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Liberty Quad, Tyson Invitational Next for LU

February 11, 2010  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Sam Chelanga clocked the second-fastest indoor 5K in collegiate history, 13:19.79, at last year's Tyson Invitational.

Sam Chelanga clocked the second-fastest indoor 5K in collegiate history, 13:19.79, at last year's Tyson Invitational.

Liberty Quad Updated Time Schedule

Liberty Quad Performance List

Tyson Invitational Time Schedule

Tyson Invitational Start List

Tyson Invitational Live Results

Tyson Invitational Mobile Results

Tyson Invitational Live Video Streaming

Split-squad contests are rather common for Major League Baseball teams during spring training, and the concept also applies to college track & field. Most of Liberty's track & field athletes will compete in the third and final home meet of the 2009-10 indoor season, Friday's Liberty Quad. Meanwhile, nine of their teammates will travel to Fayetteville, Ark., for the Tyson Invitational.

The annual Liberty Quad will feature five women's teams (Elon, James Madison, Liberty, VMI and William & Mary) and three men's squads (Liberty, VMI and William & Mary) in a one-day competition at the Tolsma Indoor Track Center. Action will get underway Friday at 3:30 p.m., with the men's weight throw. Running events will commence at 5 p.m., when the gun goes off for the women's 60-meter hurdles prelims.

Liberty's participants in the Tyson Invitational include Olivia Charnuski (So., Elmira, Ontario), Sam Chelanga (R-Jr., Nairobi, Kenya), Josh Edmonds (Sr., Cooperstown, N.Y.), Chenoa Freeman (Sr., Lincoln, Del.), Evans Kigen (R-Jr., Eldoret, Kenya), Alyssa Pegues (So., Warner Robins, Ga.), Clarence Powell (Jr., Marianna, Fla.), Rebekah Ricksecker (R-Sr., Laurel, Del.) and Jaime Watson (R-Sr., Ravenna, Mich.). They will compete against some of the nation's top collegiate and post-collegiate performers Friday and Saturday at the Randal Tyson Track Center, home of the 2010 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships.

Liberty Quad Preview
Home Finale
The Liberty Quad is the final home meet of the Flames' 2009-10 indoor track & field campaign, following the Liberty Kickoff (Dec. 2-3) and the Liberty Open (Jan. 29-30). After Friday, the Liberty men's and women's track & field teams will not compete at home again until April 2-3. That weekend, the Flames will host the Liberty Collegiate Invitational at the newly refurbished Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex, which now features 1,000 seats at Osborne Stadium.

Defending Champions
Four Liberty athletes will return to defend their event titles from the 2009 Liberty Quad. The list of returning event champions includes Jacey Bailey (Jr., Tamarac, Fla.) in the men's 60, Chris Herbst (R-Jr., Baiting Hollow, N.Y.) in the men's 60 hurdles, Will Reeves (R-So., Rustburg, Va.) in the men's 800 and Kolby Shepherd (Jr., Dublin, Ga.) in the men's pole vault.

Bailey and Shepherd are both seeking their third consecutive victories in their respective events at the Liberty Quad.

Top Events to Watch (Listed in Chronological Order)
Women's Pole Vault (4:30 p.m.) – Shelley Parker (Fr., Lynchburg, Va.) is the Big South Conference's top-rated women's pole vaulter as a freshman, with a season-best clearance of 11-5.75. She will face plenty of competition on Friday, headlined by William & Mary senior Nicole Kazuba, a two-time NCAA national qualifier.

Men's Mile (6:05 p.m.) – The William & Mary men's cross country team placed fifth at the 2009 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship, and four of the Tribe's top runners from that squad are entered in Friday's mile. Liberty's top competitor could be Ryan Cox (So., Anchorage, Alaska), coming off of an indoor personal-best 15:26.49 in the 5K at the Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup.

Men's Pole Vault (6:30 p.m.) – Liberty's Shepherd and Cody Fridgen (So., Sarasota, Fla.) have both shown steady improvement in the men's pole vault this season. Last weekend, Shepherd matched his indoor personal-best clearance at 16-5.25 while Fridgen qualified for the IC4A meet with a personal-best 15-9 jump. They will square off against William & Mary's Kiernan Lofland, who has gone over the 16-foot barrier in his career.

Women's 400 (6:45 p.m.) – Lady Flames freshman Meghan Burggraf (Lynchburg, Va.) has displayed promise in the 800-meter run this season and will make her collegiate debut in the open 400 on Friday. Two of her top competitors will be William & Mary heptathlon standout Katie Guevel and Elon's Amy Salek, who is the defending Liberty Quad champion and the Phoenix school-record holder.

Men's 4 x 400 Relay (8:20 p.m.) – Just about every runner sporting a Liberty uniform will have a chance to run a leg in the 4 x 400 relay Friday evening, as the Flames have five quartets entered. Liberty even lists a squad consisting solely of pole vaulters, including Shepherd, Fridgen, Spencer McCorkel (Jr., Bryant, Ark.) and Justin Savini (Sr., Lincoln, Del.).

