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Liberty Track Teams Bound for Boston

March 1, 2017  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Tanner Ealum (left) and Delaney McDowell (right) will keep busy in Boston this weekend between individual events and relay duties.

Tanner Ealum (left) and Delaney McDowell (right) will keep busy in Boston this weekend between individual events and relay duties.

Meet Schedule

Live Results

After sweeping the Big South team titles, the Liberty men's and women's indoor track & field squads will head to Boston for this weekend's 2017 IC4A and ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships.

The men's IC4A and women's ECAC meets will be contested concurrently at the Boston University Track & Field Pavilion, Friday through Sunday. The meet will begin Friday at 3 p.m. with the ECAC pentathlon 60-meter hurdles. Saturday's events will get started with the IC4A heptathlon 60-meter hurdles at 9:30 a.m. Sunday's action will also get going at 9:30 a.m., with the IC4A triple jump and ECAC shot put.

How to Follow the Flames and Lady Flames
Live results will be available throughout the meet, courtesy of Lancer Timing.

Liberty's IC4A Entrants
Jovaine Atkinson – 60 Hurdles
Markus Ballengee – Heptathlon
Andrew Crowell – 800, Distance Medley
Ryan Davis – 60, 4 x 400, Distance Medley
Zach Davis – Heptathlon
Jahquez Durham – 400, 4 x 400
Greg Edwards – 200, 4 x 400
Cameron Francis – Distance Medley
Zach Gilroy – Heptathlon
Jeff Jacobs – 400, 4 x 400, Distance Medley
Spencer Jamison – 4 x 400
Luke Jelen – Distance Medley
Darrel Jones – Triple Jump
Azaria Kirwa – 3K, 5K
Stanley Langat – 3K
Bradley Prentice – Distance Medley
Stephen Racanelli – 400, 4 x 400
Jonny Saintil – Triple Jump
Colin Schultz – 1,000, Distance Medley
Michael Todd – 800, 4 x 400, Distance Medley
Carson Waters – Pole Vault
Andre Wright – Triple Jump

Liberty's ECAC Entrants
Holly Arey – Weight Throw
Olivia Behymer – 4 x 400, Distance Medley
Katie Dodson – 60 Hurdles
Tanner Ealum – 400, 4 x 400, Distance Medley
Mariel Finger – Pole Vault
Jessie Glynn – Pole Vault
Janae Jones – Triple Jump, 4 x 400
Alyssa Karle – Distance Medley
Dasiana Larson – Weight Throw
Nicole Leonzo – 400, 4 x 400, Distance Medley
Delaney McDowell – 800, 4 x 400, Distance Medley
Dana Mercer – 60, Long Jump, 4 x 400
Kylie Polsgrove – Pentathlon
Hannah Scherlacher – Distance Medley
Brooke Turner – Distance Medley
Anna Van Wyk – 3K
Mary Witmer – 4 x 400, Distance Medley
Erin Zappia – High Jump

What Do All of These Letters Stand For?
The acronym ECAC is short for Eastern College Athletic Conference. According to the ECAC website, it "is the nation's largest athletic conference and only multi-divisional conference, with approximately 300 member institutions ranging across 16 states from Maine to North Carolina and westerly to Wisconsin." This weekend's women's meet is officially titled the ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championship.

Meanwhile, the concurrent men's meet is called the IC4A Indoor Track & Field Championship. IC4A stands for Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America, and the name is only applied to the ECAC's Division I men's championships in cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field.

A Look Back at Last Year
Liberty enjoyed a successful showing at the 2016 IC4A and ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships. The men's squad placed third in the final IC4A standings, marking the Flames' best finish since 2011 and fifth top-three showing in meet history. Meanwhile, the Lady Flames ended up sixth in the ECAC team standings.

Erika Jackson won the ECAC pentathlon title, while Liberty recorded runner-up finishes in the ECAC shot put (Mychelle Cumings), IC4A triple jump (Darrel Jones), IC4A pole vault (Carson Waters) and IC4A distance medley relay (Jacob Onifer, Jeff Jacobs, Andrew Garrett and Cameron Francis).

