Hailey Neal is the top seed in the women's steeplechase, which will be today's final event, slated for a 7:30 p.m. start.
From the press box overlooking Charleston Southern's Bagwell-Settle Track, LibertyFlames.com will provide live blog updates from the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships for the third straight year. Please see below for other ways to follow all of the action, as Liberty aims to complete an unprecedented Big South "Double Triple." Meet Schedule Live Video Streaming (Big South Network) Heat Sheets North Charleston Weather (Courtesy of Weather.com) The most recent posts will be located just below this italicized message. You may need to refresh the page periodically to view the latest updates. Feel free to email email@example.com with any comments, questions or suggestions throughout the meet. Thanks, and Go Flames! Men's Team Scores (Through Eight Events - End Day Two) 1) Liberty - 87 2) Coastal Carolina - 46.5 3) VMI - 44.5 4) High Point - 41 5) Radford - 35 6) Charleston Southern - 24 7) Winthrop - 15 8) Gardner-Webb - 14 9) UNC Asheville - 5 Women's Team Scores (Through Nine Events - End Day Two) 1) Liberty - 89.5 2) Coastal Carolina - 84 3) Radford - 37.5 4) Charleston Southern - 36 5) Gardner-Webb - 33 6) High Point - 32 7) Winthrop - 26 8) VMI - 8 9) UNC Asheville - 5 8 p.m. - The team standings above now reflect all of today's action, and it's looking very good for Liberty. Both the men and women are in front, with one day to go. Be sure to tune back in tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., to see if Liberty can complete the "Double Triple." Have a nice evening, and Go Flames! I'll post full results on the website shortly, and then start working on my Friday recap. 7:50 p.m. - At long last, I'll give you the women's pole vault results, reflected in the team standings above. It was a day of personal bests, as Liberty's Shelley Parker was second in a personal-best 11-8, Erin Hudson wsa seventh in a personal-best 10-8.25 and Tami Tolsma was 10th in a personal-best 10-2.25. It was also a good event for Coastal Carolina, though, led by champion Mary Lawrence at 11-8. The Chanticleers tallied 14 points to Liberty's 10. In just a moment, I'll update team standings through the women's steeplechase. 7:46 p.m. - The men's team standings are now complete, through today's events. Next up, I'll get women's caught back up. Sorry, I couldn't take my eyes off of that compelling battle between Neal and Christian in the women's steeplechase final. 7:43 p.m. - In a thrilling race, Hailey Neal has become the second Big South women's steeplechase champion in program history, joining birthday girl Piper Newby, who won in 2007. Alicia Guridy came in sixth, giving Liberty a 13-3 advantage over Coastal Carolina in the steeplechase points race. I'll get all of the team scores updated very shortly. Neal's winning time was 11:01.57. Guridy came in at 12:07.51. 3 laps to go - Neal has opened up a few meters on Winterink and Christian. Split is 6:43. Guridy is up to sixth. Hannah Hunt is 10th in her steeplechase debut. 2 laps to go - Neal and Christian are now side by side, with Winterink dropping back. Split is 8:12. Guridy still sixth. Hunt 10th, but close to ninth. At the bell - It's a two-woman race, with Neal and Christian still stride for stride. Split is 9:43. Wrap-up - Neal and Christian battle each other and a lot of lapped traffic on the lap, but Neal makes a decisive kick for the win, after the last barrier. Alicia Guridy battles off Coastal Carolina's Joyce Curtin for sixth place. It looks like it will be Taylor Bowles and Hannah Hunt will be 9th and 10th, respectively. 7:36 p.m. - We're halfway into the women's steeplechase now. I didn't get to see the first lap, but picked it up with 6 laps to go. 6 laps to go - Hailey Neal and High Point's Geneva Winterink are side by side, followed pretty closely by Radford's Brittany Christian. Split is 2:16. 5 laps to go - Neal, Winterink and Christian are still 1-2-3 in pretty tight formation. Split is 3:45. Alicia Guridy is seventh at this point. 4 laps to go - No change up front yet. It's still a tight three-way battle. Split is 5:14. Guridy still in seventh. 7:30 p.m. - Kigen's official time was 9:14.65, while Powers checked in with a personal-best 9:35.19. Next up is the women's steeplechase, featuring favored Hailey Neal of the Lady Flames. 7:27 p.m. - Evans Kigen celebrates his 26th birthday with a comfortable win in the men's steeplechase, setting a facility record in the process. He is now a two-time Big South steeplechase champion. Kyle Powers gets sixth place for the Flames. Here's how it wrapped up. 3 laps to go - Kigen really stepped on the accelerator on this past lap, opening a 10-meter lead over VMI's Matt Sagar. Split is 5:38. Powers is 6th in 5:44. 2 laps to go - Kigen has control of this race, followed by a pair of VMI Keydets. Powers surges into fifth place. At the bell - Kigen's split is 8:05. His lead is six seconds. Powers still sixth. Wrapping it up - Kigen wins going away, in approximately 9:14, taking a facility record on his birthday. Powers ends up sixth. 7:20 p.m. - We're about halfway home in the men's steeplechase. 7 laps to go - Jacob Smith of High Point takes the early lead. Still a large pack clumped together. 6 laps to go - Less than 400 meter into the race, Evans Kigen takes over the lead. AJ Fitzsimmons of Winthrop is on his shoulder as they cross the line in 1:57. Still a lot of runners in contention, including Kyle Powers. 5 laps to go - Still Kigen in the lead, with Powers in eighth, part of the nine-member lead pack. Split is 3:13. 