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Powell, Watson Stand Out on Saturday

January 23, 2010  Blacksburg, Va.  RSS
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Clarence Powell won the men's high jump, clearing 7-0.25 at the Hokie Invitational.

Clarence Powell won the men's high jump, clearing 7-0.25 at the Hokie Invitational.

Liberty's Clarence Powell won the men's high jump and Jaime Watson recorded two ECAC qualifiers, Saturday at Rector Field House. Their performances were among the Flames' best efforts on the second and final day of action at the Hokie Invitational.

Powell (Jr., Marianna, Fla.) cleared the high jump bar at 7-0.25 on his third attempt, winning the competition with his second 7-foot leap of the young season. Meanwhile, Watson (R-Sr., Ravenna, Mich.) has now qualified for the ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championship in four events, after doing so in the women's 800-meter run and 4 x 400 relay on Saturday.

Men's Meet Recap
Powell's strong high jump effort capped off an exceptional meet for the Flames' junior, which also featured a school-record 50-6 triple jump on Friday. He was just one of numerous Liberty athletes to excel in the field events Saturday. Teammate Anthony Bryant (R-So., Charlottesville, Va.) also fared well in the high jump, getting over 6-8.25 to hit the IC4A standard and claim fourth place.

A pair of Flames newcomers recorded top 10 finishes in the long jump, led by freshman Kevin Reddington (Vancouver, Wash.). His 23-6.75 leap netted seventh place and qualification for the IC4A meet. Transfer Aaron Johnson (So., Virginia Beach, Va.) sailed 22-11.25 for 10th place.

Junior Kolby Shepherd (Dublin, Ga.) pole vaulted a season-best 15-9.75, taking seventh place in a star-studded field of competitors.

Liberty also got notable performances in the first running event of the day (5K) and the meet's final running event (4 x 400 relay).

After taking a redshirt during the cross country season, Josh Edmonds (Sr., Cooperstown, N.Y.) ran well during his indoor track debut. He placed second in the 5K final, crossing the line in 14:50.59.

The Flames then closed the meet on a positive note, qualifying for the IC4A Championship with a 3:19.70 clocking in the 4 x 400. The squad of Jacey Bailey (Jr., Tamarac, Fla.), Chris Herbst (R-Jr., Baiting Hollow, N.Y.), Taylor Courtney (Fr., Manheim, Pa.) and Andre Washington (Fr., Unionville, Va.) won its heat and took 10th place overall in the event.

Women's Meet Recap
Watson, who was part of Liberty's record-setting effort in the 4 x 800 relay on Friday, opened her Saturday with a 2:12.00 performance in the 800. Her time met the ECAC standard and was good for fifth place.

Three hours later, Watson ran the anchor leg of the Lady Flames' 4 x 400 relay. The quartet crossed the line in 3:50.71, taking ninth place in the event and earning a spot at the ECAC Championship. Chenoa Freeman (Sr., Lincoln, Del.), Melanie Sims (So., Cleveland Heights, Ohio), Meghan Burggraf (Fr., Lynchburg, Va.) and Watson now comprise the fourth-fastest 4 x 400 relay quartet in program history.

Freeman had also competed earlier in the day, running a season-best 400-meter time of 56.34 for seventh place.

Junior Dacia Bushman (Jr., Castalia, Iowa) was the Lady Flames' highest finisher of the day, claiming runner-up honors in the women's 5K. Her official time, 18:07.43, left Bushman just two seconds behind race winner Carter Norbo of Richmond.

Liberty will return to Lynchburg for its second home meet of the 2009-10 indoor track & field season, the Liberty Open. The two-day event at the Tolsma Indoor Track Center will begin Friday at 3 p.m., with the women's pentathlon 60-meter hurdles.