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8-Team Liberty Flames Invite Set for Saturday

January 31, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Jaiden Mulder (left) and Jada Thomas

Jaiden Mulder (left) and Jada Thomas

Meet Schedule

Live Results

Performance List

Liberty Track & Field Twitter (@Liberty_XCTF)

The Liberty men's and women's indoor track & field teams will play host to seven other squads for Saturday's Liberty Flames Invite at the Liberty Indoor Track Complex.

The Flames will square off with opponents from Campbell, Charleston Southern, Howard, Maryland, Norfolk State, VCU and Virginia, with the first event (men's weight throw) scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday morning. Admission is free of charge to all spectators.

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

Periodic updates will also be posted to the Liberty Track & Field/Cross Country Twitter account, @Liberty_XCTF.

Scouting the Competition
By the numbers, the Liberty Flames Invite features:

1 Top 25 squad (No. 24 Campbell men's team)
2 Power Five schools (Maryland and Virginia)
2 of Liberty's former Big South rivals (Campbell and Charleston Southern)
4 Commonwealth squads (Liberty, Norfolk State, VCU and Virginia)

About the Facility
The 169,000-square-foot Liberty Indoor Track Complex is highlighted by a six-lane, 200-meter, hydraulically banked oval. The facility, which includes permanent seating for approximately 1,500 spectators, also boasts ample space for athletes. Competitors are availed a sizeable mezzanine area which sits above an eight-lane, 100-meter warm-up straightaway.

The Liberty Indoor Track Complex opened in January 2017 and has seen records broken ever since. Most recently, national high school records were set in the boys' 4 x 200 and 4 x 400 relays at the Virginia Showcase, Jan. 18-20.

Saturday's Liberty Flames Invite marks the second of Liberty's four home meets this season, with the fifth annual Darius Dixon Memorial Invitational (Feb. 8-9) and the 2019 ASUN Indoor Track & Field Championships (Feb. 22-23) still to come.

The Liberty Indoor Track Complex is located beneath the LU monogram off of Candlers Mountain Road. The facility's address is 1531 Liberty Mountain Drive, Lynchburg, VA 24502.

Record Breaker
Alejandro Perlaza Zapata starred at last weekend's Liberty Kickoff, breaking school records in the men's 200 (21.17) and 500 (1:01.35). His 500 time currently ranks No. 1 in the world for 2019.

On Saturday, Perlaza Zapata will focus on his specialty event, the 400, for the first time this season. The senior already owns the South American, Colombian and Liberty men's indoor 400 records with his winning 46.14 clocking at the 2018 IC4A Indoor Track & Field Championships in Boston.

Perlaza Zapata's 400 race is set for a 12:30 p.m. start.

Clean Sweep
Liberty won all six ASUN Conference weekly honors on Wednesday, including the following:

Men's Track Athlete of the Week – Alejandro Perlaza Zapata
Men's Field Athlete of the Week – Jose Ballivian (Second week in a row)
Men's Freshman of the Week – Felix Kandie

Women's Track Athlete of the Week – Tanner Ealum
Women's Field Athlete of the Week – Patria Vaimaona
Women's Freshman of the Week – Taylen Langin

Four of the Flames' six award winners will be in action on Saturday, with Ealum and Kandie taking the weekend off from competition.

Perlaza Zapata is entered in the men's 400 (12:30 p.m.), Ballivian will throw the men's shot put (noon), Langin will compete in the women's pole vault (10 a.m.) and Vaimaona is entered in both the women's weight throw (approximately 10:30 a.m.) and shot put (approximately 1:30 p.m.).

Atop the ASUN
After two weekends of competition, Liberty ranks No. 1 in the ASUN Conference in 12 different events.

The Flames' ASUN leaders include:
Jovaine Atkinson (men's 60 hurdles – 7.91)
Jose Ballivian (men's shot put – 58-6.5)
Ty'Asia Dansbury (women's 400 – 56.02)
Anders Janes (men's pole vault – 15-7)
Felix Kandie (men's mile – 4:09.59)
Taylen Langin (women's pole vault – 12-7.5)
Delaney McDowell (women's mile – 5:00.68)
Naomi Mojica (women's shot put – 48-3.5)
Alejandro Perlaza Zapata (men's 200 – 21.17)
Jonny Saintil (men's triple jump – 48-10.25)
Patria Vaimaona (women's weight throw – 62-2.5)
Men's 4 x 400 relay team of Brad Smalley, Jahquez Durham, Michael Todd and Perlaza Zapata (3:11.39)

Up Next
The Flames will split their athletes between three different meets next weekend. Most of the team will remain in Lynchburg to compete in the fifth annual Darius Dixon Memorial Invitational, Feb. 8-9 at the Liberty Indoor Track Complex.

A select group of athletes will travel to Fayetteville, Ark., for the Tyson Invitational. The prestigious meet is slated for Feb. 8-9 at the Randal Tyson Track Center.

Finally, Noel Palmer will compete in the women's 5K at the Iowa State Classic, Feb. 8 at the Lied Recreation Athletic Center in Ames, Iowa.