Kimone Green set the Liberty women's 400 hurdles record with her 59.12 clocking on Saturday. (Photo by Taylor Jones)
Liberty senior Kimone Green's program-record women's 400 hurdles time of 59.12 seconds was one of numerous standout performances by the Flames at the Virginia Challenge on Saturday. Liberty's distance crew also ran well at Lannigan Field, including a program freshman-record 5K time of 16:28.13 by Noel Palmer and an NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round-qualifying 10K effort of 29:27.40 in Azaria Kirwa's return to competition.
Women's Day Two Recap Competing in just her third 400 hurdles race in a Liberty uniform, Green sped to a time of 59.12 for first place in her heat and third overall. The Jamaica native took down the Liberty record of 59.84 seconds, set by Mary Witmer at the 2017 Big South Championship. Green now ranks No. 7 in Big South history and punched her ticket to the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet.
Later on, Green led off for the second-fastest women's 4 x 400 relay squad in program history and the fifth-fastest quartet in Big South annals. Green, Cortney Dowling, Ty'Asia Dansbury (54.33 split) and Tanner Ealum (54.28 split) produced a season-best time of 3:40.85 and a fourth-place finish in the race. Earlier in the day, Dansbury had clocked a 200 time of 24.81 despite drawing lane one and facing a headwind.
Palmer's 5K time (16:28.13) set a new lifetime best by 16 seconds and broke Ednah Kurgat's Liberty freshman record of 16:34.74 from 2015. Palmer now ranks No. 2 all-time at Liberty and No. 3 all-time in the Big South after her outdoor 5K debut. She is also in contention for an NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round invitation in a second event (along with the 10K).
In the 5K's second section, defending Big South women's outdoor 5K champion Anna Van Wyk lowered her personal best to 17:13.72. She moved up to seventh place on Liberty's top 10 list and became the fifth Lady Flame to clock a sub-18:00 5K this season.
Kylie Polsgrove's personal-best 100 hurdles time of 14.33 seconds placed 15th of 40 competitors. She also high jumped 5-1.25 for 11th place in the event's open section.
Senior teammate Erin Zappia made her outdoor season debut on Saturday, clearing 5-4.5 to share sixth place with reigning Big South champion Shenelle McKay of Campbell. Men's Day Two Recap All-American Kirwa had not raced since Feb. 9 due to injury. However, the junior showed no ill effects during Saturday night's men's 10K. He raced to a third-place finish in 29:27.40, earning a place on the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round starting line.
Jahquez Durham, Michael Todd, Jeff Jacobs and Alejandro Perlaza Zapata placed seventh in the men's 4 x 400 relay at 3:11.59. One night after winning the men's 400 title, Perlaza Zapata clocked 45.48 seconds for the anchor split.
Branson Rolle came in fourth in the men's 400 hurdles in 52.84 seconds, completing a 1-2-3-4 sweep of the event by freshmen.
Colin Schultz posted a 1,500 time of 3:45.08 for seventh place in the invitational section. Meanwhile, Andrew Crowell ran a 3:53.67 1,500 during the morning, shaving 4.5 seconds from his previous best.
Competing in the night's final race, which began after 10:30 p.m., Benjamin Klemmeck fashioned a 14:42.01 5K, lopping more than 20 seconds off of the sophomore's personal best.
Greg Edwards (15th place, season-best 21.79) and Travis Henderson (19th, 21.88) both dipped under 22 seconds in the 200.
Brad Smalley's 22-2.5 long jump was good for 11th place.
Chukwuma Maduka placed seventh in the decathlon with 5,842 points, improving his personal best by nearly 800 points despite failing to finish the 1,500-meter run. He notched three personal-best marks on the day, including a 105-6 discus, a 12-9.5 pole vault and a 140-1 javelin.
Up Next Liberty will send athletes to Lannigan Field for the second straight weekend. The Virginia Grand Prix is scheduled for April 28, with the day's first event tentatively slated for an 11 a.m. start.