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Host Team Wins 10 Events at Liberty Flames Invite

February 2, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Patria Vaimaona won the women's weight throw with a personal-best 63-7.5 effort.

Patria Vaimaona won the women's weight throw with a personal-best 63-7.5 effort.

The host Flames picked up 10 event victories at the eight-team Liberty Flames Invite, Saturday at the Liberty Indoor Track Complex.

Some of the triumphs came courtesy of the usual suspects, including All-Americans Jovaine Atkinson (men's 60 hurdles – 8.06) and Azaria Kirwa (men's 5K – 14:25.05) and reigning ASUN Men's Track Athlete of the Week Alejandro Perlaza Zapata (men's 400 – 46.84).

One week after winning three events at the Liberty Kickoff, Perlaza Zapata's only event on Saturday was his season debut at the 400. The Colombian scared his own facility record of 46.80 and dominated the event by more than two seconds.

Michael Todd took home the men's 800-meter title (1:52.68) for the second straight Saturday. However, he and Perlaza Zapata sat out the 4 x 400 relay, leaving the Flames' quartet of Brad Smalley, Benjamin Fouse, Branson Rolle and Jahquez Durham to step up for the victory in 3:19.99.

Nick Doan was Liberty's final men's event champion, claiming top honors in the mile (4:13.75) to remain unbeaten on the young season. The redshirt junior opened his season with a victory in the Hokie Invitational men's 3K on Jan. 18.

ASUN Women's Field Athlete of the Week Patria Vaimaona prevailed in the weight throw as she had in the Liberty Kickoff, with a winning mark of 63-7.5 that added 17 inches to her previous best.

The Lady Flames won the 400, 1,000 and long jump for the second straight meet, but different people stood atop the podium in all three events this time around. Cortney Dowling ran an indoor personal-best 400 time of 55.04, freshman Naomi Bowser pulled out the 1,000 victory in 2:58.51 and Kylie Polsgrove long jumped a personal-best 18-9.25 in round six to claim the win.

One week after notching her ECAC qualifier in the pentathlon, Polsgrove focused on individual events on Saturday. She added ECAC qualifications in the long jump and 60 hurdles (8.81) along with a personal best in the shot put (36-4).

The Lady Flames showcased their overall team strength on Saturday, headlined by 1-2-3 finishes in both the long jump (Kylie Polsgrove – 1st, Makenzy Mizera – 2nd, Fiona Barnes – 3rd) and weight throw (Patria Vaimaona – 1st, Chelsea Igberaese – 2nd, Marvalyn Vernon – 3rd).

ASUN Women's Freshman of the Week Taylen Langin improved her own Liberty freshman record in the women's pole vault, clearing 12-9.5 for second place.

Men's Event Winners (6)
Jovaine Atkinson – 60 Hurdles – 8.06
Nick Doan – Mile – 4:13.75
Azaria Kirwa – 5K – 14:25.05 (Won by 35.91 seconds over Norfolk State's Meshack Kipchirchir)
Alejandro Perlaza Zapata – 400 – 46.84 (Won by 2.13 seconds over Virginia's Brandon Outlaw)
Michael Todd – 800 – 1:52.68
Brad Smalley, Benjamin Fouse, Branson Rolle, Jahquez Durham – 4 x 400 Relay – 3:19.99

Women's Event Winners (4)
Naomi Bowser – 1,000 – 2:58.51
Cortney Dowling – 400 – 55.04
Kylie Polsgrove – Long Jump – 18-9.25 (Went from third place to first on her last jump)
Patria Vaimaona – Weight Throw – 63-7.5 (Biggest throw came in round six)

Other Men's Top 3 Finishers
2nd – Jonny Saintil – Triple Jump – 48-1.25
2nd – Reilly Stroot – Pole Vault – 16-0.75
3rd – Jose Ballivian – Shot Put – 56-8.75
3rd – Jahquez Durham – 400 – 49.03
3rd – Anders Janes – Pole Vault – 15-1
3rd – Ally Kipchirchir – 800 – 1:55.38
3rd – Augostine Lisoreng – 5K – 15:01.80
3rd – Brad Smalley – 60 – 6.99
3rd – Brad Smalley – 200 – 21.96
3rd – Nathanial Kirk, Isaiah Ignacio, Kysheen Myrick, Jeremy Davis – 4 x 400 Relay – 3:27.97

Other Women's Top 3 Finishers
2nd – Chelsea Igberaese – Weight Throw – 59-2.25
2nd – Taylen Langin – Pole Vault – 12-9.5
2nd – Delaney McDowell – Mile – 4:58.67
2nd – Adrianna Mitchell – Triple Jump – 37-10.5
2nd – Makenzy Mizera – Long Jump – 18-7
2nd – Alexis Wilson – 60 – 7.74
3rd – Fiona Barnes – Long Jump – 18-5
3rd – Ty'Asia Dansbury – 200 – 25.07
3rd – Naomi Mojica – Shot Put – 46-7.25
3rd – Jessica Rogers – 3K – 10:31.31
3rd – Marvalyn Vernon – Weight Throw – 58-0.5

Women's Record Breakers
Freshman Record – Pole Vault – Taylen Langin – 12-9.5
Old Record: 12-7.5 by Langin on Jan. 18

New Men's IC4A Qualifiers (8)
Nick Doan – Mile – 4:13.75
Jahquez Durham – 200 – 22.05 and 400 – 49.03
Azaria Kirwa – 5K – 14:25.05
Alejandro Perlaza Zapata – 400 – 46.84
Branson Rolle – 200 – 22.13
Brad Smalley – 200 – 21.96
Reilly Stroot – Pole Vault – 16-0.75

New Women's ECAC Qualifiers (6)
Cortney Dowling – 400 – 55.04
Chelsea Igberaese – Shot Put – 44-6
Delaney McDowell – Mile – 4:58.67
Kylie Polsgrove – 60 Hurdles – 8.81 and Long Jump – 18-9.25
Marvalyn Vernon – Weight Throw – 58-0.5

Updates to Liberty's All-Time Men's Top 10 List
Pole Vault – No. 8 – Reilly Stroot – 16-0.75

Updates to Liberty's All-Time Women's Top 10 List
Weight Throw – No. 3 – Patria Vaimaona – 63-7.5
Pole Vault – Tie for No. 3 – Taylen Langin – 12-9.5
400 – No. 4 – Cortney Dowling – 55.04
Weight Throw – No. 6 – Marvalyn Vernon – 58-0.5
Shot Put – No. 7 – Chelsea Igberaese – 44-6
1,000 – No. 8 – Naomi Bowser – 2:58.51
Long Jump – No. 8 – Kylie Polsgrove – 18-9.25
Mile – No. 10 – Delaney McDowell – 4:58.67

Up Next
The Flames will split their athletes between three different meets next weekend. Most of the team will remain in Lynchburg to compete in the fifth annual Darius Dixon Memorial Invitational, Friday and Saturday at the Liberty Indoor Track Complex.

A select group of athletes will travel to Fayetteville, Ark., for the Tyson Invitational. The prestigious meet is slated for Friday and Saturday at the Randal Tyson Track Center.

Finally, Noel Palmer will compete in the women's 5K at the Iowa State Classic, Friday at the Lied Recreation Athletic Center in Ames, Iowa.