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Flames to Join Bolt at 116th Penn Relays

April 21, 2010  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Jennifer Klugh will run the 1,200-meter leadoff leg for the Lady Flames' distance medley relay team, Thursday at 5:35 p.m.

Jennifer Klugh will run the 1,200-meter leadoff leg for the Lady Flames' distance medley relay team, Thursday at 5:35 p.m.

Live Video Streaming (Courtesy of

Thursday schedule/results page

Friday schedule/results page

Saturday schedule/results page

Overall live results (Courtesy of Flash Results)

Thursday will inaugurate the 116th edition of the Penn Relays, at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, and 31 Liberty athletes are expected to compete in the prestigious and historic three-day meet. Excitement surrounding this year's Penn Relays is at an all-time high, as Olympic champion and world record holder Usain Bolt will be in action on Saturday.

How to Follow the Flames
ESPN2 will air two hours of taped Penn Relays coverage Saturday, from 8-10 p.m. Flotrack will also be on hand all three days, providing free live video streaming coverage and commentary of every race not covered by ESPN2.

Live results will be available throughout the meet, courtesy of Flash Results.

2010 Penn Relays Timeline
10 a.m. – Women's Pole Vault (Shelley Parker)
12:15 p.m. – Women's Hammer (Melinda Bendik)
1:05 p.m. – Women's 4 x 100 heats (Melanie Sims, Chenoa Freeman, Olivia Charnuski, Alyssa Pegues)
4 p.m. – Women's Discus (Melinda Bendik)
5:35 p.m. – Women's Distance Medley Relay (Jennifer Klugh, Chenoa Freeman, Jaime Watson, Rebekah Ricksecker)
8:30 p.m. – Women's 3,000-Meter Steeplechase (Hailey Neal)
8:55 p.m. – Women's 5,000-Meter Run (Ashley Osborne)

10 a.m. – Men's High Jump (Anthony Bryant, Clarence Powell)
10 a.m. – Men's Pole Vault (Cody Fridgen, Geren Woodbridge, Justin Savini)
11:15 a.m. – Men's Shot Put (Ryan Smith)
12:35 p.m. – Men's 4 x 100 heats (Roderick Spruel, Andre Washington, Oronde Vassell, Jacey Bailey)
1:05 p.m. – Women's 4 x 100 final (if necessary)
1:30 p.m. – Men's Discus (Elliot Galeone)
1:50 p.m. – Men's 4 x 200 heats (Roderick Spruel, Andre Washington, Oronde Vassell, Jacey Bailey)
2:10 p.m. – Women's 4 x 200 heats (Melanie Sims, Chenoa Freeman, Alyssa Pegues, Jaime Watson)
3:15 p.m. – Women's Shuttle Hurdles Relay (Olivia Charnuski, Krystle Matthews, Christina Mitchell, Rachel Houseknecht)
3:30 p.m. – Men's Long Jump (Clarence Powell)

9 a.m. – Men's Triple Jump (Anthony Bryant)
11 a.m. – Men's Javelin (Elliot Galeone)
12:15 p.m. – Men's Hammer (Ryan Smith)
12:30 p.m. – Men's Javelin (Ryan Bell)
1:20 p.m. – Men's 4 x 100 final (if necessary)
1:55 p.m. – Women's 4 x 800 (Jaime Watson, Meghan Burggraf, Hailey Neal, Rebekah Ricksecker)
2:35 p.m. – Women's 4 x 200 final (if necessary)
2:40 p.m. – Men's 4 x 200 final (if necessary)
2:50 p.m. – USA vs. the World Men's 4 x 100 (featuring Usain Bolt)
4:30 p.m. – Men's 4 x 800 (Drew Edwards, Jordan Bright, Paul Arslain, Isaac Wendland)

Extra Motivation
Liberty's men's 4 x 200 relay quartet of Roderick Spruel, Andre Washington, Oronde Vassell and Jacey Bailey should have no shortage of motivation during Friday afternoon's heats. If they run well enough, the Flames have a realistic chance to qualify for the men's 4 x 200 IC4A final, Saturday at 2:42 p.m. That race will immediately precede the USA vs. the World men's 4 x 100 relay, featuring Usain Bolt as Jamaica's anchor leg.

