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Two School Records Highlight Friday's Action

January 22, 2010  Blacksburg, Va.  RSS
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Rebekah Ricksecker helped the Lady Flames' 4 x 800 relay squad set a school record and became the third Liberty runner ever to clock a sub-10:00 3K.

Rebekah Ricksecker helped the Lady Flames' 4 x 800 relay squad set a school record and became the third Liberty runner ever to clock a sub-10:00 3K.

Liberty junior Clarence Powell and the Lady Flames' 4 x 800 relay squad both set school records, highlighting the first day of the Hokie Invitational, Friday at Rector Field House in Blacksburg, Va.

Powell (Jr., Marianna, Fla.) added an inch and a half to his own Liberty men's triple jump record from Feb. 7, 2009, sailing out to 50-6 on his third attempt of the evening. Meanwhile, the quartet of Rebekah Ricksecker (R-Sr., Laurel, Del.), Meghan Burggraf (Fr., Lynchburg, Va.), Rod'Esther Castor (Jr., Hamilton, N.J.) and Jaime Watson (R-Sr., Ravenna, Mich.) eclipsed the five-year-old school 4 x 800 standard with a 9:15.21 clocking.

Men's Meet Recap
Powell's triple jump effort, which left him just 2.5 inches shy of the NCAA provisional standard, highlighted one of Liberty's strongest events of the day. He finished second, while teammate Anthony Bryant (R-So., Charlottesville, Va.) took ninth with an IC4A-qualifying leap of 48-9.

Sam Chelanga (R-Jr., Nairobi, Kenya), competing for the first time since winning the NCAA national cross country title on Nov. 23, was Liberty's lone event champion on Friday. He won the men's mile in a personal-best 4:07.15, qualifying for the IC4A meet and moving up to No. 2 on Liberty's all-time performance list behind Josh McDougal.

McDougal, now racing professionally for Nike, performed pacesetting duties for Chelanga's race on Friday, pulling him through 800 meters in 2:00.8. After the pace dawdled a bit during the fifth and sixth laps, Chelanga powered to a 59.2 split for the final 400 meters, holding off Duke's Ryan McDermott by 0.77 seconds for the victory.

About an hour and a half earlier, Chelanga had clocked a 1:54.5 anchor leg for the Flames' 4 x 800 relay quartet. The squad, which also featured Paul Arslain (Fr., Dover, Pa.), Jordan Bright (So., Damascus, Ore.) and Joel Terry (So., Union Springs, N.Y.), qualified for the IC4A Championship and finished sixth in a time of 7:51.24.

Jacey Bailey (Jr., Tamarac, Fla.) was Liberty's final IC4A qualifier on Friday, meeting the 60-meter dash standard with a 6.98. He tied for 14th in the event. Bailey additionally recorded an eighth-place finish in the 300-meter dash, crossing the line in 35.35.

Cody Fridgen (So., Sarasota, Fla.), also a member of the Flames' football team, cleared a season-best 15-1 on his first attempt. The successful clearance placed him third in the unseeded section of the men's pole vault.

Women's Meet Recap
Watson, a five-time Big South 800-meter champion, blazed a 2:12.4 anchor leg on the 4 x 800 relay, enabling the Lady Flames to trim .02 seconds off the existing school record and meet the ECAC standard. The previous mark of 9:15.23 was established by Sarah Roberts, Carol Jefferson, Chelsey Swanson and Melissa Blackstone on March 5, 2005. Liberty finished third in the event, trailing fellow Commonwealth squads Virginia and James Madison.

Ricksecker, representing Liberty in competition for the first time since the NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Cross Country Championships on Nov. 15, 2008, made her presence known immediately. Before leading off for the Lady Flames' record-setting relay quartet, the Delaware native placed sixth in the 3K in 9:57.01. Her time, an ECAC qualifier, makes the senior only the third Liberty runner ever to dip under the 10-minute plateau in the event.

Sophomore Olivia Charnuski (Elmira, Ontario) set new personal bests in both of her Friday races. She clocked a 40.44 for ninth place in the 300-meter dash and broke the tape in 8.89 seconds for 13th place in the 60-meter hurdles. Charnuski now ranks No. 2 in program history in the 300 and No. 5 in the 60 hurdles.

Shelley Parker (Fr., Lynchburg, Va.) continued the promising start to her collegiate career in the women's pole vault. She tied for fifth place in the competition, after posting a season-best 11-5.75 effort.

The Hokie Invitational will resume Saturday at 9 a.m., with the women's high jump. Running events will begin two hours later, when the gun goes off for the women's 5K.