Rachel Barnes threw the shot put a personal-best 45-4.25 on Saturday, winning the event and notching an ECAC qualifier.
Liberty junior Rachel Barnes' breakthrough performance in the women's shot put provided Saturday's biggest highlight at the Highlander Invitational at Cupp Stadium. Barnes won the event, improving upon her previous best by more than two feet in the process.
Women's Day Two Recap Barnes, who entered the day with a personal best of 43-1.5, uncorked her winning throw of 45-4.25 in the third round. Her impressive series, which also featured a 43-10.5 toss in round five, punched her ticket to the ECAC meet, which will be contested in her home state of New Jersey. Barnes now ranks No. 2 on Liberty's all-time women's shot put list, trailing only teammate Mychelle Cumings. Teammate Jennifer Nicholson posted a third-place shot put finish, reaching 41-1.75 on her best attempt. Jocelyn Williams punctuated a successful meet by the Lady Flames' throwers by claiming runner-up honors in the hammer. After winning Friday's discus competition, Williams notched a 174-10 hammer throw on Saturday. Freshman Sadalia Ellis recorded a second-place high jump finish for the second straight meet to open her college career, clearing 5-4.25. Kristen Willeford made it over the same height, sharing third place in the final standings. Liberty also placed 2-3 in the women's triple jump, thanks to Janae Jones (38-11) and Melissa Rohwer (37-8). Freshman Corinn Bedell ran the fastest 400 of her young collegiate career, a time of 57.80 seconds which earned runner-up honors. Teammate Amanda Wimbush then finished second in the 800 at 2:15.49. After completing eight events (heptathlon and high jump) at the Big South Championship, Audrey Bamford halved that number at Radford. The best of her four disciplines was the 100 hurdles, where the sophomore came in third with a time of 15.21 into a headwind.
Men's Day Two Recap Sophomore John Sherret sliced two seconds off of his personal-best time in the men's 800, as his 1:52.81 clocking placed second. ConRoy Smith continued his successful comeback from injury, including a fourth-place finish in the men's 200. He recorded a time of 21.99 seconds into a headwind in his outdoor season debut in the half-lapper. Smith also anchored the Flames' 4 x 100 relay team to second place in a time of 41.87 seconds. He was joined by Roderick Spruel, Andre Washington and Tarell Williams on the relay. Paul Arslain's season-best 400-meter dash time of 48.85 seconds earned third place in the race. Meanwhile, Marc Jackson clocked 55.78 seconds in the 400 hurdles for fourth place. Kyle Wheeler (6-6) and Patrick Donigan (6-4) took the second and third spots, respectively, in the men's high jump final. Ryan Smith threw the discus 147-10 for third place and heaved the hammer 195-4 for fourth. With Smith sitting out the shot put at this meet, Andrew Woodley was the top Liberty finisher in the event. He came in fourth with a 49-6.25 effort. Liberty will now prepare for its final home meet of the season, Wednesday's Liberty Twilight Qualifier. The one-day event will commence at 1 p.m. at the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex, with the women's discus and men's shot put getting things started. Track events are slated to begin at 2 p.m. with the prelims of the men's 100-meter dash.