Women's 4 x 400 Relay (8:30 p.m.) – The women's 4 x 400 relay promises to be a three-way battle between Liberty, James Madison and Elon. All three squads boast entry times between 4:02.55 and 4:05.11. Like the men's team, the Lady Flames are expected to field five 4 x 400 relay quartets, with the top grouping consisting of Burggraf, Mia Aghaji (R-So., Chester, Va.), Melanie Sims (So., Cleveland Heights, Ohio) and Brittany Heath (Sr., Freeport, Grand Bahamas).

Tyson Invitational Preview
Double Duty
After being prevented from flying to the Reebok Boston Indoor Games by last weekend's snowstorm on the East Coast, Chelanga plans to run both the 5K and 3K events at the Tyson Invitational. If all goes well, he could qualify to compete in the same two events at the same facility, one month from now in the 2010 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships.

Chelanga's busy weekend will begin Friday at 9 p.m. Eastern, when he runs the 5K alongside teammate Kigen. Last year, Chelanga blazed the second-fastest indoor 5K time in collegiate history, 13:19.79, at this meet. This time around, the competition is not as stiff, but the field still features Arkansas senior Scott MacPherson and Rend Lake sophomore Stephen Sambu. MacPherson finished fifth in the steeplechase at the 2009 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, and Sambu is the two-time defending NJCAA cross country national champion.

The next day, Chelanga will contest the 3K at 5:30 p.m. Eastern. Other top entrants include former Notre Dame standout Kurt Benninger and former Arkansas runner Josphat Boit. Benninger recently clocked a 3:58 indoor mile, while Boit ran 13:27 in the Boston Indoor Games 5K on Saturday.

What's Next for Watson?
Watson has enjoyed a stellar senior season thus far, winning a pair of Big South Women's Track Athlete of the Week honors and qualifying for the ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships in five events (400, 500, 800, 4 x 400 and 4 x 800). The five-time Big South 800-meter champion will compete in her specialty event in Fayetteville versus a talented field which includes three former NCAA national champions.

Lining up alongside Watson on the 800-meter starting line, Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern, will be former Minnesota standout Heather Dorniden, the 2006 NCAA indoor 800-meter titlist. The field is also highlighted by Alysia Johnson, who won the 2007 NCAA indoor and outdoor 800-meter championships at Cal, and 2008 NCAA indoor 800-meter champion LaTavia Thomas of LSU.

Memories of the Mile
The Randal Tyson Track Center holds a special place in Liberty track & field history, serving as the site of Heather (Sagan) Zealand's national title in the women's mile in 2002. Ricksecker is the Lady Flames' fastest miler since Zealand graduated, at 4:51.39, and she will square off against some very talented competitors Friday at 9:45 p.m. Eastern. Illinois' Angela Bizzarri won the national title at the 2009 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships in November, while Indiana's Molly Beckwith and Kansas' Lauren Bonds have both run sub-4:45 this season.

How to Follow the Flames
Live results will be available throughout the 2010 Tyson Invitational, courtesy of FlashResults.com. Also, video streaming of both days' action will be provided for a small fee, on ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Links to both features are provided at the top of this page.

2010 Liberty Quad Time Schedule
Friday, Feb. 12
3:30 p.m. – Men's weight throw
4:30 p.m. – Women's triple jump, pole vault and weight throw; Men's long jump
5 p.m. – Women's 60 hurdles prelims
5:10 p.m. – Men's 60 hurdles prelims
5:15 p.m. – Women's high jump
5:20 p.m. – Men's 60 prelims
5:30 p.m. – Women's 60 prelims
5:40 p.m. – Men's 60 hurdles final
5:45 p.m. – Women's long jump; Men's shot put and triple jump
5:50 p.m. – Women's 60 hurdles final
5:55 p.m. – Men's 60 final
6 p.m. – Women's 60 final
6:05 p.m. – Men's mile
6:15 p.m. – Women's mile
6:30 p.m. – Men's 400 and pole vault
6:45 p.m. – Women's 400
7 p.m. – Women's shot put; Men's 800 and high jump
7:10 p.m. – Women's 800
7:20 p.m. – Men's 200
7:30 p.m. – Women's 200
7:45 p.m. – Men's 5K
8 p.m. – Women's 5K
8:20 p.m. – Men's 4 x 400 relay
8:30 p.m. – Women's 4 x 400 relay
8:40 p.m. – Women's 3K

2010 Tyson Invitational Time Schedule
Events involving Liberty athletes (Times listed are Eastern)
Friday, Feb. 12

1 p.m. – Women's long jump (Alyssa Pegues) and 400 (Chenoa Freeman)
3 p.m. – Women's 60 hurdles prelims (Olivia Charnuski)
4:40 p.m. – Women's 60 prelims (Alyssa Pegues)
8 p.m. – Women's 800 (Jaime Watson)
9 p.m. – Men's 5K (Sam Chelanga and Evans Kigen)
9:45 p.m. – Women's mile (Rebekah Ricksecker)

Saturday, Feb. 13
1 p.m. – Women's triple jump (Alyssa Pegues)
1:40 p.m. – Men's 5K (Josh Edmonds)
2 p.m. – Women's 200 (Olivia Charnuski)
4:30 p.m. – Men's high jump (Clarence Powell)
5 p.m. – Men's triple jump (Clarence Powell)
5:30 p.m. – Men's 3K (Sam Chelanga)