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Liberty Collegiate Invite to Open Friday

March 31, 2011  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Isaac Wendland, the 2010 Liberty Collegiate Invitational champion in the men's 1,500, will compete in the men's 800-meter run on Saturday.

Isaac Wendland, the 2010 Liberty Collegiate Invitational champion in the men's 1,500, will compete in the men's 800-meter run on Saturday.

Meet Schedule

Performance List

Live Results

Liberty is preparing for one of its largest home outdoor track & field meets in program history, Friday and Saturday at the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex. The 2011 Liberty Collegiate Invitational will feature over 1,000 athletes from more than 30 different colleges.

The list of participating teams features N.C. State, Penn State, Virginia and Wake Forest, as well as Big South Conference squads High Point, Radford and VMI.

Friday's action will get underway at 1 p.m., with the decathlon 100-meter dash and women's hammer. Saturday's first event will be Section B of the men's 5K, set for a 9 a.m. start.

How to Follow the Flames and Lady Flames
Live results will be available for the Liberty Collegiate Invitational, for the first time in meet history, on

Weather Report
The weather forecast calls for pleasant, but slightly cool weather for Friday and Saturday. Both days are projected to feature a mixture of clouds and sunshine, with high temperatures in the mid-50s.

Defending Champions
Twelve events will include competitors attempting to defend their titles from the 2010 Liberty Collegiate Invitational. On the women's side, Bridgewater's Christina Rhodes won the pole vault, Liberty's Mia Aghaji won the triple jump, Liberty's Melinda Bendik won both the discus and hammer and the Lady Flames' Krystle Matthews won the heptathlon.

Methodist's Greg Bailey swept the men's 100 and 200 titles, VMI's Felix Kitur took first place in the 400, Liberty's Kolby Shepherd won the pole vault, Liberty's Anthony Bryant won the triple jump, Liberty's Ryan Smith won the shot put and Liberty assistant coach Clendon Henderson won the discus.

Henderson has actually captured the Liberty Collegiate Invitational four years in a row, while Aghaji is the three-time defending women's triple jump champion. Rhodes in the women's pole vault and Bailey in the men's 200 are each looking for their third consecutive Liberty Collegiate Invitational crown.

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

Friday, 1 p.m. & Saturday, 9:45 a.m. – Men's Decathlon – Always a prominent event at the Liberty Collegiate Invitational, the decathlon should be no different this year. Chris Helwick's name highlights the list of entrants. He was a seven-time All-American at Tennessee and finished seventh in the decathlon at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials. Penn State's Anya Uzoh, who was the Big Ten's seventh-place finisher in the decathlon a year ago, is also entered. Liberty newcomer Taylor Schmidt will compete unattached. In his last decathlon competition, Schmidt placed fifth at the 2010 USA Junior Track & Field Championships.

Saturday, 9:15 a.m. – Women's Pole Vault – Bridgewater's Christina Rhodes is the two-time defending Liberty Collegiate Invitational champion in the women's pole vault, but she will face stiff competition in her attempt to claim her third straight title. Leading the way is Penn State's Jocelyn Witmer, who pole vaulted at the 2010 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Both the 2011 Big South (Liberty's Shelley Parker) and Southern Conference (Appalachian State's Cassandra Crawford) indoor pole vault champions will also compete.

Saturday, 10 a.m. – Women's Discus – The last three Liberty Collegiate Invitational women's discus champions will be in action on Saturday, including 2008 winner Justine Robertson of Elon, 2009 winner Alyssa Girvin of Elon and 2010 winner Melinda Bendik of Liberty, who will compete unattached. The field also features a trio of 2010 NCAA Preliminary Round qualifiers, in N.C. State's Brittany Hampton and the Virginia duo of Emily Vannoy and Erin Wykoff.

Saturday, 11:30 a.m. – Women's Long Jump – Ashlynn Chavis of Methodist headlines a strong field in the women's long jump. The reigning NCAA Division III indoor national champion in the event, Chavis won last week's Raleigh Relays long jump crown with a 20-3 leap. As a result, the facility record of 20-1.75 could be in jeopardy. Other long jumpers to watch include Dedricka Thomas of Winston-Salem State and Keisha Parris of St. Augustine's, both of whom competed at the NCAA Division II Track & Field Championships in 2010.

Saturday, 1:40 p.m. – Men's 110 Hurdles – The men's 110 hurdles final presents the possibility of a showdown between Virginia's Adams Abdulrazaaq and Campbell's Adoniss Jones. Abdulrazaaq was the 2010 ACC runner-up in this event. Meanwhile, Jones won the Atlantic Sun 110 hurdles title on his way to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Both are regular sub-14.00 hurdlers.

