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Liberty Open Set for Friday and Saturday

January 26, 2011  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Kevin Reddington will be part of a very competitive men's long jump field, Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

Kevin Reddington will be part of a very competitive men's long jump field, Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

Liberty Open Performance List

Liberty will play host to its largest indoor track & field meet of the 2010-11 season, the Liberty Open, Friday and Saturday at the Tolsma Indoor Track Center. Athletes from 25 universities are entered in the meet, as well as a number of talented post-collegiate competitors.

Less than one month away from the first day of the 2011 Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships, the Liberty Open will possess a strong Big South flavor. The Flames and Lady Flames will compete against conference foes from Gardner-Webb, Radford, VMI and Winthrop, as well as Campbell, who will join the Big South next year.

The first event to get underway will be the pentathlon 60-meter hurdles, Friday at 12:30 p.m. Saturday's action will start at 9 a.m., with the men's weight throw. Running events will begin one hour later Saturday, with the heptathlon 60-meter hurdles.

Weather Report
Last year, a major snowstorm hit Lynchburg during the Liberty Open, preventing many of the entered teams from competing in the meet. This year, weather should not keep teams from reaching Lynchburg, as sunny skies and high temperatures in the 40s are forecast for both Friday and Saturday.

Among the Nation's Best
Several Liberty distance runners are ranked within the top five nationally in their respective events. Josh Edmonds is currently No. 3 in the men's 5K, Jennifer Klugh is No. 3 in the women's 5K and Sam Chelanga is No. 4 in the men's mile.

Chelanga and Klugh will take the weekend off from competition, but Edmonds is scheduled to run the 3K, Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

Additionally, Liberty's Kolby Shepherd, who is redshirting this season, pole vaulted a personal-best 17-7.25 at the Hokie Invitational on Saturday. If he were competing for Liberty, that clearance would rank No. 3 in the nation this season. Shepherd will compete unattached in the men's pole vault, Saturday at 2 p.m.

Claiming Conference Hardware
Liberty nearly swept the Big South Conference weekly awards on Wednesday, with Sam Chelanga being named Co-Men's Indoor Track Athlete of the Week, Jennifer Klugh tabbed Women's Indoor Track Athlete of the Week and Ryan Smith earning the Men's Indoor Field Athlete of the Week honor.

Smith is entered in both the weight throw and the shot put on Saturday. The weight throw will begin at 9 a.m., followed by the shot put at 12:15 p.m.

Defending Champions
Four women's athletes will return to defend their titles from the 2010 Liberty Open. The list includes Davidson's Heather Conarroe in the 5K, Liberty's Olivia Charnuski in the 60 hurdles, Zachlynn Blackburn in the weight throw and Lynchburg College's Jessica Gibbs in the pentathlon. Charnuski also won the 60 hurdles at the 2009 Liberty Open.

The men's defending champions entered this weekend include Liberty's Taylor Courtney in the 500, Kolby Shepherd in the pole vault, Campbell's Diego Lawrence in the long jump, Liberty's Clarence Powell in the triple jump and Liberty's Ryan Smith in the shot put. Powell is aiming for his fourth consecutive Liberty Open triple jump championship, while Shepherd hopes to claim his third Liberty Open pole vault crown in a row.

10 Events You Won't Want to Miss
Listed in chronological order

Friday, 12:30 p.m. – Women's pentathlon – A solid group of 16 pentathletes will get the meet started Friday at 12:30 p.m. with their first of five events, the 60-meter hurdles. Liberty figures to be well represented, by 2010 Liberty Kickoff pentathlon champion Christina Mitchell and reigning Big South heptathlon champion Krystle Matthews. The field also features last year's Liberty Open titlist, Jessica Gibbs of Lynchburg College, as well as a pair of promising East Tennessee State newcomers—Leah Oakhill and Taylor Story.

Friday, 5 p.m. – Women's pole vault – Liberty sophomore Shelley Parker has gone over the 11-foot mark in all three of her meets this season, but she is still aiming for the ECAC-qualifying standard of 11-9.75. She will be challenged on Friday by George Mason's Mandissa Marshall and Gardner-Webb's Carrie Long. Marshall owns an indoor personal best of 12-5.5 and finished fourth at last year's ECAC meet. Long was an indoor and outdoor All-Big South pole vaulter in 2010 and has cleared a conference-leading 11-6.25 this year.

Friday, 6:30 p.m. - Men's 5K (Invitational section) - Please see more information by clicking here.

Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – Men's long jump
– The men's long jump boasts arguably the deepest field of any event this weekend, including the top five finishers from the 2010 Liberty Open long jump competition. The last three Liberty Open long jump winners are entered on Saturday, including 2008 champion Anthony Wallace, 2009 champion Robert Brunson (Campbell) and defending champion Diego Lawrence (Campbell), along with the 2010 Liberty Kickoff champion, Radford's Bryan Wallace. The 2010 Big South indoor (VMI's Ademola Titcombe) and outdoor (Liberty's Clarence Powell) conference long jump champions are also entered. Add in Liberty's IC4A-qualifying duo of Aaron Johnson and Kevin Reddington, and it will be a battle just to make the nine-person final Saturday morning.

Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – Women's triple jump – Not to be outdone by the men's long jump competition taking place on the adjacent runway, the women's triple jump also bears watching. Liberty's Alyssa Pegues hopes to recapture the form which saw her finish second at the 2010 Big South indoor and outdoor meets. She will be challenged by 2007 Liberty Open triple jump champion Ronda White and Campbell's Nadia Natt, the 2010 Atlantic Sun indoor triple jump titlist.

Saturday, 11:40 a.m. – Men's 60 hurdles final – The men's 60-meter hurdles field features the Tolsma Indoor Track Center 60 hurdles record holder, Anwar Moore (7.66) and the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex 110 hurdles record holder, Enrique Llanos (13.72). Jacoby DuBose, a semifinalist in the 110 hurdles at the 2010 USATF Outdoor Track & Field Championships, and Winthrop's Keary Simms, the 2010 Big South 60-meter hurdles champion, are other notable entries.

Saturday, 11:45 a.m. – Women's 60 final – The Lady Flames' Alyssa Pegues is running the 60 for the first time since her breakthrough 7.62 clocking at the Liberty Kickoff on Dec. 4. She will face the only woman to beat her in that race, Felicia Fant. Other faces to watch include Campbell's Courtney Kinlaw, who was third in the 60-meter dash final at the 2010 Atlantic Sun Conference meet, and talented East Tennessee State freshman Emani Harrison.

Saturday, 12:15 p.m. – Men's shot put – Liberty's Ryan Smith has been a roll this season in his best event, the shot put. No collegiate opponent has defeated him in his first three competitions, as Smith has boosted his indoor personal best to 57-0.25. Last year, Smith won the Big South outdoor shot put title, and the second (VMI's Cody Davis) and third-place (Winthrop's Billy Pearce) finishers from that competition are entered on Saturday. The field also includes the 2010 Atlantic Sun shot put runner-up, Jarrod Burton of East Tennessee State.

Saturday, 2 p.m. – Men's pole vault – Kolby Shepherd will look for an encore performance, after winning the Hokie Invitational title with a personal-best 17-7.25 clearance on Saturday. His best competition may come in the form of Liberty teammate Cody Fridgen, who won the 2010 Big South outdoor pole vault title. George Mason's Wes Sun owns a 15-9 personal best and took third place at the 2010 CAA meet.

Saturday, 5:05 p.m. – Women's 3K – The strong women's 3K field includes NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships participant Olivia Mills of Bridgewater, Big South Women's Cross Country Freshman of the Year Tammy Cheung of VMI and 2010 Liberty Open 5K champion Heather Conarroe of Davidson. Liberty also has five runners entered, led by Denise Troyer.

2011 Liberty Open Time Schedule
Friday, January 28

12:30 p.m. – Women's pentathlon 60 hurdles
12:45 p.m. – Men's heptathlon 60
1 p.m. – Women's pentathlon high jump
1:15 p.m. – Men's heptathlon long jump
2:30 p.m. – Men's heptathlon shot put
3:30 p.m. – Women's pentathlon shot put
3:30 p.m. – Men's heptathlon high jump
4:45 p.m. – Women's pentathlon long jump
5 p.m. – Women's pole vault
5 p.m. – Women's weight throw
5 p.m. – Men's 4 x 800 relay
5:25 p.m. – Women's 4 x 800 relay
5:40 p.m. – Men's 5K
6 p.m. – Women's 5K
6:30 p.m. - Men's 5K (Invitational section)
6:45 p.m. – Women's pentathlon 800

Saturday, January 29
9 a.m. – Men's weight throw
9:30 a.m. – Women's triple jump
9:30 a.m. – Men's long jump
10 a.m. – Men's heptathlon 60 hurdles
10:30 a.m. – Men's 60 hurdles prelims
10:40 a.m. – Women's 60 hurdles prelims
10:55 a.m. – Men's 60 prelims
11:15 a.m. – Women's 60 prelims
11:15 a.m. – Men's heptathlon pole vault
11:30 a.m. – Women's high jump
11:35 a.m. – Women's 60 hurdles final
11:40 a.m. – Men's 60 hurdles final
11:45 a.m. – Women's 60 final
11:50 a.m. – Men's 60 final
12:05 p.m. – Men's mile
12:15 p.m. – Men's shot put
12:30 p.m. – Women's mile
12:55 p.m. – Men's 400
1 p.m. – Women's long jump
1 p.m. – Men's triple jump
1:25 p.m. – Women's 400
1:55 p.m. – Men's 500
2 p.m. – Men's pole vault
2:10 p.m. – Women's 500
2:30 p.m. – Women's shot put
2:30 p.m. – Men's high jump
2:30 p.m. – Men's 800
2:45 p.m. – Women's 800
3 p.m. – Men's 1K
3:10 p.m. – Women's 1K
3:25 p.m. – Men's 200
4 p.m. – Women's 200
4:30 p.m. – Men's 3K
5:05 p.m. – Women's 3K
5:45 p.m. – Men's 4 x 400 relay
6 p.m. – Women's 4 x 400 relay
TBA – Men's heptathlon 1K