4 laps to go - Kigen has strung out the pack a little bit. Fitzsimmons still second. Powers eighth. Split is 4:27. 7:12 p.m. - In addition to Evans Kigen, Liberty's other participants in the steeplechase will be Kyle Powers and Peter Edmonds. VMI figures to have a strong showing in this event, led by senior Matt Sagar. High Point's Dakota Peachee could also be a factor. I plan to post an update about halfway through the men's steeplechase, and then another one wrapping things up. 7:06 p.m. - It's been confirmed that Alyssa Pegues will indeed compete in tomorrow's women's 200 final, alongside teammate Chenoa Freeman. Coastal Carolina will also have two finalists--Ikeiylah Brown and Darriale Henley--in what could be an important event, late in the meet. 7:04 p.m. - Aurielle Green is sixth in heat three of the women's 200, at 25.67. She will not make the final. To summarize, Chenoa Freeman is in the women's 200 final, with Alyssa Pegues still uncertain at this moment. It looks like they're packing things up at the women's pole vault. I'll pass along anything I hear about Shelley Parker's final placing and the Lady Flames' other results. Now, we're left with two running finals to close out the evening, starting with the men's 3K steeplechase at 7:15. The Flames' contingent will be highlighted by birthday boy Evans Kigen, who is the Big South record holder in this event and won the 2008 Big South title before redshirting in 2009. 6:58 p.m. - In heat two, Chenoa Freeman grabbed the automatic qualifier to the final, with a second-place finish at 24.88. Pegues was third in 25.04. We'll have to see if her time holds up. It's uncertain at this point. 6:56 p.m. - Sherri Spruel ran a personal-best 25.79, but placed fifth in the opening heat of the 200. It will be next to impossible for her to make the final on time, with the way these tailwinds are gusting. 6:52 p.m. - My friend Brad Salois just confirmed that Shelley Parker has cleared a personal-best 11-8 in the women's pole vault and is one of two jumpers, along with a Coastal Carolina Chanticleer, left alive at 12-2. If successful at this height, Parker would be an ECAC qualifier and No. 2 in program history, behind only All-American Andrea Wildrick. 6:50 p.m. - There are two pole vaulters left, and it looks like Shelley Parker is one of them. They are attempting 12-2 at this time. 6:40 p.m. - Oronde Vassell's 200-meter time was 21.85, but he was only seventh in a blazing heat. It's a personal best and just misses IC4A qualification. The results from this heat confirm that only Jacey Bailey will run the 200 tomorrow for the Flames. In other news, it looks like the women's pole vault competition has moved up to 11-8. Next on the track, the women's 200-meter dash will wrap up the prelims for today. Sherri Spruel is in heat one, the duo of Alyssa Pegues and Chenoa Freeman is set for heat two and Aurielle Green is in heat three. That event will start at 6:55, and will be followed by the men's and women's steeplechase, as shadows have crept halfway across the field here at Bagwell-Settle Track. 6:37 p.m. - Jacey Bailey edges VMI's James Alexander to take heat one, 21.48 to 21.51. Roderick Spruel was fourth in 22.05, with Andre Washington fifth in 22.23. I'm not sure those times will hold up for the final, but Bailey is in for sure. 6:28 p.m. - Almost on cue, we have results from the men's 400 hurdles prelims. Taylor Courtney's time was 54.47, with Chris Herbst at 54.60. Chris Johnson's season-best 54.75 did indeed put him into tomorrow's final, as the No. 2 at-large time qualifier. Russell Allen tied his season best at 56.72 but only ended up 12th. 6:25 p.m. - They just posted times from the women's 400 hurdles prelims, and it was 1:02.92 for Sims, 1:03.48 for Charnuski, 1:04.44 for Aghaji and 1:06.34 for Mitchell. The times for Sims and Charnuski were both personal bests. We're still waiting for the men's 400 hurdles qualifiers to tomorrow's final, to learn Chris Johnson's fate. 6:20 p.m. - For the second straight event, the Lady Flames put four runners into tomorrow's final. Olivia Charnuski and the busy Christina Mitchell take second and third place, respectively, joining Melanie Sims and Mia Aghaji in the women's 400-meter hurdles final. Next up on the track, at 6:35, is the men's 200-meter dash prelims. Roderick Spruel, Andre Washington and Jacey Bailey will run in the first of three heats. Oronde Vassell will line up in heat two. 6:17 p.m. - Melanie Sims and Mia Aghaji finished second and third, taking two of the three automatic qualifiers to the finals, in the first heat of the 400 hurdles. I was also informed by VMI SID Brad Salois that the women's pole vault bar is at 11-2.25, with Shelley Parker still in the competition. Thanks, Brad! 6:13 p.m. - Before we get started with the women's 400 hurdles, here are the men's high jump results. Pre-meet favorite Jacques Watson of Coastal Carolina won at 6-11, taking the Big South title for the second time in his brilliant career and headlining the Chanticleers' 17.5-point haul in this event. Liberty got eight points, courtesy of Clarence Powell's third-place finish at 6-9 and Anthony Bryant's seventh-place effort at 6-7. Team scores are updated above, and the Flames' lead over the Chanticleers' is now 26.5 points with one men's final left on today's schedule. 