Taylor Courtney won the men's 400-meter hurdles on Saturday, clocking a personal-best time of 52.67 seconds.
Liberty successfully closed out its week-long stay in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Saturday, winning four events at the Shamrock Invitational. The day also featured two new IC4A and ECAC qualifications by the Flames and Lady Flames.
Men's Meet Recap Three of Liberty's four event victories came in men's field events. Redshirt senior Elliot Galeone took the men's discus title with a season-best 167-1 toss. Galeone had previously won the Shamrock Invitational men's javelin championship on Friday. Ryan Smith took top honors in the men's shot put by five feet, thanks to a season-best 57-2.25 heave. He has now opened the 2011 outdoor season with back-to-back first-place finishes in the shot put. Kolby Shepherd successfully defended his Shamrock Invitational men's pole vault title from 2010. His winning clearance on Saturday came at 16-0.75. The redshirt junior also made a couple close attempts at 17-0.75 after he had the competition won. Taylor Courtney won his second event in as many weeks. Last weekend, the Keystone State native was victorious in the 400-meter dash. This time around, he won the men's 400-meter hurdles in a personal-best time of 52.67. Courtney, who now ranks No. 6 in program history, qualified for the IC4A meet in the process. In the men's 1,500 final, Isaac Wendland broke 4:00 for the first time. His 3:58.66 clocking placed second, behind his distance coach, Derek Scott. Scott crossed the finish line first in 3:51.84. Chris Johnson performed well in his outdoor season triple jumping debut. He stretched out to 47-7.75 to garner fifth place in the competition.
Women's Meet Recap On the women's side, Olivia Charnuski had a busy day. She qualified for the ECAC meet in the 200-meter dash with a significant personal-best time of 24.38. Charnuski took seventh place in the event and climbed to the No. 6 spot in Liberty history. Charnuski also ended up seventh in the women's 100-meter hurdles final, reaching the finish line in 14.72 seconds. Teammate Krystle Matthews followed in eighth place, in 14.96 seconds. Finally, Charnuski joined Sherri Spruel, Melanie Sims and Alyssa Pegues for the 4 x 100 relay. The Lady Flames captured third place, in a season-best time of 46.72. Jennifer Klugh was another third-place finisher on Saturday, running a personal-best 9:52.44 in the women's 3K final. Only Heather Sagan has ever run the 3K faster in a Liberty uniform. Liberty got fifth-place finishes from Hailey Neal (4:46.42) in the 1,500 and Christina Mitchell (130-0) in the javelin. Mia Aghaji clocked a personal-best time of 1:03.90 in the women's 400 hurdles for seventh place. She also claimed the No. 10 position in program history for the event. Pegues sprinted to a time of 12.11 in the 100-meter dash final, taking eighth place.
Liberty athletes will be divided between two events next weekend. Some Flames and Lady Flames will travel to Paul Derr Track in Raleigh, N.C., for Friday and Saturday's Raleigh Relays. Meanwhile, other Liberty competitors are entered in the VMI/Washington & Lee Track & Field Carnival. The two-day meet begins Friday, at Washington & Lee's Wilson Field in Lexington, Va.