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Liberty Set for Final Home Track Meet of 2008

April 29, 2008  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Jon Hart will compete in the hammer, discus and shot put at his final collegiate home meet, Thursday's Liberty Twilight Qualifier.

Jon Hart will compete in the hammer, discus and shot put at his final collegiate home meet, Thursday's Liberty Twilight Qualifier.

Meet Information (Including Revised Schedule)

Performance List

Liberty track & field fans will have one last opportunity to see the Flames and Lady Flames in action at the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex, this Thursday. The Liberty Twilight Qualifier, the final home meet of the 2008 outdoor track & field season, is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.

Liberty will welcome athletes from 15 universities and a number of unattached competitors to Lynchburg for the one-day meet, which will feature 19 men's events and a matching number of women's disciplines. Two NCAA Division I nationally ranked squads will be in action, as the Liberty men's squad is ranked No. 15 in the latest USTFCCCA Top 25 poll, while the Virginia Tech women's team checks in at No. 4.

With such a collection of talent assembled, there will be a number of storylines to follow on Thursday.

Saying Goodbye
The Liberty Twilight Qualifier will serve as the final career home meet for Liberty's group of seniors, including Jon Hart (Wyomissing, Pa.), Clendon Henderson (Meadow, Texas) and Brandon Hoskins (Garden City, Texas).

Hart and Henderson will highlight a loaded field of throwers. Hart is slated to compete in the shot put, hammer and discus, while Henderson is entered in the hammer and discus. Meanwhile, there will be no multi-event competitions held at the meet, so Hoskins has opted for the 110-meter hurdles, javelin and pole vault.

Fans hoping to see Josh McDougal (Sr., Peru, N.Y.) compete one final time at home in a Liberty uniform will be out of luck, however. He is scheduled to run the 10,000 meters at Stanford's Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational, late Sunday night.

Watch Out for Flying Objects
Hart and Henderson will both be challenged, if they hope to post victories in their final appearances at the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex. Virginia Tech has entered a strong contingent of throwers, on both the men's and women's sides, which should make for some entertaining competition.

Men's Discus (3 p.m.) – Henderson will get the meet started with his specialty, the discus throw. Ranked second nationally in the event, the Liberty senior will aim for a reprise of his last home meet. On March 28, at the Liberty Collegiate Invitational, Henderson unleashed a 193-4 toss, eclipsing his own facility record and taking the national lead in the discus.

Men's Shot Put (4:30 p.m.) – Henderson will sit out the shot put on Thursday, even though he is ranked No. 14 in the nation. Hart, with a season best of 57-5.75, will be Liberty's top representative. The event favorite, however, is Virginia Tech's Justin Clickett. He sits No. 8 on the national performance list, at 62-6.75.

Men's Hammer (5:30 p.m.) – The third men's throwing event of the afternoon promises a good battle between two of the top 11 hammer throwers in the nation. Hart's season-best 217-2 throw ranks No. 11 nationally, while Virginia Tech's Matej Muza sits No. 4 with a 225-10 effort.

Women's Shot Put (Approx. 6 p.m.) – Brittany Pryor of Virginia Tech currently ranks No. 12 nationally with a 54-0 shot put. However, she will be hard-pressed to push Trinidad & Tobago Olympian Cleopatra Borel-Brown. The 10th-place shot putter at the 2004 Summer Olympics, Borel-Brown will aim to improve her facility record of 59-11.

Women's Hammer (Approx. 7 p.m.) – A pair of highly-touted Hokies will take their turn in the throwing cage on the hill overlooking the south end of the track, competing in the women's hammer. Dorotea Habazin and Kristen Callan, are rated No. 4 and No. 6, respectively, on the NCAA performance list. No female has ever thrown the hammer 200 feet at the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex. That could change Thursday, as both Hokies have eclipsed 210 feet already in 2008.

Let's Get Vertical
The men's two vertical jumping events—the high jump and pole vault—both feature deep, talented fields. If the conditions are right, a pair of facility records could be in jeopardy.

Men's Pole Vault (3 p.m.) – Liberty freshman Kolby Shepherd (Dublin, Ga.) won the Big South pole vault crown and has gone over 16-6.75 this season. However, he is only seeded fifth in Friday's meet. A number of current and former Virginia Tech vaulters are registered, headed by Brian Mondschein. The former Hokie standout is entered with a mark of 18-0.5. As a result, Michael Prettyman's 12-year-old facility record, 17-0.75, may fall.

Men's High Jump (6 p.m.) – Flames junior Matt Parker (Rome, N.Y.) has struggled in recent weeks, by his lofty standards. He will look to put things together on Thursday and take a run at the facility men's high jump standard of 6-11, which would equal his outdoor personal best. Four other athletes are also entered at 6-8.75 or higher.

Tearing Up the Track
Some of the best action on the track promises to take place between 7:25 and 8:05 p.m., when four of the meet's strongest events will take place in rapid succession.

Women's 1,500 meters (7:25 p.m.) – Liberty's Rebekah Ricksecker (Jr., Laurel, Del.) and Kati Albright (Fr., Wake Forest, N.C.) swept the top two places in the women's 1,500 at the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships on April 19. On Thursday, they will battle a talented quartet of Virginia Tech runners, all of whom are entered at 4:24 or faster. Headlining the group is junior Tasmin Fanning, a NCAA national qualifier in the event last season and the 12th-place finisher at the 2007 NCAA National Cross Country Championship.

Men's 400 meters (7:35 p.m.) – St. Augustine's surprised some observers by placing third in the men's 4 x 400 Championship of America race, Saturday at the Penn Relays. Two members of that relay squad, Antonio Abney and Christopher Cox, will be among the favorites to win the 400-meter crown at the Liberty Twilight Qualifier.

Women's 400 meters (7:45 p.m.) – Chenoa Freeman (So., Lincoln, Del.) whose 56.03 clocking for 400 meters is the best by a Lady Flame this season, is entered in the event on Thursday. Another name to watch is that of Virginia Tech sophomore Queen Harrison. Currently listed No. 3 in the world in the 400-meter hurdles at 55.16 seconds, Harrison will run 400 meters without hurdles at this meet.

Men's 800 meters (8 p.m.) – The men's 800-meter run could be one of the most competitive races of the evening, as eight competitors have entered at 1:51.00 or faster. The event is also the second-largest of the meet, in terms of athletes. Twenty-six runners, eight of whom hail from Virginia Tech, have registered. The men's 200-meter dash has a meet-high 31 entrants.