Nicole Leonzo gave Liberty the lead for good in the women's 4 x 400 relay Saturday evening, as the Lady Flames finished in a time of 3:42.24.
Liberty wrapped up its competition at the Virginia Challenge on a high note, Saturday at Lannigan Field. The Flames' men's and women's 4 x 400 relay teams both won their heats in season-best times in Liberty's final races of the weekend.
The Lady Flames' 4 x 400 time of 3:42.24 was the third fastest clocking in school history and the best since the 2007 ECAC outdoor final. Meanwhile, the Flames' 3:14.93 effort in the 4 x 400 marked the team's fastest time since the 2012 IC4A meet.
Women's Day Two Recap Freshman Nicole Leonzo clocked 55.6 seconds for the leadoff leg of the 4 x 400, giving Liberty a lead it would never relinquish. Ansley Gebben (56.0) and Olivia Behymer (56.14) followed with the baton, before Erin Edmond's 54.16-second anchor leg enabled the Lady Flames to hold off hard-charging Dartmouth for the heat victory.
Liberty's 3:42.24 effort placed fifth overall in the event, ahead of Virginia, Vanderbilt and Pittsburgh. The Lady Flames now rank No. 1 in the Big South for the women's 4 x 400 relay this season.
Brenna Smith threw the javelin 135-4 for fifth place in her section of the javelin, while fellow sophomore Dasiana Larson came in 10th in her section of the shot put with a mark of 42-1.25.
Freshman Kylie Polsgrove competed in three events on Saturday, highlighted by her efforts in the high jump (tie for 10th place, 5-3.25) and 400 hurdles (1:03.17).
Alyssa Karle opened Liberty's day of competition with a personal-best steeplechase time of 11:24.30, shaving five seconds off of her previous best. Erika Jackson was another Lady Flame to set a personal best, thanks to her 14.62 clocking in the 100 hurdles.
Running the longest race of her collegiate track career, freshman Torree Scull came in 18th in her heat of the 5K in 17:46.78.
Men's Day Two Recap Unlike the Lady Flames, the men's squad had to play a bit of catchup in the 4 x 400 relay. Jeff Jacobs gave Liberty a slight advantage after clocking 47.86 seconds for the third leg and Stephen Racanelli sealed the triumph with a 47.96-second anchor leg carry. Ryan Davis (50.6 seconds) and Michael Todd (48.3) had opened the relay for the Flames, who ended up in eighth place overall in the event.
Earlier in the day, Davis had placed sixth in the 400 hurdles in 52.55 seconds and crossed the line ninth in the 110 hurdles at 14.85.
Racanelli's first 200-meter dash of the 2016 outdoor season resulted in a time of 21.66 seconds into a headwind. It marked the fastest time by a Flame this season and placed 20th in the event.
Aklesso Agama and Darrel Jones followed up their strong triple jump performances on Friday with some good long jump efforts on Saturday. Agama was fourth in his section of the long jump with a season-best leap of 23-4. Later in the afternoon, Jones took seventh place in the invitational section at 23-3.5, just one-half inch shy of his best-ever outdoor mark.
Competing in the invitational section of the men's javelin, Denzel Pratt and Steve Feister came in fifth and sixth, respectively. Pratt's top mark of 219-1 came on the freshman's sixth and final throw, while Feister topped out at 214-3.
Zach Davis also threw the javelin on Saturday, coming in ninth in the event's other section at 186-3.
Carson Waters cleared 15-11 for fifth place in the invitational men's pole vault, while Fred Fulton's shot put mark of 53-0 placed him ninth in the invitational men's shot put.
Cameron Francis improved upon his personal-best 1,500 time by five seconds, finishing in 3:53.84 for the fastest time by a Liberty runner this season.
Liberty will remain in the Commonwealth of Virginia for its next meet, the Highlander Invitational. The two-day event is slated for Friday and Saturday in Radford, Va.