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Liberty Track Bound for Texas, Stanford & Raleigh

March 27, 2013  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Kyle Wheeler will high jump in his home state, as the sophomore competes in the Texas Relays for the second straight season.

Kyle Wheeler will high jump in his home state, as the sophomore competes in the Texas Relays for the second straight season.

Texas Relays Information Central

Texas Relays Schedule

Texas Relays Live Results

Flotrack's Coverage of the Texas Relays

Stanford Invitational Schedule

Stanford Invitational Live Results

Flotrack's Coverage of the Stanford Invitational

Raleigh Relays Meet Information/Schedule

Raleigh Relays Live Results

After sweeping the Virginia Cup men's and women's team titles on Saturday, the Liberty outdoor track & field teams are preparing for their stiffest competition thus far in the 2013 season. The Flames and Lady Flames will enter athletes in three prestigious meets this week, including the Texas Relays, Stanford Invitational and Raleigh Relays.

Texas Relays Preview
Liberty will send 16 athletes (nine men, seven women) to Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas for the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. The four-day meet will begin on Wednesday, when Cody Bingham competes in day one of his first collegiate decathlon. This will be the third straight year that the Flames and Lady Flames have been represented at the Texas Relays.

How to Follow the Flames and Lady Flames at the Texas Relays
Live results will be available throughout the meet.

The meet will also receive 18 hours of television coverage on the Longhorn Network, including Wednesday from 3:30-6 p.m. Eastern, Thursday from 2:30-4:30, 6-7 and 8-11 p.m., Friday from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 7:30-10:30 p.m. and Saturday from 2:30-6:30 p.m.

Flotrack will be on hand to cover the Texas Relays, posting race videos and interviews throughout the meet.

Weather Report for Austin
The weather is projected to be very nice in Austin the next four days, beginning with a high of 76 degrees under sunny skies on Wednesday. Highs are expected to remain in the mid 70s with cloudy skies Thursday and Friday before reaching 80 on a mostly cloudy Saturday.

Welcome Home
Two of Liberty's athletes competing at the Texas Relays have ties to the Lone Star State, including Cody Bingham (decathlon) and Kyle Wheeler (men's high jump). Bingham was born in Texas and spent three years there (2001-04) while his father, Lance Bingham, was the head track & field coach at South Plains Junior College in Levelland.

Wheeler, a native of Wilson, Texas, will return to the Texas Relays after a successful showing in 2012. He high jumped a then season-best 6-11.75 to place fourth in the "B" section of the event.

What a Place for a Debut!
Liberty redshirt freshman Cody Bingham will compete in his very first collegiate decathlon Wednesday and Thursday, alongside some extremely talented athletes. Headlining the field are the 2011 NCAA decathlon runner-up (Duke's Curtis Beach) and the 2012 NCAA decathlon runner-up (Texas-Arlington's Romain Martin).

The Flames have fared well in the Texas Relays decathlon competition in previous years. Most notably, Brandon Hoskins tallied a program-record 7,800 points at the 2008 Texas Relays.

Three for Three
Lady Flames redshirt senior Christina Mitchell is undefeated in the women's javelin in 2013, placing first at the Coastal Carolina Invitational, Shamrock Invitational and Virginia Cup. At the Shamrock meet, Mitchell extended her school record to 151-4, which ranks No. 17 nationally.

Mitchell will be challenged to stay unbeaten this weekend, as her opponents include the nation's No. 3 (Florida's Fawn Miller) and No. 4 (Texas Tech's Hannah Carson) women's javelin throwers on the national performance list. Both have gone over 164 feet this season.

Running Some Relays
Appropriately, considering the meet's title, Liberty will be well represented in relay races in Austin. The Flames are entered in four relay events, including the men's 4 x 100, 4 x 200, 4 x 400 and sprint medley relay, while the Lady Flames are slated to run the 4 x 400.

Last season, the Liberty men's 4 x 100 relay quartet of Roderick Spruel, Leonard Robbins, Tarell Williams and Anthony Settje clocked a time of 40.71 at the Texas Relays, which was the Flames' fastest 4 x 100 effort in 11 years. Spruel, Robbins and Williams are back in 2013, where they will be joined by Andre Washington.

