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Liberty Track Set for Hilton Garden Innvitational

January 28, 2014  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Jennifer Nicholson is entered in the women's shot put and weight throw at this weekend's Hilton Garden Innvitational in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Jennifer Nicholson is entered in the women's shot put and weight throw at this weekend's Hilton Garden Innvitational in Winston-Salem, N.C.

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For the first time this season, the Liberty men's and women's indoor track & field teams will compete outside of Virginia. A group of approximately 20 Flames and Lady Flames will take part in the Hilton Garden Innvitational, Friday and Saturday at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, N.C.

The meet will begin Friday at noon with the heptathlon 60-meter dash. Saturday's events will get started with the women's weight throw at 9 a.m.

How to Follow the Flames and Lady Flames
Live results will be available during both days of competition, courtesy of Timing, Inc.

Last Time at JDL
This weekend's meet will mark Liberty's first visit to the JDL Fast Track since the 2013 Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships (Feb. 21-22, 2013). At that meet, the Liberty men's squad captured its unprecedented 16th consecutive team title.

Redshirt senior Jacob DeValve is Flames' only all-conference performer from the 2013 Big South meet expected to compete this weekend, as he finished third in the men's shot put final. He is slated to throw the shot put Friday at 4 p.m.

Checking Out the Competition
Liberty competed against Big South foes Coastal Carolina and Radford last weekend, at the Hokie Invitational in Blacksburg, Va. This weekend, the Flames and Lady Flames will see most of the other conference members, as Campbell, Gardner-Webb, High Point, UNC Asheville and Winthrop are all scheduled to compete in the Hilton Garden Innvitational.

Ladies First
Most of Liberty's traveling party to the Hilton Garden Innvitational will consist of Lady Flames. The only Flames entered in the meet are Tim Abbott (shot put), Jacob DeValve (shot put) and ConRoy Smith (60 and 200). Meanwhile, 17 Liberty women's athletes are registered for events.

Youth Movement
Of the 17 Lady Flames slated to compete at the Hilton Garden Innvitational, 13 of them are freshmen and sophomores. The lone exceptions are senior Jessica Gass (distance medley relay) and juniors Mary Cate Cooper (5K), Jennifer Nicholson (shot put and weight throw) and Caroline Parris (3K).

Chasing ConRoy
Senior ConRoy Smith found the JDL Fast Track's name to be appropriate the last time he competed at the facility, at the 2013 Wake Forest Invitational (Jan. 19, 2013). He won the men's 200-meter dash (22.05 seconds) and finished second in the 60-meter dash (6.85), setting new personal-best times in both races. His 200 clocking is the seventh-fastest time in facility history.

Regionally Ranked
The first U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Regional Index of the 2013-14 indoor track & field season was released on Tuesday, and the Liberty men's squad sits at No. 14 in the Southeast Region. Liberty is the only Big South men's or women's team to appear in this week's Regional Index.

Big South's Best
Four weeks before the 2014 Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships, a number of Liberty athletes rank first on the conference performance list for their respective events.

On the men's side, the Flames who are ranked No. 1 in the Big South include Josh MacDonald (8:18.38 in the 3K), Zach Davis (6-9.5 in the high jump), Aklesso Agama (48-7.25 in the triple jump), Fred Fulton (57-1.5 in the shot put) and Cody Bingham (converted score of 5,045 in the heptathlon).

Lady Flames currently topping the Big South performance charts include Abigail Flower (7.72 in the 60), Jacy Christiansen (converted time of 4:57.80 in the mile & 9:45.98 in the 3K), Oasis Hernandez (18-7 in the long jump), Mychelle Cumings (49-0.75 in the shot put), Jocelyn Williams (62-6.5 in the weight throw) and Audrey Bamford (converted score of 3,476 in the pentathlon).

All of Liberty's Big South leaders will take this weekend off from competition, in preparation for the Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup, Feb. 7-8 in University Park, Pa.