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Osborne Clocks Nation-Leading 35:35 10K

March 26, 2010  Raleigh, N.C.  RSS
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Ashley Osborne's 35:35 10K is the fastest in the nation thus far in 2010.

Ashley Osborne's 35:35 10K is the fastest in the nation thus far in 2010.

Watch video footage of Friday's races (courtesy of Flotrack.org)

Liberty saved its best for last, Friday evening at the Raleigh Relays. The Lady Flames' final performer to compete under the lights at Paul Derr Track, redshirt senior Ashley Osborne took over the national lead in the women's 10K with her personal-best 35:35.65 effort.

Osborne's (Bristol, Va.) performance punctuated a successful day for the Liberty men's and women's track & field squads. She was one of two Lady Flames to qualify for the ECAC Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, while five Liberty men's performers hit the IC4A standard in their respective events.

Women's Meet Recap
Osborne finished third overall in the 10K on a chilly evening in Raleigh, but first among NCAA Division I runners. No Division I performer had broken the 36-minute barrier in 2010, until Osborne sliced more than two minutes off of her previous personal best in the event. (However, other fast 10K times are expected this weekend, especially at Friday evening's Stanford Invitational.) The redshirt senior is now the No. 2-ranked 10K performer in program history, trailing only 2007 NCAA national qualifier Carol Jefferson.

Sophomore Olivia Charnuski (Elmira, Ontario) was the Lady Flames' other ECAC qualifier on Friday. Her season-best clocking of 14.23 in the 100-meter hurdles not only met the ECAC standard but also earned a spot in Saturday's final.

Two other Lady Flames posted impressive personal bests in their events. Krystle Matthews' (Jr., Chesapeake, Va.) 14.78 effort was her fastest-ever performance in the 100-meter hurdles. Meanwhile, Alyssa Pegues (So., Warner Robins, Ga.) took advantage of favorable wind conditions, long jumping a personal-best 18-0.5 for 16th place. Pegues also narrowly missed the 100-meter dash final, after crossing the line in 12.13 seconds.

Men's Meet Recap
The Liberty men's distance squad also enjoyed the cool late-evening conditions in Raleigh, as Josh Edmonds (Sr., Cooperstown, N.Y.) and Evans Kigen (R-Jr., Eldoret, Kenya) both notched IC4A qualifiers and top 10 finishes in a fast 5K final.

Edmonds recorded a personal-best 14:19.36 for seventh place overall and fourth among collegiate runners. He is now the fifth-fastest 5K runner in program history. Kigen was close on his teammate's heels, finishing 10th in 14:23.35.

Earlier in the day, Aaron Johnson (So., Virginia Beach, Va.) earned his first trip to the IC4A meet with a career-best 23-6 long jump. He finished eighth in the event and becomes the second Liberty newcomer to post an IC4A qualifier in the long jump this season, along with freshman Kevin Reddington (Vancouver, Wash.).

The Flames' other two IC4A marks came in qualifying events. Chris Herbst (R-Jr., Baiting Hollow, N.Y.) blazed a personal-best 14.76 in the 110-meter hurdles prelims, while fellow junior Jacey Bailey (Tamarac, Fla.) crossed the line in a season-best 10.80 during the heats of the 100-meter dash.

Liberty put two pole vaulters in the top 10 on Friday—Cody Fridgen (So., Sarasota, Fla.) and Geren Woodbridge (R-Jr., Allentown, Pa.). Fridgen cleared 15-7 for the third straight meet, sharing sixth place. Meanwhile, Woodbridge got over a season-best height of 15-1, nabbing the 10th spot.

Defending Big South high jump champion Anthony Bryant (R-So., Charlottesville, Va.) made a solid season debut, high jumping 6-6.75 to claim seventh place. Redshirt freshman Ryan Smith (Winder, Ga.) came in 12th in the shot put, after reaching 52-10.75 on his best attempt.

The Raleigh Relays will conclude with a full day of action on Saturday. The first event to take the track will be the men's and women's 5K race walk, at 9:30 a.m.