Samuel Arter recorded his first career javelin victory on Friday. (Photo provided by Jim Daves)
Liberty's Diamantae Griffin placed sixth in a star-studded men's 100 final on Friday, while Samuel Arter collected his first career men's javelin triumph. Their efforts headlined Liberty's performances on the second and final day of the UNF Invitational at Visit Jax Track at Hodges Stadium.
Griffin clocked his second 10.35 of the day during the 100 final to place second among collegiate performers in a race won by Trayvon Bromell's world-leading 9.88. Griffin edged out Miami's Raheem Chambers, the ACC indoor 60 dash runner-up, at the line.
Both of Griffin's 10.35 clockings came with legal wind, marking the program record holder's top lifetime wind-legal efforts in the event. Griffin also likely punched his ticket to the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet, one day after the Jackson, Miss., native had done the same with a personal-best 20.83 effort in the 200.
Arter's first javelin victory came after the redshirt senior had posted eight runner-up finishes during his collegiate career, dating back to 2017. He won in resounding fashion, reaching 214-10 on his first attempt to outdistance second-place Reece Burton of Kennesaw State by more than 30 feet. Jacob Strickler followed in seventh place at 175-8, giving the Liberty throwers their first two of 11 top-10 finishes on the day.
John Hicks (197-5), Lane Hluch (personal-best 187-5) and Sam Mastro (180-4) finished fourth, seventh and ninth, respectively, in the men's hammer. Hluch's performance enabled the first-year Flame to crack Liberty's all-time top 10 at No. 9.
In the women's hammer, Naomi Mojica paced the Lady Flames with a fifth-place finish and a season-best 185-3 effort. She was joined in the top 10 by Grace Artis (eighth, 175-5) and Chelsea Igberaese (ninth, 168-4). Freshmen Megan Mann (11th, 164-3) and Sofia Mojica (13th, 162-10) each achieved new personal bests during the competition.
Liberty also had three finalists in the women's javelin, including Kali Grayson (fifth, 140-10), Mackenzie Hainley (sixth, 139-10) and Nanah Fung Loy (eighth, 133-10).
On the track, Bradley Prentice posted arguably the Flames' top performance outside of Griffin's effort in the 100. Prentice came in ninth in the men's 800 with a season-best time of 1:50.44 which will put him on the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round bubble.
Many of the Flames' sprinters were slowed down by headwinds on Friday. This included Christian Lyon, who was making his long-awaited 100 dash debut in a Liberty uniform. He won his preliminary heat, but a stiff (2.0 m/s) headwind limited him to a 10.80 clocking and kept him from joining teammate Griffin in the final.
Men's Event Winners (1) Samuel Arter – Javelin – 214-10
Men's NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round Qualifiers Diamantae Griffin – 100 – 10.35
Updates to Liberty's All-Time Men's Top 10 List Hammer – No. 9 – Lane Hluch – 187-5
Up Next Liberty will send a group of athletes to the Virginia Grand Prix, Saturday at Lannigan Field in Charlottesville, Va. The Flames' day will begin with the men's hammer at 2:30 p.m. Running events will get started at 4:30 p.m. and will be televised live on ACC Network Extra.
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