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Flower, Fulton, Williams Excel at Liberty Twilight

April 29, 2015  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty's trio of Abigail Flower, Fred Fulton and Jocelyn Williams combined for seven of the home team's 10 event victories at the Liberty Twilight Qualifier, Wednesday at the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex.

Flower and Williams were two of the Flames' 19 seniors recognized during Liberty's final home meet of the 2015 outdoor campaign, and they both rose to the occasion. Flower (women's 100 and 4 x 100 relay) and Williams (women's discus and hammer) were each double event winners and both put themselves in good position to qualify for the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet.

Meanwhile, Fulton matched his achievement from the Liberty Collegiate Invitational, taking top honors in all three of his events (men's shot put, discus and hammer).

The triple jump runway saw some electrifying action as the sun set in Lynchburg, with two new facility record performances. Trinidad and Tobago Olympian Ayanna Alexander established a new women's triple jump standard of 45-5, which ranks No. 7 in the world for 2015. Nigerian Olu Olamigoke then improved the men's triple jump facility record to 53-8.25.

Women's Meet Recap
Williams, who has been hampered by illness for much of the season, returned to peak form in a big way on Wednesday. The New Jersey native dominated her specialty event, the women's hammer, winning by 23 feet with a new personal-best mark of 199-11. As a result, Williams took over the 2015 Big South lead and climbed to No. 11 in the East Region.

Williams' big throw, which came on her fifth attempt, landed just eight inches shy of the facility record and less than three feet off of the school record.

Classmate Jennifer Smith added 10 feet to her hammer personal best, reach 176-11 for second place in the competition and third on Liberty's all-time list. Freshman Dasiana Larson closed out a Liberty 1-2-3 sweep of the women's hammer with her 153-9 mark.

Williams (season-best 150-3) and Smith (147-4) had earlier finished first and second, respectively, in the women's discus competition.

Flower's best performance of a busy afternoon came in the women's 100 dash final, where she raced to a season-best 11.61 to win the event and tie for 34th place on the 2015 East Region list. Olivia Davis, another of the Lady Flames' seniors, came in third with a personal-best 11.96 effort, tying her for seventh in program history.

Flower and Davis ran the middle two legs of Liberty's victorious women's 4 x 100 relay, where they were joined by Dana Mercer and Kate Flower for a time of 46.43 seconds.

Abigail Flower wrapped up her day with a runner-up showing in the 200 dash in 24.06 seconds.

Lady Flames finished 1-2-3-4-5-6 in the women's shot put, paced by Mychelle Cumings' winning toss of 49-3.75. She was followed by Larson (second, 40-5), Holly Arey (third, 39-4), Smith (fourth, 38-5), Jessica Harrison (fifth, outdoor-best 38-3.25) and Erika Jackson (sixth, outdoor-best 37-2.25).

Brooke Shelton tied her lifetime best clearance of 12-0.5 to win the women's pole vault, while teammate Mariel Finger vaulted a personal-best 12-0.5 for second place. They become the seventh and eighth Lady Flames ever to eclipse the 12-foot pole vault barrier, and Finger is the first Liberty freshman to do so.

Completing a big day in the women's throws, Nicole Bishop was the javelin runner-up at 132-6, while Yana Babbitt placed third at 130-9.

The Lady Flames also placed second and third in the final race of the night, the women's 5K, thanks to Jessie Proehl (18:10.06) and Meredith Mistretta (18:12.13).

Liberty also secured a second-place finish in the 4 x 400 relay, when Olivia Behymer, Allison Corbin, Janae Jones and Mary Witmer teamed up for a 3:58.83 clocking.

Jones recorded a season-best triple jump of 40-7 for third place, while senior Melissa Rohwer's season-best long jump of 18-10 was good for third place in the event and first place in the Big South this season.

Terrill Zentmeyer crossed the line third in her steeplechase debut, stopping the clock in 12:06.04.

Men's Meet Recap
On the men's side, the Flames' most dominating performance in an event was a 1-2-3-4 finish in the men's discus. Fulton won with a mark of 178-2, while David Scouten was second (160-2), Tim Abbott third (155-6) and Trevor VanAsselt fourth (147-10).

Fulton's hammer mark of 190-6 outdistanced runner-up VanAsselt's personal-best 177-4 heave, which cracked the Michigan native into the Flames' all-time top 10.

Fulton defeated former Liberty standout and current Lynchburg College assistant coach Ryan Smith by two feet to capture the men's shot put title at 56-10.75.

Ken Ritchey accounted for the Flames' fourth and final men's event victory with a 16-2 pole vault clearance. Carson Waters (second, season-best 15-8.25) and Alexandru Barker (third, 15-2.25) claimed the next two spots for the Flames.

Sophomore Ryan Davis placed inside the top three in each of his events on a sun-drenched day, beginning with a third-place showing in the 110 hurdles. His time, a personal-best 14.77, was the fastest 110 hurdles clocking by a Flame since the 2010 season.

Davis went on to finish second in both the 400 hurdles (52.58) and 4 x 100 relay (41.40), where he was joined by Stephen Racanelli, Marquis Gilchrist and Joey Imhoff.

Two other Flames posted runner-up finishes on the day, including Daniel Klase in the javelin (214-3) and Titus Koech in the 5K (15:04.24).

Senior Kyle Wheeler closed out his home career in style, placing third in the men's high jump with his best clearance in two years, 6-9.75. In the process, he moved into a tie for 26th place in the East Region, giving Wheeler a chance at his third career NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round appearance.

Racanelli came in third in the 400 dash in 48.44 seconds. Then, four of his teammates (Levi Mack, Ryan Versen, Jeff Jacobs and Imhoff) combined for a third-place finish in the 4 x 400 in 3:23.36.

Aklesso Agama notched a third-place triple jump finish with his leap of 48-11.75 in the final round. John Sherret ended up third in the 800 in 1:53.76 after setting the early pace.

Liberty's next meet will take place on Friday, when Jacy Christiansen and Ednah Kurgat compete in the women's 5K at the Jesse Owens Track & Field Classic. Race time is set for 7 p.m. in Columbus, Ohio.