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Newell, Williams Shine in Liberty Open Multis

January 23, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Marie Williams finished second in the pentathlon, Friday evening at the Liberty Open, totaling a season-high 3,230 points.

Marie Williams finished second in the pentathlon, Friday evening at the Liberty Open, totaling a season-high 3,230 points.

Multi events dominated the action on the first day of the Liberty Open, Friday at the Tolsma Indoor Track Center, and Flames senior athletes stood out in both the pentathlon and heptathlon. Marie Williams took second place in the pentathlon, while Daniel Newell owns a sizable lead entering the second day of the heptathlon competition.

Williams (Tampa, Fla.) edged professional athlete Lela Nelson and teammate Jen Healey (So., Virginia Beach, Va.) to win the heptathlon's final event, the 800-meter run. Williams' triumph, in a time of 2:31.12, catapulted the Sunshine State native from fourth place into the runner-up spot. Williams' season-best score of 3,230 enabled her to record a second top two finish already this season. The senior opened her final campaign with a pentathlon victory at the Liberty Kickoff, in December.

Krystle Matthews (So., Chesapeake, Va.) totaled 2,943 points for fifth place in the large, 22-member pentathlon field. Meanwhile, Healey made a late climb up the leaderboard, finishing seventh with 2,828 tallies.

Nelson won four of the five pentathlon events on her way to victory. The 2005 NCAA Division I heptathlon titlist's final score of 4,065 eclipsed the existing facility record of 4,018, set by former Liberty standout Danielle McNaney at the same meet in 2006. Both Nelson and McNaney competed in last summer's U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. Nelson also set a new facility long jump standard of 20-3.5, on her lone attempt.

Newell (Roanoke, Va.) won three of Friday's four heptathlon disciplines—the 60-meter dash (7.05), long jump (22-3) and shot put (43-3.25). As a result, Newell has opened up a 406-point lead over second-place Matt Pfingst of Appalachian State, with a personal-best first-day score of 3,055.

Newell, the defending Liberty Open heptathlon champion, will now have several objectives to chase on Saturday. First, the senior will seek his second heptathlon victory of the season, after claiming the Liberty Kickoff crown. Second, Newell will attempt to improve upon his best-ever score of 5,155. Finally, he will give chase to the 5,300-point mark, which represents the NCAA provisional qualifying standard.

Meanwhile, senior Clarence Murray (So., Birdsboro, Pa.), returning from injury to compete for the first time since May 12, 2007, sits in fourth place through four events of the heptathlon. He high jumped 6-3.25 in his final event of the evening, boosting his cumulative score to 2,645 and leaving Murray only four points out of second.

Newell, Murray and the rest of the heptathletes will begin their second day with the 60-meter hurdles, Saturday at approximately 11:30 a.m.

Day two action at the Liberty Open will begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning, with the men's weight throw. Running events will commence at 11 a.m., with the women's 60-meter hurdles prelims as the first event on the docket.

Women's Pentathlon Final Scores
1) Lela Nelson, Unattached – 4,065 (Facility Record)
2) Marie Williams, Liberty – 3,230
3) Stacy Doornbos, Washington & Lee – 3,174
4) Kiara Crutchfield, Appalachian State – 3,078
5) Krystle Matthews, Liberty – 2,943
6) Crystal Webley, Winston-Salem State – 2,904
7) Jen Healey, Liberty – 2,828
8) Jacqueline Beliveau, Elon – 2,761
9) Jocelya Webb, Campbell – 2,760
10) Samantha Howell, Wake Forest – 2,750
11) Kallyn Falvo, Charlotte – 2,678
12) Naadia Crutchfield, Appalachian State – 2,640
13) Marisa Dickey, Charlotte – 2,542
14) Persha Lane, Winston-Salem State – 2,540
15) Jordan Lee, Elon – 2,539
16) Sarah Witt, Roanoke – 2,386
17) Rachel Banner, Elon – 2,328
18) Erin Nelson, Roanoke – 2,257
19) Jessica Nauta, James Madison – 2,077
20) Malliron Hodge, Winston-Salem State – 1,947
21) Sara Fox, Charlotte – 1,905
22) Megan Schaefer, Elon – 1,821

Men's Heptathlon Day One Scores
1) Daniel Newell, Liberty – 3,055
2) Matt Pfingst, Appalachian State – 2,649
3) Matt Boruff, Appalachian State – 2,646
4) Clarence Murray, Liberty – 2,645
5) Nic Chernikow, East Tennessee State – 2,622
6) Jake Goodchild, Appalachian State – 2,466
7) Maxwell Hyman, King – 2,460
8) Matt Harlfinger, Unattached – 2,439
9) Anthony Todt, King – 2,381
10) Ethan Kuster, Charlotte – 2,380
11) Drew Edwards, Liberty – 2,323
12) Jackson Waller, Charlotte - 2,322
13) Jordan Briggs, East Tennessee State – 2,269
14) Daniel Potton, Charlotte - 1,702