6:07 p.m. - Taylor Courtney wins heat three of the 400 hurdles on the final straightaway, with Russell Allen taking fourth place. Courtney and Chris Herbst will make the final for sure, and could be joined by Chris Johnson. We're not sure at this point. Next up on the track will be the women's 400 hurdles. These prelims will consist of two heats, with a pair of Lady Flames in each section. Mia Aghaji and Melanie Sims are listed in heat one, with Christina Mitchell and Olivia Charnuski in heat two. 6:02 p.m. - Brett Olinger of Radford overtakes Chris Herbst at the end of heat one in the men's 400 hurdles, but Herbst hangs on for a spot in the final. It looks like Chris Johnson got up for third, but they never posted times on the board. 5:57 p.m. - We will have three heats of the men's 400 hurdles, with Liberty's Chris Herbst and Chris Johnson in heat one, and Russell Allen and Taylor Courtney lining up for heat three. The men's high jump is finished, but we haven't seen results yet. It looks to me like Coastal Carolina's Jacques Watson won, with Liberty's Clarence Powell ending up either second or third. The women's pole vault continues, with the bar now at 10-8.25. I don't know who all is still left in the competition, unfortunately. 5:52 p.m. - Radford's Britney Whittaker, the defending Big South champion in this event, jumps out to a huge lead from the gun in heat three of the 800. She wins the heat, but Liberty's Rebekah Ricksecker is second, qualifying for the final in 2:16.65. Also, it's confirmed that Rod'Esther Castor has made the final as a qualifier on time. So, Jaime Watson, Rebekah Ricksecker, Meghan Burggraf and Rod'Esther Castor will all line up for the women's 800 final, tomorrow at 2:05 p.m. Next up on the track, at 6 p.m., is the men's 400 hurdles prelims. 5:46 p.m. - Liberty freshman Meghan Burggraf and Coastal Carolina's Christian Johnson trade the lead several times, before Johnson edges Burggraf for the win in heat two. Burggraf's time is 2:15.62, giving her a spot in the final and a new personal best. Rod'Esther Castor is still the top name on the time qualifiers list. 5:44 p.m. - As I feared, Jordan Bright just misses out on the men's 800 final, by .01 seconds. Still, that takes nothing away from his great performance and 1:55.10 personal best. 5:42 p.m. - Jaime Watson cruises to a victory in heat one of the women's 800, in 2:16.35. Rod'Esther Castor's personal-best 2:18.22 is third. She moved up several places in the final 200-250 meters, giving herself a chance at one of the three time qualifiers. 5:38 p.m. - Tough to tell whether Jordan Bright will be the last runner in the men's 800 final, or the first runner out. We will also have three heats in the women's 800 now, featuring Rod'Esther Castor and Jaime Watson in the first heat, Meghan Burggraf in heat two and Rebekah Ricksecker in heat three. This could potentially be a very good event for the Lady Flames. 5:33 p.m. - Jordan Bright ran a gutsy race in his heat, briefly taking second place with about 150 meters to go, before slipping to fourth place. The Oregon native clocked a significant personal best, 1:55.10. That might sneak into the final. We'll see in a few minutes! 5:30 p.m. - Isaac Wendland makes a strong surge down the backstretch and holds off High Point's Josh Morgan to win heat one of the 800, in 1:54.03. He will make the final, but Paul Arslain, who clocked a 1:58.65 for seventh, will not. 5:23 p.m. - We're about ready for the men's 800 prelims. There will be three heats, with the top two from each heat and the next three times making the final. Isaac Wendland and Paul Arslain are in heat one, with Jordan Bright in heat two. 5:20 p.m. - It's confirmed that Alyssa Pegues is Liberty's lone representative in the women's 100-meter dash final. Coastal's Ikeiylah Brown broke the all-time Big South record in the heats, with an 11.48. In other news, it looks like Anthony Bryant topped out at 6-7 in the high jump, while Clarence Powell just got over 6-9. The bar will move on to 6-11 now. 5:11 p.m. - Sherri Spruel ran 12.72 for eighth place in the second heat. Alyssa Pegues will make the women's 100-meter dash final on time, but Aurielle Green will miss out. I think she is the first athlete out, placing 10th in the heats. In a look back at the women's shot put, Melinda Bendik's best attempt measured 36-5.75, leaving her less than four inches out of eighth place. She will return to throw the discus tomorrow. 5:05 p.m. - I just saw Anthony Bryant high jump 6-7, but I think it took him three attempts. In heat one of the women's 100, it was Alyssa Pegues placing fourth in 12.02. Aurielle Green was sixth in 12.20, with Melanie Sims seventh in 12.25. Pegues has a good shot to make the final, but Green could be a long shot, despite notching her best time of the year by a significant margin. 5 p.m. - Roderick Spruel and Jacey Bailey will indeed line up in the men's 100-meter dash final tomorrow. Spruel actually placed second in his heat, which was aided by a 2.6 m/s tailwind. Bailey was pushed along by a 2.5 m/s tailwind. Javon Young's 10.29 would have broken the long-standing meet record of 10.32, set by current Liberty assistant coach Pete McFadden in 1996, but it appears it won't count due to the strong wind. I'm not sure what the Big South rules are, but the IAAF does not count records set with a wind of 2.0 m/s or more. 4:52 p.m. - Judging by the LED board, it looks like both Bailey and Spruel made the men's 100 final as time qualifiers. We hope to be able to confirm that shortly. Aided by a nice tailwind, all three of Liberty's entrants in the event posted personal bests today! The next event on the track, at 5:05, will be the women's 100-meter dash. This will include two heats, with the top three from each heat and the next three qualifiers reaching the final. Liberty has Alyssa Pegues, Aurielle Green and Melanie Sims in heat one. Sherri Spruel is in the second heat. 4:48 p.m. - Jacey Bailey placed a close third in a personal-best time of 10.65. He is number on the "time qualifier" list at this point, with teammate Spruel second. It looks like Oronde Vassell will not make the final, but will be able to run at the IC4A meet on his graduation weekend. 