Josh McDougal races to the nation's second-best 3K time.
Liberty junior Josh McDougal recorded the second-best 3,000-meter time in the nation, 7:58.2, and was one of five athletes to set a Tolsma Indoor Track Center record during the second and final day of competition at the On Track Open on Saturday. McDougal (Peru, N.Y.), making his indoor track season debut, contributed one of Liberty's eight event wins on the day. He was aiming for an automatic qualifying time to the NCAA national meet, but finished less than three seconds off the necessary mark. McDougal was still able to eclipse his own track record and finish 25 seconds ahead of the runner-up, brother Jordan McDougal (So., Peru, N.Y.). Senior Caitlyn Sutterfield (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) did some record setting as well, eclipsing her own Liberty mark in the weight throw, finishing third in the event with a best heave of 54-0.5. In addition to McDougal, four Liberty male athletes and a relay squad finished first. The relay unit was the Flames' 4 x 400 relay team of Josh Gilreath (Jr., Reidsville, N.C.), Tim O'Donnell (So., Hurst, Texas), Travis Campbell (Sr., Candler, N.C.) and Philip Leineweber (So., New Freedom, Pa.), who broke the tape in a season-best time of 3:18.41. For Campbell and O'Donnell, it was their second victory of the day. Campbell had earlier captured the 1,000-meter title in 2:31.44, while O'Donnell took first in the 400 with a 50.78 clocking. Jon Hart (Jr., Wyomissing, Pa.) won the day's initial event, the men's weight throw. His top effort was 59-5. Clarence Murray (Jr., Birdsboro, Pa.) was the lone heptathlete to complete the seven-event, two-day competition. His winning score was 4,445. On the women's side, Andrea Beckles (So., Lynchburg, Va.) sped to victory in the women's 60-meter dash, the first women's running event final of the afternoon, in 7.77 seconds. Liberty's women then closed the day with another victory, copping the 4 x 400 meter relay title with a 4:01.79 effort. Marie Williams (Jr., Tampa, Fla.), Sheronica Henton (Fr., Raeford, N.C.), Charlene Hibbert (Jr., Mississauga, Ontario) and Chenoa Freeman (Fr., Lincoln, Del.) comprised the victorious relay unit. Other facility records established on Saturday included those for the men's high jump (John Hubbard, Unattached, 7-0.5), the women's 200-meter dash (Melissa Council, Wake Forest, 24.98) and the women's shot put (Brittany Pryor, Virginia Tech, 53-4.5). Greg Cryer, competing unattached, matched the Tolsma Indoor Track Center mark in the men's long jump, as he leapt 24-9.75. The Liberty athletes will be divided between two events this coming weekend. Approximately 10 Flames and Lady Flames will travel to New York City for the New Balance Collegiate Invitational, to be contested Friday and Saturday. The remainder of the Liberty team will compete in the VMI Relays on Saturday.