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Women's Distance Squad Shines on Darius Dixon Day 2

February 15, 2020  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Calli Parlier won the women's mile in a meet-record and personal-best time of 4:51.71.
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The Liberty women's distance squad stood tall on the second and final day of the sixth annual Darius Dixon Memorial Invitational, Saturday at the Liberty Indoor Track Complex. Calli Parlier led a 1-2 Liberty finish in the women's mile, while Anna Hostetler headed up a 1-2-3 Lady Flames sweep in the women's 3K, with both setting new meet records.

Host Liberty totaled seven first-place finishes during its final tuneup for the 2020 ASUN Indoor Track & Field Championships, with All-American Jovaine Atkinson adding a third meet record in the men's 60 hurdles (7.78).

Parlier's meet-record mile time was a personal-best 4:51.71 clocking which ranks No. 5 all-time for the Lady Flames. Freshman teammate Priscillah Kiplagat followed in the runner-up position with a personal-best of her own (4:55.99). Approximately two hours later, Parlier came back to lower her 800 personal best to 2:11.95.

Hostetler (meet-record 9:49.65) was trailed closely in the 3K by fellow Lady Flames Noel Palmer (second place, personal-best 9:50.37) and Emma Bower (third place, personal-best 9:54.59). All three now rank among the top 10 women's 3K runners in program history, along with Parlier (9:54.46 from earlier this season).

The meet is named for Darius Dixon, a former Liberty sprinter who tragically died in a car accident at the age of 18 on Dec. 7, 2013, two days after competing in his lone collegiate track meet. Dixon's best event was the 400 meters, and Liberty appropriately closed out the meet with victories in both the men's and women's 4 x 400 relays.

The men's 4 x 400 squad of Brad Smalley, Jahquez Durham, Felix Lawrence and Christian Lyon pulled out a win over Maryland and Hampton with a season-best 3:12.28 effort. Durham, Lawrence and Lyon all clocked sub-48.00 splits, contributing to the third fastest quartet in ASUN history and the fourth fastest grouping in Liberty annals.

Not to be outdone, the Lady Flames' 4 x 400 quartet of Nikayla Hoyte, Cortney Strohman, Alexis Rolan and Tanner Ealum also took honors in a season-best time of 3:44.07, edging Navy.

Atkinson has now won the 60 hurdles at all three of Liberty's home meets this season after clocking a meet-record time of 7.78 on Saturday. Freshman teammate Felix Lawrence added a third-place finish in 8.00, claiming the No. 2 spot behind Atkinson on Liberty's all-time list.

Atkinson's fellow Jamaican Kyle Mitchell also remained unbeaten at home in 2020, claiming first place in the men's shot put at 60-8.75. Jose Ballivian followed in third with a season-best 58-7.25 put.

Sophomore Abby Thorpe cleared a lifetime-best and ASUN-leading 5-8 to win the women's high jump and move into a tie for fourth place in program history.

In another vertical jumping event, Anders Janes pole vaulted an indoor personal-best 16-6 for third place. It is the top mark in the ASUN Conference this season and ranks fourth in conference history.

Several Flames sprinters recorded impressive runner-up finishes on the day, including Lyon in the men's 200 (21.08), Strohman in the women's 400 (season-best 54.27) and Ealum in the women's 800 (2:07.17). Lyon and Strohman were each the top collegiate finishers in their respective events, with Strohman losing only to 2012 Olympic relay gold medalist Francena McCorory. The only runner to defeat Ealum in the women's four-lapper was Norfolk State All-American Martha Bissah.

Women's Event Winners
Anna Hostetler – 3K – 9:49.65
Calli Parlier – Mile – 4:51.71
Abby Thorpe – High Jump – 5-8
Nikayla Hoyte, Cortney Strohman, Alexis Rolan, Tanner Ealum – 4 x 400 Relay – 3:44.07

Men's Event Winners
Jovaine Atkinson – 60 Hurdles – 7.78
Kyle Mitchell – Shot Put – 60-8.75
Brad Smalley, Jahquez Durham, Felix Lawrence, Christian Lyon – 4 x 400 Relay – 3:12.28

Other Women's Top 3 Finishers
2nd – Tanner Ealum – 800 – 2:07.17
2nd – Priscillah Kiplagat – Mile – 4:55.99
2nd – Naomi Mojica – Shot Put – 48-10
2nd – Noel Palmer – 3K – 9:50.37
2nd – Cortney Strohman – 400 – 54.27
3rd – Emma Bower – 3K – 9:54.59

Other Men's Top 3 Finishers
2nd – Ally Kipchirchir – 800 – 1:53.33
2nd – Christian Lyon – 200 – 21.08
2nd – Joe Spitzer – 1,000 – 2:30.59
3rd – Jose Ballivian – Shot Put – 58-7.25
3rd – Anders Janes – Pole Vault – 16-6
3rd – Benjamin Klemmeck – 3K – 8:36.75
3rd – Felix Lawrence – 60 Hurdles – 8.00
3rd – Christian Lyon – 60 – 6.81

Women's Record Breakers
Meet Record – Mile – Calli Parlier – 4:51.71
Old Record: 4:52.34 by Norfolk State's Martha Bissah in 2018

Meet Record – 3K – Anna Hostetler – 9:49.65
Old Record: 9:56.03 by Appalachian State's Hana Ratcliffe in 2019

Men's Record Breakers
Meet Record – 60 Hurdles – Jovaine Atkinson – 7.78
Old Record: 7.84 by Trey Holloway, competing unattached, in 2017

Updates to Liberty's All-Time Women's Top 10 List
High Jump – Tie for No. 4 – Abby Thorpe – 5-8
Mile – No. 5 – Calli Parlier – 4:51.71
800 – No. 6 – Calli Parlier – 2:11.95
3K – No. 6 – Anna Hostetler – 9:49.65
3K – No. 7 – Noel Palmer – 9:50.37
60 – No. 7 – Abby Pantlitz – 7.67
4 x 400 – No. 8 – Hoyte, Strohman, Rolan, Ealum – 3:44.07
Mile – No. 10 – Priscillah Kiplagat – 4:55.99
3K – No. 10 – Emma Bower – 9:54.59

Updates to Liberty's All-Time Men's Top 10 List
60 Hurdles – No. 2 – Felix Lawrence – 8.00
4 x 400 – No. 4 – Smalley, Durham, Lawrence, Lyon – 3:12.28 (also No. 3 all-time in ASUN history)
Pole Vault – No. 7 – Anders Janes – 16-6 (also No. 4 all-time in ASUN history)

Up Next
Liberty will take next weekend off from competition in preparation for the 2020 ASUN Indoor Track & Field Championships. For the third consecutive season, the meet will take place at the Liberty Indoor Track Complex, Feb. 28 and 29. Liberty will attempt to defend the men's and women's team titles it captured during its inaugural ASUN Championship appearance last season.