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Lady Flames Win Penn Relays ECAC 4 x 400 in Record Time

April 29, 2017  Philadelphia, Pa.  RSS
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Nicole Leonzo helped the Lady Flames win the Penn Relays women's 4 x 400 ECAC final in a school-record time of 3:40.32 on Saturday.

Nicole Leonzo helped the Lady Flames win the Penn Relays women's 4 x 400 ECAC final in a school-record time of 3:40.32 on Saturday.

Liberty's women's 4 x 400 relay quartet of Tanner Ealum, Mary Witmer, Nicole Leonzo and Olivia Behymer closed out the Flames' stay at the 123rd Penn Relays in style on Saturday, before a crowd of 47,420 at Franklin Field. The Lady Flames won the women's 4 x 400 ECAC final in a program-record time of 3:40.32.

The middle two legs of the Lady Flames' relay squad, Witmer (Lancaster) and Leonzo (Harrisburg) were both competing in their home state. It was Leonzo's sterling 53.50 third-leg split which broke the race open, leading to Liberty's three-second victory over runner-up Villanova.

Liberty's previous 4 x 400 school record of 3:41.00 had stood since Marie Williams, Tra' Screen, Charlene Hibbert and Chenoa Freeman posted the time at the 2007 ECAC meet. Ealum, Witmer, Leonzo and Behymer also became the third-fastest 4 x 400 grouping in Big South Conference history.

One year ago, Palmyra Area High School senior Alexander Hoffsmith threw 182-9 to finish 10th in the high school boys' javelin at the Penn Relays. On Saturday, he came in third in the college section of the men's javelin, thanks to a big personal-best heave of 213-7 on the freshman's very first attempt of the morning. That mark added 11 feet to Hoffsmith's personal best, and he later added a 205-4 mark in round four for good measure.

The third Flame to throw the javelin over 210 feet in 2017, Hoffsmith catapults to No. 7 in program history. He also put himself in strong position to qualify for the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet.

Teammate Samuel Arter followed in 13th place in the javelin's college section, reaching 194-6.

Junior Erin Zappia high jumped an outdoor personal-best 5-7, tying for seventh place in the event's championship section. She moves into a tie for fifth place on the Lady Flames' all-time list.

Fellow junior Darrel Jones also competed in a championship section on Saturday, placing 10th in the triple jump with his 49-1 leap. Freshman teammate Andre Wright captured 10th place in the men's triple jump college section, posting a 46-9 mark into a significant headwind.

Jovaine Atkinson crossed the finish line ninth in the college men's 110 hurdles final, recording a time of 14.29.

Up Next
The Flames will close out their 2017 home schedule with the Liberty Twilight Qualifier, Wednesday at the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex. The women's discus will get the meet started at 11:30 a.m. Running events will commence with the men's 100 prelims at 2 p.m., while Liberty's seniors will be recognized at 5 p.m.