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Beckles, Talbert Among LC Invite Standouts

March 21, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Andrea Beckles (second runner from left) won three events during Saturday's Lynchburg Invitational.

Andrea Beckles (second runner from left) won three events during Saturday's Lynchburg Invitational.

Liberty senior Andrea Beckles was a triple event winner and freshman John Talbert notched NCAA East Regional and IC4A qualifiers, headlining the Flames' efforts at Saturday's Lynchburg Invitational, contested at Shellenberger Field on the campus of Lynchburg College.

In total, Liberty won 12 events during the one-day meet, including seven by the Lady Flames and five by coach Brant Tolsma's men's team.

Women's Meet Recap
Beckles (Lynchburg, Va.) made a successful debut to her final outdoor track & field season as a Lady Flame, posting convincing victories in the 100 and 200-meter dashes and anchoring the 4 x 100 relay squad to first place. Beckles clocked 12.14 seconds for the 100 and 25.28 seconds for the 200, despite running both races into noticeable headwinds. She won the two sprints by a combined 0.95 seconds.

In the 4 x 100 relay, Beckles was joined by a trio of freshmen—Olivia Charnuski (Elmira, Ontario), Alyssa Pegues (Warner Robins, Ga.) and Melanie Sims (Cleveland Heights, Ohio). The quartet's winning time of 47.49 paced the field by about two seconds. Liberty has now won the women's 4 x 100 relay at each of the year's first two outdoor meets, after also breaking the tape first at the Coastal Carolina/Asics Invitational.

Some of Beckles' relay mates highlighted a dominating performance by the Lady Flames in the sprints and hurdles. Liberty's most dominant event was the 100-meter hurdles, which saw Lady Flames capture five of the top six places. Liberty's effort was led by race champion Charnuski's 15.12 clocking and Marie Williams' (R-Sr., Tampa, Fla.) 15.13 for second place.

Williams went on to claim victory in the 400-meter hurdles, traversing the complete lap of barriers in 1:04.09.

Pegues and Charnuski gave Liberty three of the top 100-meter dash performers, along with Beckles' winning effort. Pegues' runner-up time was 12.59, while Charnuski tied for third place in 12.74 seconds.

Liberty's final triumph in the running events came courtesy of Chenoa Freeman (Jr., Lincoln, Del.) in the 400-meter dash. She cut 1.32 seconds off her time from the Coastal Carolina/Asics Invitational, stopping the clock in 56.33.

In the field, the Lady Flames' best event was the long jump. Krystle Matthews (So., Chesapeake, Va.) won the event with a 17-11 lead. Teammate Sims finished just three inches shy of Matthews' mark, in a tie for second place.

Erin Hudson (Jr., Whitacre, Va.) pole vaulted 10-2, equaling Kutztown's Rachel Weigle for the day's highest clearance. However, Hudson was awarded runner-up honors on misses.

Men's Meet Recap
For the second consecutive weekend, a Liberty freshman thrower qualified for the NCAA Division I East Regional Track & Field Championships. Following Ryan Bell's (Fr., New Wilmington, Pa.) qualification in the javelin at Coastal Carolina, Talbert (Newton, Kan.) accomplished the feat Saturday, uncorking the discus 178-9 in his victorious collegiate discus debut. Talbert is already the No. 2 performer in school history for the discus, trailing only his assistant coach, Clendon Henderson.

Talbert was not finished, however. He also took third place in the hammer, stretching the tape out to 173-2. The distance met the IC4A qualifying standard.

Staying within the men's throwing events, Elliot Galeone (R-So., White Hall, Md.) found the javelin throwing conditions at Shellenberger Field to be quite accommodating for the second year in a row. Last season, he competed unattached at the Lynchburg Track & Field Classic and tossed the javelin a personal-best 206-7. This year, Galeone won the event for the Flames, with a top heave of 195-5.

Senior Matt Parker (Rome, N.Y.) won a pair of events on Saturday and recorded two IC4A qualifiers. He raced through the 110-meter hurdles in 14.53 seconds, hitting that IC4A standard, and also won the high jump with a 6-6.75 effort. Finally, Parker helped the Flames' 4 x 100 unit reach the IC4A qualifying time while placing second in 42.28 seconds. Parker's relay teammates featured Jacey Bailey (So., Tamarac, Fla.), Phil Leineweber (Sr., New Freedom, Pa.) and Daniel Newell (R-Sr., Roanoke, Va.).

After winning four pole vault titles during the indoor season, Kolby Shepherd (So., Dublin, Ga.) did not skip a beat Saturday. His 15-5.75 clearance was more than enough to secure first place in his outdoor season debut.

Three other Liberty men's competitors finished as runners-up in their respective events. Clarence Murray (R-Sr., Birdsboro, Pa.) took second to teammate Parker in the men's high jump, reaching 6-4.75.

On the track, freshman Isaac Wendland (Charles City, Iowa) posted a 4:03.93 in the 1,500-meter run, taking second place. Josh Edmonds (Jr., Cooperstown, N.Y.) was the 5,000-meter runner-up, in an official time of 14:59.98.

The Liberty men's and women's track & field squads will divide up between two different meets next weekend. Some athletes will travel to N.C. State for the Raleigh Relays, Friday and Saturday. At the same time, other Flames and Lady Flames will trek across the Commonwealth to take part in the inaugural VMI/Washington & Lee Track & Field Carnival. The meet will be contested Friday and Saturday, in Lexington, Va.