4:46 p.m. - Javon Young of CSU just put on a show in the first heat of the men's 100, cruising to a 10.29. Roderick Spruel placed third in a personal-best 10.71, with Oronde Vassell fifth in a personal-best 10.80, which gives him an IC4A qualifier. We'll see how their times hold up. 4:42 p.m. - Before we start the men's 100 prelims, I have updated the women's team standings above, through the shot put. As expected, it was a positive event for Coastal Carolina, who retook first place from the Lady Flames. Chanticleers took first and seventh place in the event, led by champion Brittany Connor. Meanwhile, Liberty was shut out of the scoring, with Melinda Bendik just missing in the ninth spot. I don't have her official distance yet, but will convey it when it becomes available. 4:35 p.m. - The men's team standings are now updated above. Our next event on the track is the men's 100-meter dash prelims, at 4:45. There will be three heats, with the top two from each heat and the next three best times qualifying for tomorrow's final. Oronde Vassell and Roderick Spruel will run in heat one, with Jacey Bailey in heat two. Also warming up across the way for their 5 p.m. start time are the women's pole vaulters. This could be another very intriguing event, but is unfortunately one which I have very little way of tracking. 4:30 p.m. - Here's how the decathlon shook out. I'll update the team standings in a moment. Charleston Southern's Dominique Riggins held off the hard-charging Evan Brusich of Gardner-Webb to win by 46 points. Geren Woodbridge and Drew Edwards finished 3-4, scoring 11 points for the Flames. Woodbridge is an All-Big South decathlete for the second consecutive year, while Edwards' point total is a new career high by 180 points. Final Decathlon Standings 1) Dominique Riggins, Charleston Southern - 6,403 2) Evan Brusich, Gardner-Webb - 6,357 3) Geren Woodbridge, Liberty - 6,326 4) Drew Edwards, Liberty - 6,258 5) Michael Munson, VMI - 6,136 4:25 p.m. - Still awaiting final point totals, but we can tell you that Drew Edwards' 4:16.02 in the 1,500 is the fastest-ever performance in this event by a Liberty decathlete. Woodbridge clocked in at 4:41.20. The men's high jump is about to start, featuring Coastal Carolina's Jacques Watson, tied for No. 2 in the nation at 7-4.5. Also entered for Liberty are defending champion Anthony Bryant and indoor champion Clarence Powell, both of whom have jumped over 7-0 in their careers. 4:21 p.m. - Here's how I called the 1,500 for the decathlon. Final point standings to follow. I'd guess that Geren Woodbridge will end up third overall, with Drew Edwards fifth. 300 - Evan Brusich of Gardner-Webb sprints out to a lead, with Dominique Riggins of CSU in second. Edwards third and Woodbridge back in sixth. 700 - Brusich maintains the lead, with Drew Edwards closing fast. Riggins fading a bit in third. Woodbridge makes a pass into fourth place. 1,100 - Edwards takes the lead on the backstretch. Behind him, it's Brusich, then a gap, then Riggins, then a similar gap, then Woodbridge. 1,500 - Edwards wins going away, in approximately 4:16. Brusich is second, Riggins third, Kevin Richards of Radford fourth and Woodbridge fifth. We'll see what this means in the final point standings. 4:16 p.m. - This has been a very eventful decathlon competition, and it promises a thrilling conclusion in this 1,500-meter run. We are likely to see the place order shook up significantly, depending on the results. Can Geren Woodbridge summon the strength to pull out the win, despite his no-height earlier today in the pole vault? 4:14 p.m. - Chenoa Freeman got out well in heat two, but was chased down by Winthrop's Sasha Robinson, who defeated her, 55.26 to 55.45. However, Freeman's consolation prizes include ECAC qualification, as well as a spot alongside Jaime Watson in tomorrow's women's 400-meter dash final. Brittany Heath was a scratch. 4:10 p.m. - Jaime Watson visibly slowed down during the last 20-25 meters, but still won her heat with an impressive time of 54.60, flirting with the meet record of 54.41. Rebekah Gibbs was seventh in 1:02.55 and will not make the final. 4:08 p.m. - The women's 400-meter prelims set up the same way as the men's counterpart. Two heats, with the top three from each heat and the next three time qualifiers reaching tomorrow's final. Rebekah Gibbs and Liberty's newly-minted school record holder Jaime Watson are in heat one, with seniors Chenoa Freeman and Brittany Heath in heat two. 4:06 p.m. - The results from the women's high jump have arrived. Coastal Carolina's Kandisa Allicock took top honors and 10 team points with her winning clearance of 5-5.25. However, Liberty countered with 7.5 team points, courtesy of three placers. Marianne Wheeler shared fourth place with her 5-3.25 leap, while Christina Mitchell and Mia Aghaji both topped out at 5-1.25, tying for seventh. The updated team standings are reflected above. 3:59 p.m. - Chris Best crosses the line seventh in heat two, and he will fail to qualify for the final. His time was 52.31. 3:57 p.m. - Andre Washington finishes second in his 400-meter dash heat, running 48.51 and looking very smooth in doing so. The freshman will make tomorrow's final. 