David Scouten defeated the last two Big South champions to win the Winthrop Invitational men's hammer crown on Friday.
In spite of some wet weather, Liberty athletes posted a number of impressive performances at the Winthrop Invitational on Friday. Topping the list were event victories by David Scouten in the men's hammer and Zach Davis in the men's long jump.
Men's Day One Recap Scouten recorded arguably the performance of the day for the Flames, adding more than 16 feet to his hammer personal best with his third-round effort of 179-6. That enabled the Michigan native to defeat the 2012 (Gardner-Webb's Carson Sears) and 2013 (Gardner-Webb's Alex Young) Big South men's hammer champions and win the event. Scouten now ranks seventh in program history. Davis long jumped a personal-best 22-1.75 into a headwind on his very first attempt of the day. The freshman's leap kept him in first place the rest of the way, putting him just ¼ inch ahead of teammate Tarell Williams, who finished as the runner-up at 22-1.5. Kyle Wheeler landed at a season-best 21-0 for eighth place. Three Flames finished in the top six in the men's shot put competition, paced by runner-up Jacob DeValve. His outdoor personal-best mark of 52-10.25 made the redshirt senior the top collegiate finisher on the day and moves him up to No. 8 in program history. Constand Van Rooyen followed in fifth place with a season-best 49-5.5 put, while Scouten came in sixth at 49-3. Tevan McIntire was the Flames' top finisher on the track, narrowly missing out on qualifying for Saturday's men's 110 hurdles final. He sped to a personal-best time of 15.30 seconds for ninth place in the preliminary heats.
Women's Day One Recap Sophomore Sadalia Ellis, who also plays point guard for the Liberty women's basketball team, made a successful track & field season debut on Friday. She high jumped 5-3 for third place. Ellis cleared the same height as UNC Asheville's Meredith Foster, but the Big South indoor champion was awarded second place on misses. Liberty teammate Kristen Willeford made it over 5-1 for seventh place. Rachel Barnes came in fifth in the women's shot put, thanks to a throw of 40-1.5. Meanwhile, Erica Carney was the Lady Flames' top performer in the women's long jump, stretching out to 16-9.25 for 10th place. Erica Jackson clocked a season-best 100 hurdles time of 15.21 seconds for 12th place in the prelims. Fellow sophomore Rajon Stinnett-Perry came in 13th out of 52 in the 200 dash prelims by clocking a time of 25.78 into a headwind.
Liberty will wrap up its busy weekend of competition on Saturday, with athletes entered in events at the Texas Relays, Raleigh Relays and Winthrop Invitational.