Saturday, 2:30 p.m. – Men's Triple Jump – Last year, the men's long jump was a highlight of the Liberty Collegiate Invitational, with three athletes jumping 24-3.5 or longer. This time around, the men's triple jump could be the top horizontal jumping event to watch. Liberty's Anthony Bryant has won this event twice in the last three years, and teammate Clarence Powell triple jumped at the 2010 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. They will square off against East Tennessee State's Ryan Beaver (2010 Atlantic Sun outdoor triple jump champion), St. Augustine's Orolando Duffus (placed fourth at the 2011 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships) and Appalachian State's Jamal Tiller (2011 Southern Conference indoor triple jump champion).

Saturday, 3 p.m. – Men's 800 – Liberty junior Isaac Wendland will look to recapture the magic of his last 800-meter race at the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex. He clocked a personal-best 1:50.22 at the 2010 Liberty Twilight Qualifier. Wendland is in good form right now, as evidenced by his personal-best 1,500-meter time of 3:51.88 at last week's Raleigh Relays. His top competitor could be Winston-Salem State's Andrew Chebii, the ninth-place finisher in the men's 800 final at the 2011 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships.

Saturday, 3:30 p.m. – Men's High Jump – The men's high jump competition promises a battle between the reigning Big South indoor champion (VMI's Dennis James) and the reigning Southern Conference indoor champion (Appalachian State's Darius Purcell). Anthony Bryant, also a past Big South high jump champion, will be the Flames' top hope in the event.

Saturday, 4:20 p.m. – Women's 400 Hurdles – Virginia Tech's Asia Washington and High Point's Manika Gamble stand out among the women's 400 hurdles entrants. Washington was an NCAA Preliminary Round participant in this event last season. Gamble is the defending Big South women's 400 hurdles champion.

Saturday, 5:05 p.m. – Women's 200 – The women's 200-meter dash will enable some top-notch short sprinters and 400-meter specialists to meet in the middle. Charlotte's Chalonda Silver won the Atlantic-10 Conference 55-meter dash title indoors. She will square off against the 2011 NCAA Division II (Kelly Shaw of St. Augustine's) and 2011 NCAA Division III (Ruby Blackwell of Methodist) indoor 400-meter dash national runners-up.

2011 Liberty Collegiate Invitational Time Schedule
Friday, April 1

1 p.m. – Decathlon (100-Long Jump-Shot Put-High Jump-400)
1 p.m. – Women's Hammer (Followed by Men's Hammer – Campus East)
1:15 p.m. – Heptathlon (100 Hurdles-High Jump-Shot Put-200)
2 p.m. – Men's Javelin (Followed by Women's Javelin)
3 p.m. – Women's Pole Vault (Section B)

Saturday, April 2
9 a.m. – Men's 5K (Section B, followed by Women's 5K Section B)
9:15 a.m. – Women's Pole Vault (Followed by Decathlon Pole Vault, followed by Men's Pole Vault)
9:45 a.m. – Decathlon 110 Hurdles
10 a.m. – Men's Shot Put (Followed by Women's Shot Put – Campus East)
10 a.m. – Women's Discus (Followed by Men's Discus – Campus East)
10:15 a.m. – Heptathlon Long Jump
10:30 a.m. – Decathlon Discus
11 a.m. – Men's 4 x 100 Relay (Followed by Women's 4 x 100 Relay)
11:15 a.m. – Heptathlon Javelin
11:25 a.m. – Men's 3K Steeplechase (Followed by Women's 3K Steeplechase)
11:30 a.m. – Decathlon Pole Vault
11:30 a.m. – Women's Long Jump (Followed by Women's Triple Jump)
11:30 a.m. – Men's Long Jump (Followed by Men's Triple Jump)
11:55 a.m. – Men's 1,500 (Followed by Women's 1,500)
1 p.m. – Women's High Jump (Followed by Men's High Jump)
1 p.m. – Men's 100 (Followed by Women's 100)
1:40 p.m. – Men's 110 Hurdles
2 p.m. – Women's 100 Hurdles
2:15 p.m. – Men's 400 (Followed by Women's 400)
2:30 p.m. – Decathlon Javelin
3 p.m. – Men's 800 (Followed by Women's 800)
4 p.m. – Men's 400 Hurdles (Followed by Women's 400 Hurdles)
4:45 p.m. – Men's 200 (Followed by Women's 200)
5:25 p.m. – Men's 5K (Followed by Women's 5K)
6:05 p.m. – Men's 4 x 400 Relay (Followed by Women's 4 x 400 Relay)
TBA – Decathlon 1,500