3:55 p.m. - The men's 400-meter dash will include two heats, with the top three finishers from each heat and the next three fastest times making tomorrow's final. Andre Washington is in heat one, with teammate Chris Best in heat two. 3:50 p.m. - Remarkably, after a personal-best 187-2 in the javelin, Geren Woodbridge has moved back up to second place, entering the decathlon 1,500! He is only 41 points behind Charleston Southern's Dominique Riggins, as he seeks a most improbable Big South decathlon title. Drew Edwards is sixth, after tossing the javelin 132-10. He is well within striking distance of fifth place at this point. Again, the decathlon 1,500 will run at about 4:20. Decathlon Standings (Through Nine Events) 1) Dominique Riggins, Charleston Southern - 5,694 2) Geren Woodbridge, Liberty - 5,653 3) Evan Brusich, Gardner-Webb - 5,622 4) Michael Munson, VMI - 5,593 5) Antonio Wood, VMI - 5,495 6) Drew Edwards, Liberty - 5,419 3:45 p.m. - Olivia Charnuski is third in a season-best 100 hurdles time of 14.20, earning her place in the final. Rachel Houseknecht is sixth in 15.00 and will miss the final. However, Krystle Matthews from the first heat will make it in as a time qualifier. As in the men's straightaway hurdles event, Liberty will have two finalists tomorrow--Charnuski and Matthews. The next event on the track, in about 10 minutes, is the men's 400-meter dash prelims. 3:42 p.m. - Krystle Matthews places fourth in 14.72 seconds, which should get her into the women's 100 hurdles final on time. We'll find out shortly. Coastal Carolina took two of the three automatic qualification places from the first heat. 3:39 p.m. - Quick schedule correction: The decathlon 1,500 will now be run a little bit later. It will follow the men's and women's 400-meter dash prelims, at approximately 4:20. 3:35 p.m. - I should note that these heats of the hurdles are being run from right to left on your computer screen, just as the decathlon hurdles were contested this morning. Still awaiting results from the women's high jump and decathlon javelin events. 3:30 p.m. - I have taken down all of the live results links for this meet, because it appears that they are not working at all. Also, they have announced a 3:55 p.m. start time for the decathlon 1,500. We're trying to figure out how Geren Woodbridge and Drew Edwards are positioned heading into that event. Edwards is an excellent 1,500-meter runner. 3:22 p.m. - I know I've probably made numerous typos during the course of this blog, but I just saw that I typed form instead of from in the second sentence of my last entry. Sorry! To summarize, Chris Herbst and Russell Allen both made tomorrow's men's 110-meter hurdles final. The next event on the track, at 3:40, is the women's 100 hurdles prelims. This event will also feature two sections, with the top three in each heat and the next three fastest times making the final. Heat one will include heptathlon champion Krystle Matthews. She set a personal best with a 14.64 clocking yesterday during the heptathlon 100 hurdles. Heat two's entries feature Rachel Houseknecht and Olivia Charnuski. Last year, Charnuski placed third in this event as a freshman. 3:20 p.m. - Chris Herbst finishes second to Winthrop's Keary Simms in heat two, qualifying for the final in a very solid time of 14.59 seconds. Also, Allen's time form the first heat will get in as well. So, the Flames will have two athletes on the start line for tomorrow's men's 110 hurdles final, slated to start at 1:05 p.m. 3:18 p.m. - Russell Allen gets up for fourth place in 15.25 seconds. So, we'll have to watch the clock. If the sixth-place finisher in heat two is slower than that, Allen will make tomorrow's men's 110 hurdles final. 3:15 p.m. - Now we'll turn our focus to the track for the next several hours, as athletes attempt to qualify for tomorrow's finals, starting the the men's 110-meter hurdles. There will be two heats, and the top three from each heat plus three time qualifiers will make the final. Russell Allen is in the first heat, with Chris Herbst in the second. 3 p.m. - Marianne Wheeler is out of the women's high jump, but I think she may have a shot at fourth place, based on what I have been able to observe. To me, it looks like three jumpers will move up to 5-7.25--Coastal Carolina's Kandisa Allicock, one of Radford's athletes and High Point's Christina Fenske. We are also moments away from starting the women's shot put. This event promises to be a good one for Coastal Carolina and a not-so-great one for Liberty, with only Melinda Bendik entered. On the track, we're getting set up for the men's 110-meter hurdles trials, set to begin in 15 minutes. 2:54 p.m. - It looks like Will Reeves has failed to make the men's 1,500-meter final, as his time of 4:09.34 appears to be third on the at-large list, and they only take two time qualifiers to the final. Marianne Wheeler did not make it over 5-5.25 on either her first or second try, but I have seen three jumpers get over the bar at this height so far, including a Coastal Carolina athlete (who I believe to be Kandisa Allicock). 