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Personal-Best Score Lifts McNaney to Seventh

June 28, 2009  Eugene, Ore.  RSS
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Danielle McNaney totaled a career-high 5,688 points to record her third national top 10 finish in the last four years.

Danielle McNaney totaled a career-high 5,688 points to record her third national top 10 finish in the last four years.

Danielle McNaney made a strong charge up the heptathlon leaderboard on Sunday at the 2009 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, finishing seventh with a personal-best 5,688 points. The 2005 Liberty graduate moved up six places in the overall standings during the final day of action at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

McNaney's score eclipsed her previous best of 5,673, which she achieved at the 2006 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The Kansas native placed in the top 10 at the USA national meet for the third time in the last four years.

After reigning Olympic silver medalist Hyleas Fountain was forced to drop out of the competition due to injury, 2008 Olympian Diana Pickler claimed the heptathlon title with 6,290 points. Sharon Day came in second, after tallying 6,177 markers.

McNaney opened her second day of competition with a 19-0.75 mark in the long jump, which was a season best and her longest leap since 2007. She then finished off the day with two of her strongest events, the javelin and 800-meter run.

McNaney's longest javelin throw reached 131-0, ranking fifth among the heptathletes and moving her into ninth place through six disciplines. The Liberty school record holder was able to leapfrog two more competitors during the final event, the 800. She placed third in the race with a 2:15.71 clocking.

Only once has McNaney finished higher than Sunday's seventh-place showing at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. In 2006, she placed a career-best sixth in Indianapolis.

McNaney became the second Liberty graduate to place among the top seven at the 2009 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Clendon Henderson, a member of the class of 2008, finished fifth in the men's discus throw Friday evening.

Also on Sunday, Liberty freshman Ryan Bell (New Wilmington, Pa.) wrapped up his rookie season by competing in the junior men's javelin throw. His third and final effort, a 191-11 heave, ranked as his best of the afternoon and placed 10th overall among the field of 20 competitors.

Oregon high school student Sam Crouser took home the junior men's javelin title, stretching the tape to 220-5 on his fourth throw. Jason Flanagan of Big South rival Coastal Carolina also competed in the event, taking 20th place with a top throw of 175-10.