Liberty also set school records in two different events, including the women's 400 (54.41, Erin Edmond) and women's 4 x 800 relay (8:47.12, Ansley Gebben, Alexis Taylor, Torree Scull and Delaney McDowell).

Big South's Best Back in Action
Nine Liberty athletes will compete in the same events in which they captured Big South titles last weekend. They include Jovaine Atkinson (men's 60 hurdles), Jahquez Durham (men's 400), Tanner Ealum (women's 400), Jessie Glynn (women's pole vault), Janae Jones (women's triple jump), Delaney McDowell (women's 800), Kylie Polsgrove (women's pentathlon), Carson Waters (men's pole vault) and Erin Zappia (women's high jump).

Baton Battles
Liberty fared well in the relay races at the 2016 IC4A and ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships, including a school record-setting performance in the women's 4 x 800 relay. The Flames and Lady Flames also posted top-five finishes in the IC4A distance medley relay (second), IC4A 4 x 800 relay (third), ECAC 4 x 400 relay (third) and ECAC 4 x 800 relay (fifth).

This year, Liberty is coming off of a sweep of the men's and women's 4 x 400 relay titles at the Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships.

The Flames are entered in four relay races this weekend in Boston, including the IC4A 4 x 400 and distance medley relays along with the ECAC 4 x 400 and distance medley relays.

Liberty has won two IC4A/ECAC relay titles in program history, including the 1996 outdoor men's 4 x 100 and the 1999 outdoor men's 4 x 100.

Fabulous Freshmen
Tanner Ealum was voted Big South Women's Freshman of the Year last weekend, after placing first in the women's 400 and 4 x 400 relay and third in the 200. She was one of three Liberty freshmen to win Big South individual event titles, joining Jovaine Atkinson (men's 60 hurdles) and Jahquez Durham (men's 400).

Ealum, Atkinson and Durham will be joined in Boston this weekend by fellow freshmen Markus Ballengee, Katie Dodson, Stanley Langat, Brooke Turner, Anna Van Wyk and Andre Wright.

Flying High
Carson Waters pole vaulted a personal-best 17-0.75 last weekend, breaking the Big South Championship meet record and earning Big South Men's Outstanding Field Performer honors.

Waters will now take aim at the Liberty and Big South men's indoor pole vault records. The Flames' Ken Howell set both marks at 17-5 during the 1999 IC4A Indoor Track & Field Championships in Boston.

Howell's 17-5 clearance made him the most recent of Liberty's five IC4A men's indoor and outdoor pole vault champions all-time.

Waters will attempt to join that club on Sunday at 11 a.m. Last year, the Florida native placed second in the IC4A men's pole vault final, in a competition where no one reached 17 feet.

Upholding the Tradition
Over the years, Liberty's best events at the IC4A and ECAC meets have been the multi events. The Flames have captured 12 IC4A decathlon titles and one IC4A heptathlon crown. Meanwhile, the Lady Flames have won two ECAC heptathlon championships and three ECAC pentathlon competitions, including Erika Jackson's pentathlon victory in 2016.

This year, three Flames will compete in the IC4A heptathlon, including No. 2 seed Zach Davis, Big South runner-up Markus Ballengee and Zach Gilroy. Davis placed sixth in the 2015 IC4A heptathlon and came in third in the 2014 IC4A decathlon. Gilroy finished seventh in the 2016 IC4A heptathlon.

Big South champion Kylie Polsgrove is the No. 4 seed in Friday's ECAC pentathlon competition. She placed eighth in the 2016 ECAC pentathlon as a freshman.

Happy Birthday!
Two of Liberty's athletes traveling to Boston will be celebrating birthdays this week. Luke Jelen turned 22 years old on Tuesday (Feb. 28), while Tanner Ealum will celebrate her 19th birthday in Beantown on Friday (March 3).

Changing of Seasons
This weekend's meet will wrap up Liberty's 2017 indoor track & field season. After a weekend off from competition, the Flames and Lady Flames will begin the 2017 outdoor campaign at the CSU Spring Break Invitational, March 17-18 in Charleston, S.C.

The meet will enable Liberty to preview the venue for the 2017 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which are slated for May 10-12.