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Newell Earns Heptathlon Provisional Qualifier

January 24, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Daniel Newell became the first Liberty track & field performer to provisionally qualify for the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships, with his score of 5,346 in the heptathlon.

Daniel Newell became the first Liberty track & field performer to provisionally qualify for the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships, with his score of 5,346 in the heptathlon.

Liberty senior Daniel Newell provisionally qualified for the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships in the heptathlon, highlighting a full Saturday of track & field action at the Liberty Open. Newell was one of 10 different Liberty men's and women's athletes to win events on the meet's second and final day, at the Tolsma Indoor Track Center.

Newell (Roanoke, Va.) added to an already large lead by recording marks of 8.87 for the 60-meter hurdles, 14-3.25 for the pole vault and 2:46.78 for the 1,000-meter run during Saturday's final three disciplines of the heptathlon. Newell's final score of 5,346, one of the highest in the nation during the early stages of the 2008-09 collegiate season, improved his previous best mark by nearly 200 points. Newell outdistanced runner-up Matt Boruff of Appalachian State by 494 points while defending his Liberty Open heptathlon crown from 2008.

Newell was not the only Liberty athlete to star in multiple events on Saturday, however. Fellow senior Phil Leineweber (New Freedom, Pa.) set the day's only facility record while taking a first and second-place finish. Leineweber sliced nearly a half-second off his own men's 500-meter dash Tolsma Indoor Track Center record clocking with his winning time of 1:04.63. He was also edged by just .02 seconds in the men's 200-meter dash, nabbing runner-up honors in a time of 22.85.

Another senior, Matt Parker (Rome, N.Y.), also garnered an event title and a runner-up finish. He won the men's 60-meter hurdles in a personal-best time of 8.09 seconds, qualifying for the IC4A meet and falling just one-hundredth of a second shy of the school record. Parker later took the middle spot in a Liberty 1-2-3 sweep of the men's high jump, clearing 6-11.

Leading the way in the high jump was Anthony Bryant (R-Fr., Charlottesville, Va.), who cleared 6-11 to qualify for the IC4A Indoor Championships in his Liberty debut. Bryant also picked up an IC4A qualifier in the triple jump, finishing second with a leap of 49-1.75. The effort enabled him to claim the No. 2 position on Liberty's all-time triple jump performance list.

The Flames' triple jump school record holder, Clarence Powell (So., Marianna, Fla.) won the event on Saturday, sailing out to a season-best 49-9.75. Powell additionally took third place in the high jump, going over a season-high 6-9.75.

Sophomore Kolby Shepherd (Dublin, Ga.) was Liberty's final field event champion on Saturday, clearing 15-9 to take the men's pole vault crown. He qualified for the IC4A Indoor Championships in the process.

Last but not least among the seven Liberty men's event titlists, Sam Chelanga (R-So., Nairobi, Kenya) was impressive in his first track & field meet as a Flames competitor. He outdistanced the men's 3,000-meter runner-up by 27 seconds, cruising to an IC4A-qualifying time, 8:08.77. Chelanga is now the second-fastest men's 3K performer in program history, trailing only 14-time All-American Josh McDougal.

Liberty notched a pair of top three finishes in the men's throwing events as well. Andrew Bartels (Sr., Grantham, Pa.) was the shot put runner-up, with a top mark of 50-6. Meanwhile, freshman John Talbert (Newton, Kan.) ended up third in the weight throw, stretching the measuring tape to 51-3.75.

A trio of Lady Flames ran to first-place finishes on Saturday, including sophomore Katie Albright (Wake Forest, N.C.), who outdistanced Big South rival Carly Moss of Winthrop by more than 16 seconds to win her 3,000-meter debut. Albright's winning time was 10:21.56.

Ashley Teer (Sr., Abbotsford, British Columbia), currently heading the Big South performance list in the women's 800 meters, won the event comfortably at the Liberty Open. Teer stopped the clock in 2:24.25 on her way to victory.

The Lady Flames' final event winner was another Canadian. Freshman Olivia Charnuski (Elmira, Ontario) emerged victorious in a tightly contested 60-meter hurdles final, posting a 9.20.

Senior Andrea Beckles (Lynchburg, Va.) came in second in both women's short sprints. Her 60-meter dash time was 7.76, while her official 200-meter clocking was 25.85.

Rachel Houseknecht (So., Hughesville, Pa.) took third place in the women's 60-meter hurdles final, in 9.24 seconds. She also established a new personal best in the pole vault, as her 10-4 clearance was good for seventh place.

Three athletes captured a pair of individual event titles on Saturday. Campbell's Greg Dunston won both the men's 60 and 200-meter dash, while Radford's Matt Dobson swept the men's shot put and weight throw events. On the women's side, Natalie Pearson of UNC Asheville ran to victory in the women's 60 and 400-meter dashes.

Liberty will take next weekend off from competition, before traveling to State College, Pa., Feb. 6-7 for the Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup. The Flames will be taking part in the rare, scored regular-season event at Penn State's Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track for the second season in a row.

Men's Heptathlon Final Scores
1) Daniel Newell, Liberty – 5,346 (NCAA Provisional Qualifier)
2) Matt Boruff, Appalachian State – 4,840
3) Nic Chernikow, East Tennessee State – 4,770
4) Jake Goodchild, Appalachian State – 4,364
5) Matt Pfingst, Appalachian State – 4,357
6) Matt Harlfinger, Unattached - 4,347
7) Clarence Murray, Liberty – 4,269
8) Jordan Briggs, East Tennessee State – 4,242
9) Drew Edwards, Liberty – 4,172
10) Jackson Waller, Charlotte – 4,070
11) Maxwell Hyman, King – 3,998
12) Anthony Todt, King – 3,835
13) Ethan Kuster, Charlotte – 3,509
14) Daniel Potton, Charlotte – 2,468