2:45 p.m. - Bad news for Liberty in the decathlon, as Geren Woodbridge is unable to clear a bar in the pole vault and drops to sixth place in the overall standings. Drew Edwards won the event at 12-10, climbing up to fifth, 10 points ahead of Woodbridge. Dominique Riggins of CSU is the new leader. This development is very similar to the women's multi event earlier today, where CSU's Patria Norman committed three straight fouls in the long jump, costing herself a shot at the heptathlon title. Decathlon Standings (Through Eight Events) 1) Dominique Riggins, Charleston Southern - 5,225 2) Evan Brusich, Gardner-Webb - 5,191 3) Michael Munson, VMI - 5,083 4) Antonio Wood, VMI - 5,056 5) Drew Edwards, Liberty - 4,970 6) Geren Woodbridge, Liberty - 4,960 Next up will be the javelin, the decathletes' next-to-last event. Mia Aghaji, Laura Haugland and Christina Mitchell have all failed on their three high jump attempts at 5-3.25, leaving Marianne Wheeler as Liberty's only athlete still alive, as the bar is raised to 5-5.25. I don't think many jumpers are left. Coastal Carolina has one at most still jumping. I know that much. 2:41 p.m. - Christina Mitchell misses as well, but Marianne Wheeler is over at 5-3.25. Still no word on the men's 1,500 finalists. 2:38 p.m. - The high jump bar has been raised to 5-3.25, and Mia Aghaji and Laura Haugland have both missed during the early stages at this height. 2:32 p.m. - Here's how I called Will Reeves' 1,500-meter heat. He placed sixth and will have to see if his time holds up and makes the final. Unfortunately, we don't know what is time is at this point. 300 - Reeves is at the back of the pack, but still in touch, splitting just under 68 seconds. 700 - Reeves is seventh at 1:54. The front pack of five, led by High Point's Jevin Monds has opened a gap on the last three runners. 1100 - Kyle Kling of Coastal has come alongside Monds. Reeves is at 3:00, in no man's land in sixth place. 1500 - Eliud Chirchir of UNC Asheville surges for the win in 3:58.90, unofficially. Reeves is sixth and will have to wait to see if his time makes the final. 2:25 p.m. - The decathlon pole vault has concluded, and we'll start the javelin at 2:55. We are quickly approaching the start of the men's 1,500-meter prelims, which will include Will Reeves in the first of two heats. Laura Haugland made another second-attempt high jump clearance, while the other three Lady Flames passed again. Next up is 5-1.25. Two Coastal Carolina high jumpers are out already. Quick update: Mia Aghaji just sailed over 5-1.25 on her first try. 2:18 p.m. - After further review, Liberty's Mark Hopely did not place eighth in last night's men's 10K final. So, the one team point has been transferred to High Point instead, trimming the Flames' advantage over the Panthers to 55-32. Laura Haugland made it over the first high jump bar at what I believe is 4-9.5, on her second try. It looks like 4-11.5 is next. We'll see if any other Lady Flames join the competition. 2:05 p.m. - We finally have the men's shot put results, and the team scores have been updated to reflect them. Ryan Smith's official distance was 55-10.25 for first place, giving him more than a three and a half foot cushion over runner-up Cody Davis of VMI. Elliot Galeone's season-best mark of 45-6.5 netted eighth place. The women's high jumpers are in a circle, receiving their final instructions from the event official. I'll try to keep a close eye on the proceedings there, with an interlude for the men's 1,500-meter prelims at 2:30. 1:45 p.m. - We haven't seen the official men's shot put results up in the press box yet, and the team standings are not yet updated above, but here's what I gathered from Coach Tolsma. Redshirt freshman Ryan Smith has completed his sweep of the Big South indoor and outdoor men's shot put championships, with an impressive 55-9.75 throw. It is the third-longest shot put attempt in Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships history, trailing Liberty's duo of Jon Hart (56-7.5) and Clendon Henderson (55-11.75), who finished 1-2 at Winthrop in 2008. Adding another team point with an eighth-place finish was Liberty redshirt junior Elliot Galeone. I'm not sure on his official distance. I'll provide the official shot put results and updated men's team standings, whenever they become available. For now, I'll turn my attention to the women's high jump, where it looks like the bar will start at 4-9.5 when the competition begins at 2 p.m. Liberty's competitors include Mia Aghaji, Christina Mitchell, Marianne Wheeler and Laura Haugland. Both Aghaji and Mitchell are past Big South high jump champions. This should be a fun event, and will be a pivotal one in the team battle between Liberty and Coastal Carolina. 1:20 p.m. - Here's an update on what's going on right now, during another sun-drenched day at the Bagwell-Settle Track. Competition continues on in the decathlon pole vault, their third event of the day and eighth discipline over the last two days. It appears that the men's shot put has wrapped up already, and we will be watching for results. In upcoming action, the completely unpredictable women's high jump event will start at 2 p.m., followed by the prelims of the men's 1,500-meter run at 2:30. 1:12 p.m. - As you can see above, Liberty has indeed taken the lead in the women's team standings for the first time at this meet, after outscoring Coastal Carolina, 18-2, in the heptathlon. Krystle Matthews, the 2008 Big South indoor pentathlon champion, is now also the 2010 Big South heptathlon champion, with a final score of 4,708. This is the second straight year Liberty has won this event, following Marie Williams' title in 2009, and the Lady Flames' sixth overall Big South heptathlon crown. Williams is here cheering on the Liberty squads this weekend, by the way. Christina Mitchell finished second, with a score of 4,655. She will now start warming up for the high jump at 2 p.m. Brittany Bingham, not completely healthy as she is battling some back issues, fought through all seven events and placed 11th with a final score of 3,404. Final Heptathlon Standings 1) Krystle Matthews, Liberty - 4,708 2) Christina Mitchell, Liberty - 4,655 3) Channell Futrell, Charleston Southern - 4,561 4) Amami Antia-Obong, Winthrop - 4,557 5) Patria Norman, Charleston Southern - 3,994 1:02 p.m. - They have posted 800 meter times, and Christina Mitchell ran 2:37 while Krystle Matthews checked in at 2:42. That is plenty good enough to claim the top two spots in the final standings. So, Liberty will score 18 points in this event. The question is how many Coastal Carolina will get. It looks like either one or two points at most, which would allow Liberty to take over first place in the team standings. 