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Liberty Sending 30 Athletes to ECAC/IC4A Meets

March 1, 2012  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Taylor Courtney is the defending IC4A champion at 500 meters.

Taylor Courtney is the defending IC4A champion at 500 meters.

IC4A Schedule

ECAC Schedule

IC4A Live Results

ECAC Live Results's IC4A Coverage Page

After a successful weekend which saw both the Liberty men's and women's indoor track & field teams capture Big South Conference titles, the Flames and Lady Flames are preparing for another conference meet. Liberty will send 30 of its top performers to Boston, Mass., this Saturday and Sunday for the 2012 IC4A and ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships.

The IC4A Indoor Track & Field Championship will be contested at the Boston University Track and Tennis Center. The two-day meet will begin Saturday at 11 a.m., with the heptathlon. Pole vaulters Jon Drablos, Cody Fridgen and Kolby Shepherd will be the first Liberty athletes to compete, starting Saturday at noon.

Across town at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center, the ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championship will begin with the pentathlon, Saturday at 9 a.m. Olivia Charnuski and Rachel Houseknecht will get things started for the Lady Flames, competing in the 60-meter hurdle trials at 1:10 p.m.

How to Follow the Action
Live results are expected to be available for both the ECAC and IC4A championships.

Additionally, will be on hand at the IC4A meet and will post videos of the races.

Liberty's IC4A Entrants
Paul Arslain – 500
Maxwell Asante – 60
Taylor Courtney – 500, 4 x 400
Jon Drablos – Pole Vault
Caleb Edmonds – 3K
Cody Fridgen – Pole Vault
Kyle Gill – 400, 4 x 400
Josh MacDonald – 5K
David Ricksecker – 3K
Leonard Robbins – 200, 400, 4 x 400
David Scouten – Shot Put, Weight Throw
Anthony Settje – 60
Kolby Shepherd – Pole Vault
Ryan Smith – Shot Put, Weight Throw
Roderick Spruel – 60
Andre Washington – 400, 4 x 400
Kyle Wheeler – High Jump
Tarell Williams – 60, Long Jump

Liberty's ECAC Entrants
Mia Aghaji – Triple Jump, High Jump
Melinda Bendik – Weight Throw
Meghan Burggraf – 800
Olivia Charnuski – 200, 60 Hurdles
Jacy Christiansen – 3K
Mychelle Cumings – Shot Put
Abigail Flower – 200
Rachel Houseknecht – 60 Hurdles, Pole Vault
Khristina Kanagy – 5K
Jennifer Klugh – 5K
Shelley Parker – Pole Vault
Jocelyn Williams – Weight Throw

What Do All of These Letters Stand For?
The acronym ECAC is short for Eastern College Athletic Conference. According to the ECAC website, it "is the nation's largest athletic conference and only multi-divisional conference, with approximately 300 member institutions ranging across 16 states from Maine to North Carolina and westerly to Illinois." This weekend's women's meet is officially titled the ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championship.

Meanwhile, the concurrent men's meet is called the IC4A Indoor Track & Field Championship. IC4A stands for Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America, and the name is only applied to the ECAC's Division I men's championships in cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field.

New Faces
More than half of Liberty's competitors this weekend will be competing at their first ECAC/IC4A track meet. The list includes 11 men's athletes (Maxwell Asante, Jon Drablos, Caleb Edmonds, Kyle Gill, Josh MacDonald, David Ricksecker, Leonard Robbins, David Scouten, Anthony Settje, Kyle Wheeler and Tarell Williams) and five Lady Flames (Jacy Christiansen, Mychelle Cumings, Abigail Flower, Rachel Houseknecht and Khristina Kanagy).

Eyes on Idaho
The IC4A and ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships will represent athletes' final opportunity to qualify for the 2012 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships, slated for March 9-10 in Nampa, Idaho.

At this point, it does not appear that any Liberty athletes would qualify for the NCAA meet, unless they improve their marks this weekend in Boston. The top-ranked Flames and Lady Flames on the national performance list include Ryan Smith (No. 28 in men's shot put and No. 42 in men's weight throw), Mychelle Cumings (No. 39 in women's shot put) and Kolby Shepherd (tied for No. 40 in men's pole vault).

Taking Home Trophies
Last season, the Liberty men's squad tied Rutgers for second place in the final IC4A standings. That equaled the Flames' best finish in meet history and marked the third time in four years that Liberty had taken home a trophy from Boston. The Flames were the 2008 IC4A runner-up and shared third place in 2010.

He's Back!
Redshirt junior Taylor Courtney will attempt to defend his IC4A championship in the men's 500-meter run. Last year, Courtney came from behind to win in a school-record time of 1:01.96. The time ranked No. 3 in the United States in 2011.

Courtney is the lone athlete among Liberty's 30 entrants this weekend who has claimed an ECAC or IC4A event championship during his career.

Big South's Best
In seven different events, Liberty will have a newly-crowned Big South champion taking on the best in the ECAC and IC4A. The list includes the women's 5K (Khristina Kanagy), women's shot put (Mychelle Cumings), men's 4 x 400 relay, men's high jump (Kyle Wheeler), men's pole vault (Kolby Shepherd), men's shot put (Ryan Smith) and men's weight throw (Ryan Smith).

Keeping Up with Klugh
After racing 48 laps around the Rector Field House last weekend and scoring 28 points in her three events, Jennifer Klugh was named the Big South Outstanding Women's Track Performer for the second year in a row. Klugh successfully defended her Big South titles in the mile and 3K before finishing a close second to teammate Khristina Kanagy in the 5K final.

This weekend, in what could be the final indoor meet of the senior's career, Klugh will focus on the 5K at the ECAC championship. The last time she raced a 5K in Boston, Klugh broke her own Liberty and Big South 5K records with a 16:48.32 effort, Feb. 10 at the Valentine Invitational.

Sizing Up Smith
Redshirt junior Ryan Smith will look to build upon an extremely successful performance at the Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships. This past weekend, he became the first men's thrower in meet history to win both the shot put and weight throw titles at the same championship.

Moreover, Smith set new lifetime bests in both disciplines, hurling the shot put a meet-record 60-1.75 and reaching 63-6.25 in the weight throw. Smith has now won three consecutive Big South indoor men's shot put championships.

Fantastic Freshmen
Three Liberty freshmen won Big South titles last weekend, and all three will be in action in Boston. Mychelle Cumings became Liberty's first-ever Big South indoor women's shot put champion, Leonard Robbins won the men's 400-meter dash and Kyle Wheeler took top honors in the men's high jump.

Cumings, Robbins and Wheeler will all compete in their specialty events in Boston, while Robbins will also take part in the 200-meter dash and 4 x 400 relay.