Jennifer Klugh clocked a school-record 3K time of 9:44.62 in the very first event, Friday at the Hokie Invitational.
Competing in Friday's very first race at the Hokie Invitational, Liberty senior Jennifer Klugh set the tone for a successful day for both the Flames and Lady Flames. She broke the school record and met the ECAC qualifying standard with a 9:44.62 clocking in the women's 3K, one of two new ECAC/IC4A marks achieved inside Rector Field House. Freshman David Scouten was the Flames' other IC4A qualifier on Friday, after boosting his weight throw personal best by nearly two and a half feet to 55-9.75.
Women's Meet Recap Klugh started out toward the back of the pack in the women's 3K before methodically moving forward throughout the 15-lap race. She ended up as the race runner-up, slicing more than eight seconds off of her previous indoor 3K best in the process. Klugh eclipsed the existing school record of 9:49.55, which was set by Ashley Osborne at the 2008 ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championship. The Buckeye State native has now qualified for the ECAC meet in both the 3K and 5K during her first two races of the 2011-12 indoor season. Freshman Jacy Christiansen also performed well in her collegiate 3K debut, placing 10th in a time of 10:10.37. Her effort claimed the No. 10 position on Liberty's all-time performance list for the event. Liberty's female throwers continued their strong start to the season, grabbing three of the top 10 positions in the women's weight throw final. Leading the way was Jocelyn Williams, who came in third at 56-3.25. Melinda Bendik followed in sixth place with a 54-8 heave, while Emily Woods placed 10th at a season-best 47-11. Meghan Burggraf raced to a fifth-place finish in the rarely-contested 600-meter run, posting a personal-best time of 1:34.16. Burggraf's junior classmate Betel Yosef also crossed the line fifth in her event, thanks to a personal-best mile clocking, 5:18.63. In the same race, Katie Russo improved her collegiate-best time to 5:23.20 for 10th place. Tami Tolsma made a successful first-attempt pole vault clearance at 10-6, setting a new indoor personal best and claiming a sixth-place finish in Friday's section of the event. Head coach Brant Tolsma's youngest daughter is now tied for seventh on the program's all-time performance list. Sophomore Kiara Bridges moved into a tie for ninth place on Liberty's 300-meter run performance list, after recording a time of 42.74 seconds.
Men's Meet Recap Scouten ended up sixth in the men's weight throw final with his IC4A-qualifying effort, two spots behind teammate Ryan Smith. Smith, who had recorded his own IC4A qualifier earlier this season, uncorked a season-best toss of 59-5 for fourth place. Freshman Jon Drablos joined his classmate Scouten as one of Friday's standouts. He pole vaulted a personal-best 15-1 to win the unseeded section of the event. Roderick Spruel qualified for the men's 60-meter dash final, where he dropped his personal-best time to 6.92 seconds and finished sixth. Spruel climbed into a tie for fifth place in program history for the men's 60. Tarell Williams nearly made it a pair of Flames in the 60 final, missing both the last qualifying position and the IC4A standard by one-hundredth of a second with his 6.99 performance. The Flames notched two top-10 finishes in the 600-meter run, an event which featured U.S. 400-meter hurdles Olympian Bershawn Jackson. Paul Arslain was sixth, lowering his personal-best time to 1:20.24. Taylor Courtney ran 1:21.24 to come in 10th. Leonard Robbins made a successful Liberty debut, as his time of 35.56 seconds garnered a 10th-place showing in the 300-meter dash.
The Hokie Invitational will conclude with a full day of action on Saturday. The men's and women's high jump and women's pole vault will be the first events to get started, at 11 a.m. Track events will begin at noon with the women's 5K.