Record Breakers
The Penn Relays has been the site of numerous Liberty school-record performances over the years. In fact, 11 current program records were set at the Penn Relays, including the women's 5K, 10K, 100 hurdles, shuttle hurdles, 4 x 200, 4 x 800, distance medley and heptathlon, as well as the men's shuttle hurdles, 4 x 200 and 4 x mile relays.

This weekend, the Flames and Lady Flames hope to do some more record setting. Some of the possible marks in jeopardy include the women's 4 x 200 (1:37.99), 4 x 800 (8:59.48), distance medley (11:30.56) and shuttle hurdles (59.10). The 4 x 800 standard has lasted since 1988, when it was achieved at the Penn Relays by Lori Lingenfelter, Robin Currie, Tracy Tidwell and Annie Fairchild.

Coach Brant Tolsma will have two of the most successful relay runners in Liberty history at his disposal this weekend, as seniors Chenoa Freeman and Jaime Watson are each a part of four school relay records. Freeman ran on the record-setting quartet in the indoor 4 x 400, outdoor 4 x 200, outdoor 4 x 400 and outdoor distance medley relay. Watson joined Freeman on the indoor 4 x 400, outdoor 4 x 200 and outdoor distance medley relay squads, while also contributing to Liberty's indoor 4 x 800 record earlier this year.

Encore, Encore!
Four Liberty athletes won major awards at last weekend's Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships, and three of them will be in action at the Penn Relays.

Meghan Burggraf was tabbed the Big South Women's Freshman of the Year, after her surprise victory in the 800-meter run. She will run the 4 x 800 relay Saturday afternoon, along with the other two members of Liberty's 1-2-3 sweep at the Big South meet (Rebekah Ricksecker and Watson), as well as Big South steeplechase winner Hailey Neal.

Speaking of Ricksecker, the redshirt senior was named Big South Women's Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She will compete in the 4 x 800 relay at the Penn Relays, along with running the 1,600-meter anchor leg of the distance medley relay.

Clarence Powell, who earned All-Big South honors in the long jump, triple jump and high jump at the Big South meet, was voted Big South Men's Outstanding Field Performer. He is entered in the high jump and long jump, both of which are slated for Friday.

Chasing Qualifiers
In addition to setting their sights on Liberty records, a number of Flames and Lady Flames will also attempt to qualify for the IC4A/ECAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships, slated for May 14-16 in Princeton, N.J. Two facets of the meet to focus on for qualifiers will be Thursday evening's Distance Carnival and the pole vault pit.

On Thursday, newly crowned Big South steeplechase champion Neal and Big South 5K/10K double winner Ashley Osborne will be in action. Neal will compete in the steeplechase, chasing the ECAC standard of 10:50.24. Then, Osborne will take the track in the 5K, with 17:16.64 as an objective. The last time Osborne ran at the Penn Relays, in 2007, she set Liberty's 5K school record at 16:42.79.

Shelley Parker will pole vault Thursday at 10 a.m., while the men's trio of Cody Fridgen, Justin Savini and Geren Woodbridge will vault Friday at 10 a.m. Both Parker and Savini will be in search of qualifying marks. Parker needs to clear 12-1.5, while Savini's target is 15-9.

A Look Back at Last Year
The chief highlight of Liberty's appearance at the 2009 Penn Relays was provided by the quartet of Marie Williams, Olivia Charnuski, Krystle Matthews and Rachel Houseknecht in the shuttle hurdles relay. The Lady Flames' time of 59.10 set a school record, placed sixth in the event and ranked No. 14 in the nation for 2009.

Charnuski, Matthews and Houseknecht will again compete in the shuttle hurdles this year, lining up along with Christina Mitchell Friday at 3:15 p.m.