1 p.m. - Here's how I called the heptathlon 800. I'll have a full heptathlon wrapup shortly, but it certainly appears like Krystle Matthews and Christina Mitchell have finished 1-2 for the Lady Flames! After a group prayer, we're underway in the heptathlon 800! First Lap - Futrell and Antia-Obong lead, in about 71 seconds. Mitchell and Matthews are back in the pack, keeping their eye on the front. Second Lap - Antia-Obong of Winthrop wins in 2:30. Mitchell is fourth and Matthews sixth. It appears that they stayed close enough to Antia-Obong and Futrell to keep the top two spots. 12:40 p.m. - Things are looking very good for Liberty in the heptathlon, entering the 800-meter run, which will conclude the multi event at 12:55. Krystle Matthews and Christina Mitchell now own the top two spots, and Mitchell is 184 points ahead of third-place Channell Futrell from CSU. Matthews led the way in the javelin, at 115-2, while Mitchell was also solid at 100-9. Heptathlon Standings (Through Six Events) 1) Krystle Matthews, Liberty - 4,160 2) Christina Mitchell, Liberty - 4,055 3) Channell Futrell, Charleston Southern - 3,871 4) Amami Antia-Obong, Winthrop - 3,865 5) Patria Norman, Charleston Southern - 3,567 11) Brittany Bingham, Liberty - 2,895 Each second is worth about 11 points in the heptathlon, so Mitchell needs to stay within about 16 seconds of Futrell and Antia-Obong in the 800 to hang on for second place. Mitchell will likely try to conserve a little bit of energy, because she already has an ECAC qualifier from earlier this season and has the high jump and 400-meter hurdles events slated for later this afternoon. 12:25 p.m. - Geren Woodbridge has reclaimed the lead in the decathlon, after a strong performance in the discus. He finished about seven feet ahead of his next competitor in the event, after a 131-0 toss. Drew Edwards remains in seventh place, recording a season-best 109-8 discus throw. They are now warming up for the pole vault, their eighth of 10 events. Decathlon Standings (Through Seven Events) 1) Geren Woodbridge, Liberty - 4,960 2) Dominique Riggins, Charleston Southern - 4,714 3) Evan Brusich, Gardner-Webb - 4,626 4) Antonio Wood, VMI - 4,597 5) Michael Munson, VMI - 4,518 7) Drew Edwards, Liberty - 4,378 12:05 p.m. - I haven't seen a printout from the heptathlon long jump, but according to Coach Tolsma, both Krystle Matthews and Christina Mitchell set new season bests in the event. Matthews jumped 18-1.5, which would have placed third in yesterday's open long jump. Mitchell checked in at 17-4.75. Looks like the action is winding down in the decathlon discus, and people are starting to make their way over to the pole vault runway. These next two events--the pole vault and javelin--should be where Geren Woodbridge really makes his move, as he seeks his first Big South decathlon championship. 11:50 a.m. - Big news from the heptathlon long jump! Charleston Southern's Patria Norman, who won the open long jump yesterday and opened the day with a 185-point lead in the heptathlon, fouled all three of her attempts. So, she has dropped to sixth place overall. Liberty's Krystle Matthews and Christina Mitchell were both beneficiaries of her misfortune, climbing into second and third place, respectively. Both are very close behind the new leader, Winthrop's Amami Antia-Obong, entering the javelin. Heptathlon Standings (Through Five Events) 1) Amami Antia-Obong, Winthrop - 3,591 2) Krystle Matthews, Liberty - 3,586 3) Christina Mitchell, Liberty - 3,565 4) Channell Futrell, Charleston Southern - 3,312 5) Zipporah McCann, VMI - 3,223 11) Brittany Bingham, Liberty - 2,562 I'll share the distances for the Lady Flames in the long jump when they become available. In the meantime, I'll try to grab a quick bite to eat. 11:30 a.m. - We will only have one race on the track in the next three hours--the heptathlon 800 meters. So, I'll try the best I can to provide periodic field event updates. Speaking of field events, it looks like the heptathlon long jump is complete, and they will be moving a couple runways over to compete in the javelin. 11:20 a.m. - Turns out that it was a wise decision to switch the direction of the hurdles, as Drew Edwards' heat was aided by a 2.1 m/s tailwind, and Geren Woodbridge's heat was pushed along by a 1.9 m/s wind. Both of Liberty's decathletes ran season bests, with Edwards cutting more than a second off of his time from the Liberty Collegiate Invitational. Woodbridge had the third-fastest time of the nine remaining decathletes, 15.36. Edwards clocked a 17.06. CSU's Dominique Riggins led the way with a 15.06, enabling him to take over the overall lead. As previously mentioned, the discus is next up for the decathletes, starting in about 20 minutes. The heptathletes are long jumping, but our view of that event is almost totally obscured by the visiting bleachers. Yesterday, two of the heptathletes fared well in the open long jump, with CSU's Patria Norman winning the event and the Lady Flames' Krystle Matthews placing sixth. We're 40 minutes away from the start of today's first event final, the men's shot put. Liberty redshirt freshman Ryan Smith captured the Big South title indoors and is heavily favored today. 