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Liberty Men and Women on Top After Day Two of the New Balance Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships Presented by UCS

April 20, 2007  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Jon Hart, shown here throwing the hammer on Thursday, won the shot put with a new meet-record toss during Friday's action.

Jon Hart, shown here throwing the hammer on Thursday, won the shot put with a new meet-record toss during Friday's action.

A quartet of Liberty juniors combined to win four events and set a pair of meet records, helping both the men's and women's track and field teams take the lead at the conclusion of Friday's day two action at the New Balance Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships Presented by UCS. The Flames are on top of second-place Coastal Carolina, 103-59 and the Lady Flames own a narrow, 87-80 edge over Coastal Carolina at the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex. 

Jon Hart (Wyomissing, Pa.) continued his stellar meet by throwing the shot put 55-7.75 to break the existing meet record of 53-5.5, which had been established by UNC Asheville's Nathan Hedgpeth in 2003. Hart had previously broken the Big South Championship hammer mark on Thursday. 

The Flames' other record setter was Brandon Hoskins (Garden City, Texas), who, in his season debut in the decathlon, racked up 6,886 points. He bettered the meet record in the relatively new event at the Big South Championships, a 6,510 total posted by VMI's Garrett Brickner in 2005. 

The Liberty women won a pair of event crowns as well. Marie Williams (Tampa, Fla.) led from start to finish in the heptathlon, totaling 4,551 points to win by 284 tallies. 

Piper Newby (Hayden Lake, Idaho) ran away with the victory in the 3,000-steeplechase, the final event on the sunny, warm afternoon, clocking a 10:54.66. She outdistanced the event runner-up, Aubrey Bergquist of Coastal Carolina, by almost 42 full seconds. 

Hart's effort was part of a 22-point outburst in the men's shot put. Clendon Henderson (Jr., Meadow, Texas) also earned all-conference laurels, placing second with a top mark of 52-6.5. Sophomore Andrew Bartels (Grantham, Pa.) came in fifth, topping out at 46-9. 

The Liberty men also garnered considerable points in the decathlon. Behind Hoskins, Daniel Newell (So., Roanoke, Va.) posted 6,273 points for second place, Matt Tarr (So., Madison Township, Pa.) finished fifth with 5,290 and Clarence Murray (Jr., Birdsboro, Pa.) ended up sixth with 2,534 points. 

Matt Parker (So., Rome, N.Y.), part of a hotly-contested men's high jump event, ended up in second place with a clearance of 6-8.75. Jason Williams of Winthrop reached the same height, but Parker had fewer misses. Radford's Daniel Oseth defended his event title and tied his own meet record of 6-10.75. 

The Flames' final points of the day came courtesy of Nate Edwards (Jr., Warren, Mich.), who crossed the line sixth in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase after running a time of 10:01.72. 

On the women's side, Williams was one of three Lady Flames to finish in the top four of the heptathlon. Jennifer Ward (Jr., Martinsville, Va.) was the event runner-up, totaling 4,267 points and Sheronica Henton (Fr., Raeford, N.C.) came in fourth with a score of 3,852. 

Likewise, Newby was not the sole point-earner in the steeplechase. Rebekah Brown (Jr., Richmond, Va.) placed fourth in 11:48.61 and Jo Welch (So., Castro Valley, Calif.) was sixth with a time of 12:17.05. 

Sophomore Emily Funderburke (Fredericksburg, Va.) cleared a career-best height of 10-0.75 to place third in the women's pole vault. Teammates Danielle Harris (Fr., Luray, Va.) and Erin Hudson (Fr., Whitacre, Va.) tied for fifth place in the event, as both went over 9-7. 

Another athlete who shone in the field events on Saturday was Radford's Tiffany Evans, who won the women's shot put for the third straight year, breaking her own Big South overall and meet records in the process. Her winning distance was 51-0.75. 

Qualifying heats for Saturday's running event finals were also held on Friday, and Liberty athletes recorded the fastest times in four disciplines. Arlene Zelinskas (Sr., Dayton, Ohio) was the top qualifier in both the 100-meter hurdles (14.01) and the 400-meter hurdles (1:02.75). 

Liberty runners also enters the 800-meter finals with the top times, as Jaime Watson (So., Ravenna, Mich.) ran a 2:15.96 on the women's side and Travis Campbell (Sr., Candler, N.C.) paced the men at 1:53.62. 

Charleston Southern's Dionne Gibson set the final Big South Championship record of the afternoon, running a 24.00 in the women's 200-meter dash prelims. 

The third and final day of the 2007 New Balance Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships Presented by UCS will begin with the women's javelin throw, Saturday at 10 a.m.

Men's Decathlon Final Scores
1) Brandon Hoskins, Liberty – 6,886
2) Daniel Newell, Liberty – 6,273
3) Jack Hutchison, Coastal Carolina – 6,068
4) Tyler Tucker, VMI – 5,347
5) Matt Tarr, Liberty – 5,290
6) Clarence Murray, Liberty – 2,534

Women's Heptathlon Final Scores
1) Marie Williams, Liberty – 4,551
2) Jennifer Ward, Liberty – 4,267
3) Amami Antia-Obong, Winthrop – 3,962
4) Sheronica Henton, Liberty – 3,852
5) Lauren Watts, Coastal Carolina – 3,757
6) Morgan Weeks, UNC Asheville – 3,700
7) Elisha Tegeder, Coastal Carolina – 3,492
8) Aleece Vossmer, Winthrop – 3,457