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Flames Win Dozen Liberty Quad Events

February 13, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Andrea Beckles won both the women's 60 and 200-meter dash titles, Friday evening at the Liberty Quad.

Andrea Beckles won both the women's 60 and 200-meter dash titles, Friday evening at the Liberty Quad.

Liberty seniors Andrea Beckles and Phil Leineweber each won a pair of events in their final appearances at the Tolsma Indoor Track Center, Friday evening at the Liberty Quad. Their triumphs were just four of the Flames' 12 event victories during a successful tune-up for the New Balance Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships, which are just two weeks away.

The Flames and Lady Flames excelled in a meet which included local collegiate rivals Elon, James Madison, Richmond and VMI, as well as a number of post-collegiate athletes from Norfolk-based Real Deal Track Club.

Beckles (Lynchburg, Va.) clocked 7.75 seconds for the 60-meter dash and returned to the oval two hours later for a winning 25.67 effort at 200 meters. The senior won both events by comfortable margins.

Fellow senior Marie Williams (Tampa, Fla.) got the day off to a good start for the Lady Flames, posting a dominating victory in the pentathlon. She opened the meet with stellar marks of 9.03 seconds for the 60-meter hurdles and 5-4.5 for the high jump and never slowed down. Williams' final score of 3,578 set a new personal best by 74 points and qualified her for the ECAC Indoor Championships in Boston.

Finishing second to Williams was freshman Christina Mitchell (Monroe, Va.), making her pentathlon debut. One of five Lady Flames to record runner-up finishes on Friday, Mitchell tallied 3,361 points.

Another Lady Flame freshman, Olivia Charnuski (Elmira, Ontario), became Liberty's fifth-fastest all-time performer in the 60-meter hurdles. She placed second overall and first among collegiate competitors, stopping the clock in 8.92 seconds.

Lady Flames also came in second in a trio of multi-lap events. Two of the runners-up were making their indoor season debut at their respective disciplines, as Chenoa Freeman (Jr., Lincoln, Del.) nabbed second in the 400-meter dash with a 58.22 and Katie Albright (So., Wake Forest, N.C.) ran 5:05.57 for second place in the mile.

Finally, Ashley Teer (Sr., Abbotsford, British Columbia) continued her run of strong performances at home. The women's 800-meter runner-up in 2:22.31, Teer finished no worse than third in the 800 meters at any of Liberty's three indoor meets.

On the men's side, another Flame continued a positive seasonal trend. For the third consecutive meet, sophomore Kolby Shepherd (So., Dublin, Ga.) pole vaulted higher than he had the previous time out. On Friday, Shepherd slithered over the bar at a new personal-best height of 16-5.25, making him the No. 3 performer in program history. His victory in the event was the sophomore's third pole vault title of the season.

The Flames also won two other field events, with Chris Johnson (Fr., Virginia Beach, Va.) triple jumping 45-6.5 for first place and Andrew Bartels (Sr., Grantham, Pa.) outdistancing the shot put field with his 52-1 heave.

On the track, Liberty won every flat running event except for the 200-meter dash. Sophomore Jacey Bailey (Tamarac, Fla.) broke the tape first with a 6.95 effort at 60 meters and finished a close second in the 200-meter dash, which he covered in 22.79 seconds.

Like Beckles, Leineweber (New Freedom, Pa.) was a double winner in his swan song at the Tolsma Indoor Track Center. The facility record holder at 400 meters, Leineweber opened his afternoon with a victory in the event, clocking 49.34 seconds. He then closed out the meet by anchoring Liberty's victorious relay quartet, which also featured Tashan Duff (Fr., Chester, Va.), Ryan Webb (Fr., Bedford, Va.) and Bailey. The grouping's winning time was 3:29.36.

Freshman Will Reeves (Rustburg, Va.) closed strongly to win the 800-meter run in 1:59.87. Following in him in third place was senior Jarvis Jelen (Sioux Falls, S.D.), who had earlier prevailed in a neck-and-neck battle with Richmond's Garrett Graham in the mile. Jelen's 4:17.60 time put him just .18 seconds ahead of Graham.

Liberty's final event champion was freshman Ryan Cox (Anchorage, Alaska). The rookie posted a time of 15:53.33, winning the 5,000-meter run by nearly a minute.

Classmate John Talbert (Newton, Kan.) was responsible for half of the men's squad's second-place efforts. Talbert was the runner-up in both throwing events, stretching the tape out to 48-3.5 in the shot put and 51-3 in the weight throw.

First-day leader Daniel Newell (R-Sr., Roanoke, Va.) was unable to finish the heptathlon, after sustaining an injury during the pole vault. In his absence, Geren Woodbridge (R-So., Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) stepped forward to place second with a personal-best 4,778 points.

Two Liberty female students who are redshirting the current season both won a pair of events on Friday. Rebekah Ricksecker used a nice finishing kick to pull out victories in the mile (5:01.71) and 5,000 meters (18:30.43). Meanwhile, Mia Aghaji finished first in both the high jump (5-7) and triple jump (38-0.75).

One other athlete was a double winner at the Liberty Quad. Richmond's Monica Howard swept the women's throwing event crowns. Her best shot put was 40-3.5, and her top weight throw effort marked 49-11.75.

A quartet of Liberty athletes will compete at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., Saturday, beginning at 11 a.m., with the college division of the men's high jump.

The remainder of the Flames and Lady Flames will begin preparing for the New Balance Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships. The meet will be held in Clemson, S.C., Feb. 26-27.

Men's Heptathlon Final Scores
1) Tom Fitzsimons, Mount St. Mary's – 5,043
2) Geren Woodbridge, Liberty – 4,778
3) John Morris, Unattached – 3,992
4) Tim Nickas, Mount St. Mary's – 3,837
5) Drew Edwards, Liberty – 3,618
DNF) Dan Newell, Liberty & Clarence Murray, Liberty

Women's Pentathlon Final Scores
1) Marie Williams, Liberty – 3,578 (ECAC Qualifier)
2) Christina Mitchell, Liberty – 3,361

3T) Jacqueline Beliveau, Elon – 3,033
3T) Jessica Nauta, James Madison – 3,033
5) Rachel Banner, Elon – 2,663
DNF) Jordan Lee, Elon & Megan Schaefer, Elon