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Liberty Track to Compete on Both Coasts

April 22, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Freshman Olivia Charnuski is scheduled to run the 4 x 100, 4 x 200 and shuttle hurdle relays for the Lady Flames at the Penn Relays.

Freshman Olivia Charnuski is scheduled to run the 4 x 100, 4 x 200 and shuttle hurdle relays for the Lady Flames at the Penn Relays.

Live results for Brutus Hamilton Invitational

Flotrack coverage of Brutus Hamilton Invitational

Live results for Penn Relays

Flotrack's live streaming video of Penn Relays

Some of the top athletes on the Liberty track & field teams will compete against high-level performers this weekend. Sam Chelanga will run the 10,000 meters alongside numerous Olympians and international runners, Friday evening at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational in Berkeley, Calif. Meanwhile, 13 of his teammates will participate in the 115th Penn Relays, all the way across the country in Philadelphia, Pa.

How to Follow the Action
Live results will be available for the Brutus Hamilton Invitational. Flotrack also plans to post race videos and interviews as the meet progresses.

The Penn Relays will also feature live results throughout all three days of competition. For the second straight year, Flotrack will provide live video streaming of all track races, except for the two-hour block televised by ESPN2 on Saturday.

ESPN2 will provide live coverage of the Penn Relays Saturday from 4-6 p.m., as the meet draws to a conclusion.

Brutus Hamilton Invitational
The organizers of the Brutus Hamilton Invitational are teaming up with the New York Road Runners to host some elite distance races Friday evening. Chelanga (R-So., Nairobi, Kenya) is entered in the night's final event, the invitational section of the 10,000-meter run, with the gun scheduled to go off at 12:10 a.m. Eastern.

Chelanga, who owns a 10K personal best of 28:15.99, will be competing in the event for the first time this season. Last weekend, he made his outdoor season debut, winning the 1,500 and 5,000-meter races at the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships. His 5K time of 14:01.89 eclipsed the meet record of former teammate and current graduate assistant Josh McDougal, while also qualifying for the NCAA Division I East Regional Championships.

Chelanga will line up next to six former Olympians, including Michael Aish (New Zealand), Collis Birmingham (Australia), Martin Fagan (Ireland), Anthony Famiglietti (U.S.), Andrew Lemoncello (Great Britain) and Juan Carlos Romero (Mexico).

Some of Chelanga's time targets include 28:45, which is the automatic qualifying standard for the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, and 28:27.65, McDougal's Liberty and Big South record.

Penn Relays
The 115th edition of the Penn Relays will commence Thursday at 10 a.m., at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, and will continue through Saturday. Liberty will have athletes in action all three days, including a trio of recently crowned Big South champions and five regional qualifiers.

Liberty Entrants
Women's 4 x 100 – Olivia Charnuski (Fr., Elmira, Ontario), Alyssa Pegues (Fr., Warner Robins, Ga.), Chenoa Freeman (Jr., Lincoln, Del.), Andrea Beckles (Sr., Lynchburg, Va.)
Women's 4 x 200 – Charnuski, Pegues, Marie Williams (R-Sr., Tampa, Fla.), Beckles
Women's Shuttle Hurdles – Charnuski, Rachel Houseknecht (So., Hughesville, Pa.), Williams, Krystle Matthews (So., Chesapeake, Va.)

Men's 5,000 – Josh Edmonds (Jr., Cooperstown, N.Y.)
Men's Triple Jump – Anthony Bryant (R-Fr., Charlottesville, Va.), Clarence Powell (So., Marianna, Fla.)
Men's High Jump – Bryant, Matt Parker (Sr., Rome, N.Y.), Powell
Men's Discus – John Talbert (Fr., Newton, Kan.)
Men's Javelin – Elliot Galeone (R-So., White Hall, Md.)

Women's Outlook
Last year, the Lady Flames enjoyed a record-breaking weekend at the Penn Relays, taking down the school records in the 4 x 200 relay and distance medley relay. This time around, Liberty will set its sights on three relay records—the 4 x 100, 4 x 200 and shuttle hurdles.

Perhaps the Lady Flames' best chance at a record could come in the shuttle hurdles, set for Friday at 3:10 p.m. The existing standard of 1:01.20 has stood since the 2004 Penn Relays. Four Liberty runners finished in the top eight of the 100-meter hurdles at the Big South meet, led by Charnuski's third-place effort, and the quartet will compete together in Friday's relay.

Williams, who completed 13 events at the Big South meet, scoring 33 team points and earning Big South Women's Outstanding Field Performer honors, has a much lighter workload this weekend. She will run the 4 x 200 and shuttle hurdle relays for the Lady Flames.

Men's Outlook
Ironically, at a meet known for its relay races, the Big South champion Liberty men's team will contest only individual events. Only Edmonds in the men's 5,000 meters will even set foot on the famous track at Franklin Field.

Instead, the Flames' talented group of field-event performers will compete against some deep and talented fields of entrants. Big South Men's Outstanding Field Performer Bryant is entered in the triple jump and high jump on Saturday. He swept the long jump, triple jump and high jump titles at the Big South meet, breaking school records in the latter two disciplines. He is currently listed No. 10 nationally in the triple jump at 52-0 and is tied for No. 13 with his 7-0.5 high jump clearance.

Talbert, tabbed Big South Men's Freshman of the Year, is Liberty's other highly-rated national performer. He is ranked No. 6 in the nation in the discus at 191-9 and is the top freshman discus thrower in the country. The Kansas native will throw the discus Friday, beginning at 12:15 p.m.