Stanford Invitational Preview
A quartet of Liberty men's distance runners will venture across the country to Cobb Track and Angell Field in Stanford, Calif., for Friday's Stanford Invitational. The meet, which annually produces some of the nation's fastest distance clockings, will feature Isaac Wendland in the 1,500, Jeremie Bourget and Caleb Edmonds in the 5K and Josh MacDonald in the 10K.

How to Follow the Flames at the Stanford Invitational
Live results will be available, courtesy of

For a fee, Flotrack will provide live video streaming coverage of the meet, along with the website's usual archived race videos and interviews.

Weather Report for Stanford
Friday's high temperature in Stanford is projected at 72 degrees, which is a bit warm for distance runners' liking. However, it will cool down closer to the low of 49 degrees in time for the evening races.

Success at Stanford
Liberty has enjoyed successful performances at Stanford before, especially at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational on May 1, 2010. That night, three school records were shattered, including the men's 10K, women's 800 and women's 10K.

Sam Chelanga set the men's 10K standard while lowering the collegiate record for the event to 27:08.39. Jaime Watson clocked 2:06.09 for the women's 800 record while teammate Ashley Osborne sped to a program-record 34:00.60 in the women's 10K later that night. All three records still stand.

Miles with MacDonald
Liberty junior Josh MacDonald, who watched the Flames and Lady Flames excel at the 2010 Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational as a senior at nearby Redwood Christian High School, is off to a fast start this season.

MacDonald currently ranks No. 5 nationally in the steeplechase (8:57.26) and No. 6 in the 10K (30:41.71). However, those rankings will change significantly this week, especially in the 10K. Last season, 48 NCAA Division I men's runners dipped under 30 minutes in the 10K at this meet.

It could be a late night for MacDonald, if he is seeded in section 2 of the men's 10K. That event will close out Friday's action, with a 1:48 a.m. Eastern start time.

Raleigh Relays Preview
The bulk of Liberty's athletes will compete in the Raleigh Relays, which are slated for Friday and Saturday at Paul Derr Track in Raleigh, N.C. Liberty will compete at the meet for the fifth consecutive season this weekend.

How to Follow the Flames and Lady Flames at the Raleigh Relays
Live results will be provided throughout the meet, courtesy of Flash Results.

Weather Report for Raleigh
The weather in Raleigh is expected to be pleasant for this weekend's meet, with abundant sunshine, high temperatures around 60 degrees both days, very little chance of rain and light wind.

Looking to Follow in their Footsteps
Lady Flames Khristina Kanagy and Meredith Mistretta are both entered in Friday evening's women's 10K at the Raleigh Relays. They will look to continue Liberty's recent tradition of impressive women's 10K efforts at this meet.

In 2010, Ashley Osborne posted a then national-leading 10K time of 35:35.65 at Raleigh. One year later, Dacia Bushman also briefly claimed the national lead with her 10K effort of 35:15.84.

Kanagy, the 2012 Big South women's 10K runner-up, will be making her seasonal 10K debut. Meanwhile, Mistretta will aim to build upon her personal-best and ECAC-qualifying 10K time of 37:24.78 from the Coastal Carolina Invitational on March 8.

Mapping Things Out for the Multis
Cody Bingham will be the only Liberty athlete to compete in a multi event this week, participating in the Texas Relays. However, many of the Flames and Lady Flames' other multi-event competitors will keep a busy schedule at the Raleigh Relays.

On the men's side, Jacob DeValve will throw the shot put, discus and javelin, while Tevan McIntire is entered in the 110 hurdles, high jump and long jump.

For the Lady Flames, Audrey Bamford will participate in the 100 hurdles, high jump and long jump, with fellow sophomore Riley Brandon attempting the 100 hurdles, 400 hurdles, high jump and javelin.

Brittany Crittenden is set for the 400, long jump, 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 with classmate Erika Jackson readying for the 100 hurdles/400 hurdles double.