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Liberty Twilight Qualifier Slated for Wednesday

April 30, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Alejandro Perlaza Zapata

Alejandro Perlaza Zapata

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Liberty will close out the regular season with its lone home meet of the outdoor campaign, the Liberty Twilight Qualifier. The one-day event will be contested Wednesday at the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex.

The women's discus will get the meet started at 11:30 a.m. The men's 100 dash prelims will begin the slate of running events at 2 p.m., while the Flames' senior class will be recognized on the track at 5:15 p.m.

Admission is free of charge to the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex.

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

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

Weather Report
Wednesday could be Lynchburg's hottest day of 2019 to date with the high temperature expected to approach 90 degrees under partly cloudy skies.

Salute to Seniors
At 5:15 p.m., Liberty's 16 seniors will be honored on the track during the team's annual Senior Night celebration. The Flames' 2019 senior class, which features three NCAA national qualifiers, eight conference individual event champions and four school record holders, includes Elizabeth Hutton, Delaney McDowell, Leah Plummer, Kylie Polsgrove, Kelly Shaffer, Marvalyn Vernon, Jacob Burke, Greg Edwards, Michael Fairfax, Azaria Kirwa, Alejandro Perlaza Zapata, Denzel Pratt, Jonny Saintil, Reilly Stroot, Michael Todd and James Zentmeyer.

Scouting the Competition
The Liberty Twilight Qualifier will feature entrants from 24 different colleges and universities, along with a number of talented post-collegiate competitors. ACC schools NC State, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest will all be represented on Wednesday.

As usual at this meet, the sprints and mid-distance events feature deep fields. The men's 100 dash includes 29 runners who have run 11.00 or faster, while the men's 800 boasts 14 entrants seeded at 1:52.00 or better.

Looking Back
The host team won nine events at the 2018 Liberty Twilight Qualifier, including victories by current Flames Alejandro Perlaza Zapata (men's 200), Jahquez Durham (men's 400), Michael Todd (men's 800), Reilly Stroot (men's pole vault open section), Ty'Asia Dansbury (women's 400) and Chelsea Igberaese (women's discus).

Record Watch
Liberty athletes own seven facility records at the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex, including the women's 4 x 400 relay (3:41.92), men's mile (3:57.46 by Josh McDougal), men's 5K (14:06.88 by McDougal), men's 10K (30:44.91 by McDougal), men's 4 x 400 relay (3:09.83), men's shot put (60-6 by Ryan Smith) and men's javelin (234-11 by Steve Feister).

The Flames and Lady Flames could add to that total on Wednesday with realistic record chances in the following events:

Men's 400 (Alejandro Perlaza Zapata) – Existing record is 45.99
Men's 4 x 400 Relay – Existing record is 3:09.83
Men's Shot Put (Kyle Mitchell) – Existing record is 60-6
Women's 800 (Delaney McDowell and Tanner Ealum) – Existing record is 2:07.95
Women's 4 x 100 Relay – Existing record is 45.50

Among the Nation's Best
Eight Liberty athletes rank among the nation's top 50 performers in their respective events, topped by senior Alejandro Perlaza Zapata's No. 10 ranking in the men's 400.

No. 10 – Alejandro Perlaza Zapata – Men's 400 – 45.79
No. 23 – Denzel Pratt – Men's Javelin – 227-1
No. 24 – Chelsea Igberaese – Women's Discus – 179-6
No. 26 – Kylie Polsgrove – Women's Heptathlon – 5,333
No. 36 – Kyle Mitchell – Men's Shot Put – 61-2.75
No. 41 – Felix Kandie – Men's Steeplechase – 8:55.06
No. 42 – Noel Palmer – Women's 10K – 33:56.67
No. 43 – Naomi Mojica – Women's Shot Put – 52-3.75

Atop the ASUN
Less than two weeks before the 2019 ASUN Outdoor Track & Field Championships (May 10-11), Liberty athletes rank No. 1 in the ASUN Conference in 18 different events.

Men's 100 – Alejandro Perlaza Zapata (10.61)
Men's 200 – Elijah Pierson (21.25)
Men's 400 – Alejandro Perlaza Zapata (45.79)
Men's 10K – Azaria Kirwa (29:22.05)
Men's Steeplechase – Felix Kandie (8:55.06)
Men's 4 x 400 – Gilliam, Durham, Todd, Perlaza Zapata (3:10.04)
Men's Long Jump – Jeremy Davis (23-7.5)
Men's Shot Put – Kyle Mitchell (61-2.75)
Men's Javelin – Denzel Pratt (227-1)

Women's 800 – Delaney McDowell (2:06.70)
Women's 1,500 – Delaney McDowell (4:29.99)
Women's 10K – Noel Palmer (33:56.67)
Women's 400 Hurdles – Kylie Polsgrove (1:01.09)
Women's Triple Jump – Adrianna Mitchell (40-9)
Women's Shot Put – Naomi Mojica (52-3.75)
Women's Discus – Chelsea Igberaese (179-6)
Women's Hammer – Chelsea Igberaese (181-7)
Women's Javelin – Paige Demetriades (136-1)

Punching Tickets to Jacksonville
The 2019 NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet will be contested at Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla., May 23-25. The East Region's top 48 performers in each individual event (other than the heptathlon and decathlon) and top 24 teams in each relay will compete at the meet, looking to qualify for the 2019 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

At this stage of the season, 16 Liberty athletes appear to have punched their tickets to compete in Jacksonville, based upon previous seasons' qualifying requirements. They include the following athletes:

Jose Ballivian – Men's Shot Put & Discus
Nick Doan – Men's Steeplechase
Anders Janes – Men's Pole Vault
Felix Kandie – Men's Steeplechase
Azaria Kirwa – Men's 5K & 10K
Kyle Mitchell – Men's Shot Put
Alejandro Perlaza Zapata – Men's 400
Denzel Pratt – Men's Javelin

Ty'Asia Dansbury – Women's 4 x 400
Cortney Dowling – Women's 4 x 400
Tanner Ealum – Women's 4 x 400
Chelsea Igberaese – Women's Discus
Taylen Langin – Women's Pole Vault
Delaney McDowell – Women's 800 & 4 x 400
Naomi Mojica – Women's Shot Put
Noel Palmer – Women's 10K

Up Next
Liberty will make its first-ever appearance at the ASUN Outdoor Track & Field Championships, May 10-11 in Jacksonville, Fla. The meet will take place at North Florida's Hodges Stadium, which will also play host to the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet two weeks later.