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Highlander Invitational Next Up for Liberty Track

April 28, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Mariel Finger is part of Liberty's large contingent of pole vaulters who will compete in the Highlander Invitational.

Mariel Finger is part of Liberty's large contingent of pole vaulters who will compete in the Highlander Invitational.

Highlander Invitational Information Central

Meet Schedule

Live Results

Performance List

Radford Weather

A number of Liberty track & field athletes will travel across the Commonwealth for the Highlander Invitational, Friday and Saturday at Cupp Stadium in Radford, Va.

The Flames' sixth consecutive appearance at the Highlander Invitational will begin Friday at noon with the women's discus. Saturday's slate of events will get started with the men's discus and women's shot put at 9 a.m.

How to Follow the Flames and Lady Flames
Live results will be available throughout the meet.

Weather Report
Bad weather has impacted each of the last two Highlander Invitationals, but this weekend's weather forecast is more promising. Friday's forecast calls for mostly sunny skies and a high temperature near 80 degrees. On Saturday, there is a chance of afternoon rain showers with the high around 70.

Up and Over
Liberty will be well represented in Friday's men's and women's pole vault competitions. Alex Geniesse, Luke Moffett, Dean Palmer, Caleb Rider, Ken Ritchey and Carson Waters will all take part in the men's pole vault, with Hudson Hall competing unattached. Meanwhile, the Lady Flames will be represented by Lea Carter, Rachael Fasana, Mariel Finger, Audrey Rabe and Brooke Shelton, while Jessie Glynn will compete unattached.

Glynn performed well at the 2015 Highlander Invitational, winning the women's pole vault with a personal-best 13-1.75 clearance. That effort earned her a trip to the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet in Jacksonville, Fla.

This year, it appears that men's pole vaulters will need to clear at least 16-5 and women's vaulters will need to get over at least 13-0 in order to reach the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet.

Ritchey (16-2.75 season best), Waters (16-1.25) and Geniesse (15-11) are all within striking distance of a trip to Jacksonville, while Finger's 12-3.5 clearance is the best of the season among the Lady Flames.

The Highlander Invitational men's pole vault field also includes the Virginia Tech duo of James Steck (17-0.75 personal best) and Jeffrey Linta (16-5.5).

On the women's side, the Lady Flames will face Virginia Tech's Erica Hjerpe (13-10.5 personal best), Kristen Lee (13-6.25) and Hannah Meador (13-0.25), as well as Bridget Guy (13-8.25) of Virginia.

Tuning Up
Ryan Davis, who will be seeking his third straight Big South men's 400 hurdles title this season, will compete in the event Saturday afternoon at Radford. The junior from Florida currently ranks No. 2 in the Big South and No. 34 in the East Region with his season-best time of 52.43 seconds.

Liberty has enjoyed past success in the men's 400 hurdles at Cupp Stadium. Tim O'Donnell captured the 2009 Big South men's 400 hurdles title there in a personal-best time of 51.35 which still stands as the stadium record.

Booking Flights to Florida
At this point of the season, it appears that seven Liberty athletes are bound for the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet, which will take place May 26-28 in Jacksonville, Fla. These include the following:

Women's 5K – Ednah Kurgat
Women's Shot Put – Mychelle Cumings
Men's 400 Hurdles – Ryan Davis
Men's Triple Jump – Darrel Jones
Men's Discus – Fred Fulton
Men's Javelin – Steve Feister
Men's Javelin – Denzel Pratt

Big South's Best
With less than two weeks remaining until the 2016 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Liberty tops the Big South Conference performance list in the following events:

Women's 400 – Erin Edmond – 54.26
Women's 800 – Delaney McDowell – 2:08.59
Women's 5K – Ednah Kurgat – 15:48.63
Women's 4 x 400 Relay – 3:42.24
Women's Shot Put – Mychelle Cumings – 49-5
Women's Heptathlon – Erika Jackson – 5,056
Men's 400 – Stephen Racanelli – 47.71
Men's 800 – Michael Todd – 1:51.11
Men's Steeplechase – Josh Showalter – 9:11.20
Men's Discus – Fred Fulton – 173-5
Men's Javelin – Steve Feister – 234-7