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Liberty Sweeps Men's, Women's Virginia Cup Titles
Liberty enjoyed an extremely successful day at the Virginia Cup, Saturday at Lannigan Field. The Flames and Lady Flames combined for 16 event victories and took home both the men's and women's team titles.
The event, which also featured James Madison (women only), Radford, VCU and host Virginia, was scored as a series of dual meets. Liberty went undefeated on the day, including men's victories over Radford (104-69), VCU (96-87) and Virginia (99-66.5).
On the women's side, the Lady Flames were 4-0. Liberty outscored James Madison (110-66), Radford (121-51), VCU (109-64) and Virginia (102-66).
Men's Meet Recap
Six of the Flames' nine event wins came in the field events, including a pair by redshirt senior Ryan Smith. He dominated his first shot put competition of the outdoor season, with his 57-6.5 throw outdistancing the runner-up by seven feet. Smith also took top honors in the hammer (179-7) and placed third in the discus (153-10).
Daniel Klase added a throwing event triumph, with his 180-3 javelin throw earning first-place honors.
The trio of Aaron Johnson (23-2), Kyle Wheeler (23-1.75) and Kevin Reddington (22-7.25) went 1-2-3 in an impressive long jump showing for the Flames. Meanwhile, Johnson's brother Chris qualified for the IC4A meet with his winning triple jump effort of 47-10.
Redshirt freshman Cody Bingham became the 10th Liberty pole vaulter ever to clear 16 feet, with a personal-best winning clearance of 16-0.75. Behind him, Alexandru Barker came in third at 14-3.25.
Rounding out the field events, Wheeler matched the winning high jump clearance of Virginia's Tommy Devita at 6-8.75. However, Wheeler was awarded second place on misses. Teammate Patrick Donigan shared third place at 6-4.75.
Liberty's quartet of Roderick Spruel, Andre Washington, Tarell Williams and Leonard Robbins won the 4 x 100 relay in a season-best time of 41.12 seconds.
Later in the day, Spruel won the 100-meter dash at 10.89 with Williams following in third place at 10.95. Spruel wrapped up his busy day with a third-place showing in the 200 (22.07).
Washington also picked up an individual event victory, winning the 400-meter hurdles in a personal-best 53.95 clocking.
The Flames crossed the line second in the 4 x 400 relay, with Washington, Kyle Gill, Tyler Weigandt and Paul Arslain teaming up for a time of 3:20.18.
Zach Barker was the steeplechase runner-up, clocking 9:59.19. Teammate John Sherret was Liberty's final top-three finisher on the men's side, posting an outdoor-best 1:55.28 for the third spot in the 800-meter run.
Women's Meet Recap
Reigning Big South Women's Field Athlete of the Week Christina Mitchell won the women's javelin for the third time in as many meets this season. Her top throw of the day reached 140-3.
Liberty has also won the women's discus title at each of its first three meets in 2013, with Jennifer Nicholson becoming the third different Lady Flame to take top honors. Her winning throw on Saturday reached a collegiate-best 151-4. Jocelyn Williams came in second with a 146-10 heave, while also placing second in the hammer at 161-0.
Freshman Brittney Webley was a double winner on the day, earning first place in both the 100 hurdles (14.56) and 400 hurdles (1:06.55).
Fellow rookie Janae Jones led Liberty's 1-3 finish in the triple jump with a 38-5.5 leap. Melissa Rohwer followed in third place, reaching out to 38-2.75.
Shelley Parker pole vaulted a season-best 11-5.75 for first place, while Grayson Mack's 10-0 clearance garnered second place.
Betel Yosef posted a season-best and winning steeplechase time of 11:15.39. Teammate Kristen Willeford recorded the top outdoor high jump clearance of her collegiate career, 5-5, which was good for third place.
The 4 x 400 relay grouping of Christieanna Apon, Kelli Ley, Kiara Bridges and Corinn Bedell closed out the meet with a third-place finish. Their official time was 4:00.71.
Liberty's athletes will be spread out over three different time zones this week, as the Flames and Lady Flames will be represented at the Raleigh Relays, Texas Relays and Stanford Invitational.