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McDougal's Indoor Debut to Highlight On Track Open

January 25, 2007  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Josh McDougal will compete in Saturday's 3,000-meter run.

Josh McDougal will compete in Saturday's 3,000-meter run.

Seven-time All-American Josh McDougal's indoor track season debut promises to be one of the highlights of the On Track Open, to be held Friday and Saturday at the Tolsma Indoor Track Center. 

The two-day meet, which is set to begin at 3 p.m. Friday with the first event of the women's pentathlon, the 60-meter hurdles, will feature approximately 400 athletes. Saturday's action will kick off with the men's weight throw, at 8:30 a.m., while the gun will go off for running events at 11 a.m. Thirteen universities, including James Madison, South Carolina, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest, will be represented. A number of talented post-collegiate athletes are also slated to compete. 

McDougal (Jr., Peru, N.Y.), who has not competed since placing 27th at the NCAA Division I National Cross Country Championship in November, is scheduled to run the 3,000 meters at 3:50 p.m. Saturday. He is aiming to become the first runner in the nation this season to run the time necessary (7:55.3) to automatically qualify for the NCAA Division I National Indoor Track and Field Championships. The junior's personal-best time in the event is 7:53.16, which he achieved at the 2006 IC4A indoor meet. 

Rebekah Ricksecker (So., Laurel, Del.), who competed in the 5,000 meters at the season-opening Liberty Kickoff, will drop down to the mile distance for the first time this season. She figures to chase 41-year-old Alisa Harvey, who set the United States masters (age 40 and over) record in the mile, 4:50.95, a year ago at the Tolsma Indoor Track Center. 

Arlene Zelinskas (Sr., Dayton, Ohio), coming off a school-record performance in the 55-meter hurdles, hopes to improve her standing on the NCAA provisional list in the pentathlon. Zelinskas ranks fourth nationally with her score of 3,764, achieved while winning the event at the Dec. 1-2 Liberty Kickoff. 

The Liberty coaching staff will be watching the men's 200-meter dash closely, as sophomore Philip Leineweber (New Freedom, Pa.) tries his hand at the event. Leineweber has already posted a 400-meter time of 49.10 and a Big South-leading 800 mark of 1:54.20 this season.