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Liberty to Send 15 to NCAA Preliminary Round

May 21, 2010  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Olivia Charnuski will compete in the women's 100-meter hurdles at the NCAA Division I Preliminary Round meet.

Olivia Charnuski will compete in the women's 100-meter hurdles at the NCAA Division I Preliminary Round meet.

Men's NCAA Preliminary Round qualifiers

Women's NCAA Preliminary Round qualifiers

The official list of participants in the inaugural NCAA Division I Preliminary Round track & field meet was announced Friday, and 15 Liberty competitors are bound for North Carolina A&T's Irwin Belk Track in Greensboro, N.C., to compete in the three-day event.

Nine men's athletes made the field, including Anthony Bryant (Long Jump), Sam Chelanga (5K and 10K), Josh Edmonds (10K), Elliot Galeone (Discus and Javelin), Aaron Johnson (Long Jump), Evans Kigen (3K Steeplechase), Clarence Powell (High Jump, Long Jump and Triple Jump), Ryan Smith (Shot Put) and Oronde Vassell (Long Jump).

For the Lady Flames, Melinda Bendik (Hammer), Olivia Charnuski (100 Hurdles), Jennifer Klugh (1,500), Ashley Osborne (10K), Rebekah Ricksecker (1,500) and Jaime Watson (800) will make the trip to Greensboro.

The meet will get underway on Thursday, and Liberty's first events will be the men's long jump (Bryant, Johnson, Powell and Vassell) and the first round of the women's 1,500 (Klugh and Ricksecker), both set to begin at 5 p.m. Liberty is the only team with four men's long jumpers among the 48 participants at this meet.

Liberty will then wrap things up Saturday evening at 8:05 p.m., when Chelanga competes in the men's 5K. The seven-time All-American is one of eight men's runners entered in both the 5K and 10K in Greensboro.

Chelanga is Liberty's only No. 1 seed, heading into the NCAA Division I Preliminary Round meet. He tops the Greensboro men's 10K performance list by a whopping 1:26, after improving his own NCAA all-time record in the event to 27:08.39, May 1 at Stanford. Other top Liberty seeds include Kigen (No. 5 – Men's 3K Steeplechase), Chelanga (No. 8 – Men's 5K) and Osborne (No. 8 – Women's 10K).

Each individual event at Greensboro will begin with 48 competitors. The field will then be pared down to 12 qualifiers for the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, to be held at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., June 9-12. The 12 qualifiers per event from Greensboro will be joined in Eugene by a dozen more individuals from the other NCAA Division I Preliminary Round meet taking place next weekend, in Austin, Texas.