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Ballengee Headlines Liberty's Terrific Thursday in Texas

March 29, 2018  Austin, Texas  RSS
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Markus Ballengee added nearly 700 points to his decathlon personal best on Thursday.

Markus Ballengee added nearly 700 points to his decathlon personal best on Thursday.

Liberty sophomore Markus Ballengee's personal-best decathlon score of 7,537 highlighted a terrific Thursday for the Flames at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays Built By Home Depot. Liberty's day at Mike A. Myers Stadium also featured Brenna Smith's victory in Section B of the women's javelin, Dasiana Larson's first women's hammer throw over 60 meters and Carson Waters' NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round qualification in the men's pole vault.

Men's Day Two Recap
Ballengee's 7,537 points shattered his previous decathlon best of 6,840 and placed him sixth in the two-day competition. The sophomore now ranks No. 3 in both Liberty and Big South decathlon history, trailing only Brandon Hoskins (7,800) and Ryan Werner (7,662).

Ballengee, the Flames' 17th decathlete ever to tally 7,000 points, posted Liberty's highest score since Hoskins' record-setting 7,800-point effort at the 2008 Texas Relays. Ballengee should have a good chance to qualify for the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, as it took 7,471 points to reach Eugene a year ago.

Ballengee started his day by finishing second in the 110 hurdles at 14.49 seconds, ranking No. 2 in Liberty decathlon history. His 142-2 discus heave placed third in the event and sits No. 5 on Liberty's all-time decathlon list.

Ballengee pole vaulted an outdoor personal-best 16-0.75 before a 156-6 javelin effort pushed him past his previous decathlon best (6,840 points) with one event remaining.

Ballengee's personal-best 1,500 time of 4:41.93 placed second in the race and sealed his big score.

Ballengee had tied for first place on the 2018 Big South men's pole vault chart before Waters vaulted on Thursday. The senior matched his outdoor personal best of 16-10.75, qualifying for the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet. That event will take place in Tampa, Fla., just outside Waters' hometown of St. Petersburg Beach.

Competing in Section B of the men's javelin, sophomores Samuel Arter (200-5) and Alexander Hoffsmith (178-8) placed seventh and 12th, respectively.

Women's Day Two Recap
Seven days after improving her Liberty women's javelin record to 159-3, Smith topped out at 151-0 on Thursday. That effort was good for victory in Section B of the event, putting Smith 7.5 feet in front of SE Louisiana's Charlotte Wissing.

Larson's big hammer throw converted to a personal-best 198-2 in feet and inches, placing the senior fourth in the event and fifth in Big South history. Classmate Holly Arey reached 173-11 for 14th place in the women's hammer.

Sophomore Tanner Ealum dropped her 800-meter personal best to 2:08.36 Thursday evening, finishing sixth in the two-lapper's invitational section. The Alaska native climbed to No. 4 in Liberty and Big South Conference history while putting herself in contention for her first NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round appearance. Teammate Delaney McDowell, the reigning Big South women's indoor and outdoor 800 champion, came in 11th at 2:10.16.

Defending Big South heptathlon champion Kylie Polsgrove scored 4,932 points in her 2018 heptathlon debut, netting a 19th-place finish. The junior from North Carolina long jumped 16-10 and threw the javelin 103-7 before punctuating her performance with a personal-best 2:22.91 clocking for 800 meters.

Kimone Green, who won the 2016 Southland Conference women's 400 hurdles title for Abilene Christian, ran the event in a Liberty uniform for the first time on Thursday. Her time of 1:01.66 placed 35th of 77 athletes in the prelims. Green now tops the 2018 Big South women's 400 hurdles chart and ranks No. 7 all-time for the Lady Flames.

Up Next
Liberty athletes will compete in two different meets on Friday, beginning at 9 a.m. when Kammi Kurtz races in Section 1 of the women's 5K at the Raleigh Relays in Raleigh, N.C.

The Flames' Friday at the Texas Relays will get started at approximately 11 a.m. Eastern. At that time, Erin Zappia will compete in Section B of the women's high jump and Jovaine Atkinson will take part in the men's 110 hurdles prelims.