of 1:48.70 and finished one race away from the 2018 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Fresh Faces
Twenty-two of the Flames' 61 competitors at Virginia Tech will be representing Liberty in an indoor track meet for the first time, including more than half (14 of 27) of the men's entrants in the meet.

This group includes transfers Ryan Drew (VMI), Stuart Folkerts (TCU), Juan Pablo Germain Ronco (Universidad del Desarrollo in Chile), Anna Hostetler (Iowa), Christian Lyon (Barton Community College), Travis Riley (Kentucky) and Jacob Strickler (Shippensburg). Germain Ronco, Hostetler and Riley just enrolled at Liberty this semester.

Freshmen making their Liberty track debuts include Quinten Clay, Shae Dewey, Michael Ginder, John Hicks, Erick Johnson, Priscillah Kiplagat, Felix Lawrence, Caleb Olson, Abby Pantlitz, Cole Peterlin, Abby Phillips, Noah Tindale and Kristiana Young. Phillips has already worn a different Liberty uniform in competition, playing volleyball for the Lady Flames during the fall.

Finally, women's distance runners Brittany Carnathan and Chelsea Stocki have each been on campus for multiple years but will be competing in their first Liberty track races this weekend. Their women's distance coach, Rachel Johnson, will be coaching her first track meet at Liberty after arriving in Lynchburg just prior to the 2019 cross country season.

Up Next
The Flames and Lady Flames will begin their fourth season of competition at the Liberty Indoor Track Complex next weekend. The 15th Liberty Kickoff is set for Jan. 24 and 25.