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Liberty's Relays Excel in Texas

March 29, 2019  Austin, Texas  RSS
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Cortney Dowling enjoyed a busy and successful day of relay running on Friday.

Cortney Dowling enjoyed a busy and successful day of relay running on Friday.

Liberty's relay squads enjoyed a successful Friday at the 92nd Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, setting one school record (women's sprint medley relay) and qualifying two teams (men's and women's 4 x 400 relays) to Saturday's finals at Mike A. Myers Stadium.

The sprint medley quartet of Ty'Asia Dansbury (24.0 200-meter split), Cortney Dowling (24.1 200-meter split), Tanner Ealum (54.8 400-meter split) and Delaney McDowell (2:08.3 800-meter split) combined for a record-setting time of 3:51.67. The Lady Flames finished fourth overall, trailing only national track & field powers Texas A&M, Texas and LSU.

Liberty improved upon the previous record of 3:53.34 set by Oasis Hernandez, Abigail Flower, Ansley Gebben and Meghan Burggraf at the 2014 Texas Relays.

About five hours earlier, the Lady Flames' four record setters had teamed up for a season-best 3:41.41 clocking during the women's 4 x 400 relay prelims. This time, their order was Ealum (55.8 split), Dansbury (54.5), McDowell (56.87) and Dowling (54.02) as Liberty won its heat and finished with the second-fastest time among 45 competitors. In the process, they became the fourth-fastest 4 x 400 squad in program history.

The men's 4 x 400 relay squad of Brad Smalley, Jahquez Durham, Michael Todd and Alejandro Perlaza Zapata grabbed the ninth and final qualifying spot in Saturday's final with their preliminary time of 3:13.77. Olympian Perlaza Zapata clocked a 46.62 anchor leg, moving the Flames from fifth place to a heat victory.

Reigning ASUN Men's Field Athlete of the Week Denzel Pratt heaved the javelin a season-best 227-1 Friday evening. That effort was good for eighth place overall (sixth among collegiate athletes) in Section A of the event.

Teammate Jose Ballivian posted a pair of top 10 finishes in the men's throws Friday morning. The Chile native took fifth place in Section B of the men's discus with a season-best 173-10 mark which will put him in contention for an NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round berth.

Ballivian quickly headed from there to the shot put circle, where he reached 57-4.75 for sixth place in Section B.

Women's Qualifiers to Finals
4 x 400 – Tanner Ealum, Ty'Asia Dansbury, Delaney McDowell, Cortney Dowling – 3:41.41

Men's Qualifiers to Finals
4 x 400 – Brad Smalley, Jahquez Durham, Michael Todd, Alejandro Perlaza Zapata – 3:13.77

Women's Record Breakers
School Record – Sprint Medley – Ty'Asia Dansbury, Cortney Dowling, Tanner Ealum, Delaney McDowell – 3:51.67
Old Record: 3:53.34 by Oasis Hernandez, Abigail Flower, Ansley Gebben and Meghan Burggraf at the 2014 Texas Relays

Updates to Liberty's All-Time Women's Top 10 List
Sprint Medley – No. 1 – Dansbury, Dowling, Ealum, McDowell – 3:51.67
4 x 400 – No. 4 – Ealum, Dansbury, McDowell, Dowling – 3:41.41

Updates to Liberty's All-Time Men's Top 10 List
Discus – No. 6 – Jose Ballivian – 173-10

Up Next
Liberty will wrap up its stay at the Texas Relays on Saturday. The Flames' first event of the day will be Section B of the women's discus, featuring Chelsea Igberaese and beginning at 11 a.m. Eastern.

The Flames will also return to action at the Raleigh Relays on Saturday, starting with Marvalyn Vernon in the women's hammer at 9:45 a.m.