11:15 a.m. - The decathlon 110-meter hurdles are in the books, but we still haven't seen any results. However, they have posted updated standings through six events on the LED boards. CSU's Dominique Riggins defeated Geren Woodbridge in heat two and takes over the overall lead by 19 points. Drew Edwards also moved up a spot, despite the hurdles not being one of his best events. On to the discus! Decathlon Standings (Through Six Events) 1) Dominique Riggins, Charleston Southern - 4,316 2) Geren Woodbridge, Liberty - 4,297 3) Evan Brusich, Gardner-Webb - 4,130 4) Antonio Wood, VMI - 4,119 5) Michael Munson, VMI - 4,065 6) Drew Edwards, Liberty - 3,846 10:45 a.m. - As promised, here are the revised decathlon standings. The change benefits VMI's Antonio Wood, who moves from third into second, after having his shot put distance corrected. Revised Decathlon Standings (Through Five Events) 1) Geren Woodbridge, Liberty - 3,490 2) Antonio Wood, VMI - 3,484 3) Dominique Riggins, Charleston Southern - 3,474 4) Michael Munson, VMI - 3,318 5) Evan Brusich, Gardner-Webb - 3,307 7) Drew Edwards, Liberty - 3,228 Also, the breeze here at Bagwell-Settle Track has shifted directions from yesterday. So, we will be running the decathlon 110 hurdles from right to left on your computer screen. Drew Edwards is in the first heat, while Geren Woodbridge will compete in heat two. 10:35 a.m. - A couple notes about today's date, April 16. First off, today marks the birthday of each of Liberty's last two Big South Conference steeplechase champions. Evans Kigen, the 2008 men's steeplechase winner who turns 26 today, will attempt to claim another conference steeplechase crown this evening. Piper Newby, who won the 2007 women's steeplechase title on her home track, also celebrates her birthday today. However, I won't reveal her age, because women are never fond of sharing that information. On a bit of a more somber note, today marks the third anniversary of the shootings at Virginia Tech. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the families affected, as well as the entire Virginia Tech community, during this difficult time of remembrance. Finally, it appears that there has been a revision to the decathlon scoring from yesterday. I will share that revision once it becomes official, hopefully before today's events get rolling. 10:25 a.m. – Welcome back to North Charleston, South Carolina, where another warm, sunny day is forecasted and another exciting action-packed day of track & field is scheduled. Nine more Big South Conference champions will be crowned today, in the women's heptathlon, shot put, high jump, pole vault and steeplechase as well as the men's decathlon, shot put, high jump and steeplechase. Other significant events on today's program include preliminaries in 13 different running events, which comprise track & field's equivalent to "Moving Day" in a golf tournament. Just as Mickelson, Woods and company attempt to position themselves for the final 18 holes with a strong next-to-last round, the Big South teams will be trying to qualify as many athletes as possible to the finals. This will give them the greatest point-producing capability on Saturday. Speaking of points, Liberty tops the men's team standings by 14 points, through four of 21 events. Meanwhile, the Lady Flames trail two-time defending champion Coastal Carolina by just two markers, through four events. The full team standings may be seen above. In another reminder about yesterday's results, here are the current multi-event standings. Decathlon Standings (Through Five Events) 1) Geren Woodbridge, Liberty - 3,490 2) Dominique Riggins, Charleston Southern - 3,474 3) Antonio Wood, VMI - 3,447 4) Michael Munson, VMI - 3,318 5) Evan Brusich, Gardner-Webb - 3,307 7) Drew Edwards, Liberty - 3,228 Heptathlon Standings (Through Four Events) 1) Patria Norman, Charleston Southern - 3,136 2) Amami Antia-Obong, Winthrop - 2,951 3) Christina Mitchell, Liberty - 2,922 4) Krystle Matthews, Liberty - 2,880 5) Channell Futrell, Charleston Southern - 2,649 11) Brittany Bingham, Liberty - 2,164 The decathlon 110-meter hurdles and the heptathlon long jump will be the first events contested today, as both are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Finally, I'd like to address a very good question I received via email yesterday afternoon. Liberty's goal of completing an unprecedented Big South Conference "Double Triple" this weekend has been well-documented. How many Big South programs have won a "Triple Crown" in a single gender, sweeping an athletic year's cross country, indoor track and outdoor track titles? Answer: Six Big South "Triple Crowns" have been achieved on the men's side, all of which have been achieved by Liberty (1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-2000, 2006-07, 2007-08 & 2008-09). On the women's side, it has been done four times, one by Liberty (2000-01) and three by Coastal Carolina (2003-04, 2005-06 & 2008-09). Ok, I've gone on long enough. Time to get ready for some track & field action! I do want to let you know that the problems which plagued the live results yesterday seem to have been addressed, though. You can check out the link at the top of this page.
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