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    September 2, 2020 Lynchburg, Va. RSS |

    As the 2020-21 school year gets started, the Liberty track & field/cross country program not only features a new head coach but also an abundance of fresh faces on campus. First-year Liberty Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Lance Bingham introduced 24 newcomers on Wednesday, to go along with the 13 incoming freshmen who were previously announced in April.

    “Within uncertain times, we trust God’s sovereignty not only in the details of our program but also with His working in the lives of these new student-athletes,” Bingham remarked. “We anxiously anticipate His revealing of their stories in the coming weeks, months and years. We anticipate His working in their lives in all areas.”

    The two dozen newest additions to the team are pretty evenly divided between men (13) and women (11). Five of the newcomers have transferred from other U.S. colleges and universities, while the Flames also picked up international signees from Jamaica and the Netherlands.

    Men’s Newcomers
    Beau Backes
    Throws | Chisago Lakes High School | Lindstrom, Minn.
    • As a junior, placed sixth at the Minnesota AA state meet in the shot put and seventh in the discus
    • Father Ron Backes was an All-American thrower at Minnesota and threw the shot put for Team USA at the 1992 Summer Olympics
    Shot Put: 52-7.75
    Discus: 165-1

    Warren Barrett
    Throws | Calabar High School (UWI – Mona) | Montego Bay, Jamaica
    • Placed fourth in the shot put at the 2018 Jamaican Championships
    • 2016 Penn Relays high school boys’ shot put runner-up
    • Finished eighth in the shot put at the 2016 NACAC U-23 Championships
    Shot Put: 61-2

    Joshua Belinga
    Jumps | Wilson High School | Washington, D.C.
    55: 6.84
    100: 11.28
    300: 36.92
    Long Jump: 20-8.5

    Anthony Bryan
    Decathlon | South Walton High School (Abilene Christian) | Destin, Fla.
    • Spent his freshman year at Abilene Christian, training under Coach Lance Bingham, but did not compete in any meets
    • Placed third in the pentathlon at the 2018 New Balance Indoor Nationals
    • Decathlon runner-up at the 2016 USATF Junior Olympic National Championships
    110 Hurdles: 14.42
    300 Hurdles: 40.04
    High Jump: 6-2.75
    Pole Vault: 14-3.25
    Long Jump: 22-4.5

    Aidan Dinsbeer
    Pole Vault | The Bolles School | Jacksonville, Fla.
    • Placed ninth in the pole vault at the Florida 2A state meet as a junior and 10th as a sophomore
    Pole Vault: 14-6

    Jake Galluccio
    Decathlon | Sparta High School | Sparta, N.J.
    • Competing in the high jump, placed fifth at the 2019 outdoor New Jersey Group 3 Championships and sixth at the 2020 indoor New Jersey Group 2 Championships
    High Jump: 6-4

    Diamantae Griffin
    Sprints | Forest Hill High School (William Carey) | Jackson, Miss.
    • Helped William Carey win the men’s team title at the 2020 NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships, placing second in the 60 and running on the winning 4 x 400 relay quartet
    • During both of his years at Hinds Community College (2017-18 and 2018-19), placed fifth in the 200 at the NJCAA indoor meet and second in the 4 x 100 relay at the NJCAA outdoor championship
    60: 6.73
    100: 10.42
    200: 20.99

    Seth Newell
    Decathlon | International Christian School of Budapest | Roanoke, Va.
    • As a junior, came in second in the 1,500 at the Danube International Athletics Conference meet
    • During his sophomore year, placed eighth in the 400 at the Hungarian National Student Championship
    • Uncle Daniel Newell was an NCAA national qualifier in the decathlon during his time at Liberty

    Josiah Nobles
    Distance | Steilacoom High School | DuPont, Wash.
    • As a senior, came in 10th at the Washington 2A state cross country championships
    • Placed seventh in the 3,200 at the 2019 Washington 2A state meet
    1,600: 4:31.43
    3,200: 9:31.38
    Cross Country 5K: 15:30.1

    Reid Swolensky
    Sprints | Harding Academy | Memphis, Tenn.
    • At the 2019 Tennessee II-A state meet, crossed the line second in the 100 and sixth in the 200
    100: 11.13
    200: 22.89

    Daniel Van Duren
    Hurdles | Mahwah High School | Mahwah, N.J.
    • New Jersey Group 2 third-place finisher in the 55 hurdles as a senior
    • Also qualified for the Group 2 meet in the 110 hurdles, triple jump and high jump during his high school career
    55 Hurdles: 7.76
    110 Hurdles: 15.14

    Zack Weekman
    Hurdles | North Raleigh Christian Academy | Raleigh, N.C.
    • NCISAA state runner-up in the 110 hurdles as a sophomore
    • The following year, placed third in the 300 hurdles, fourth in the 110 hurdles and fifth in the 4 x 200 relay at the NCISAA state championship
    55 Hurdles: 7.96
    110 Hurdles: 15.24
    300 Hurdles: 39.88

    Gabriel Willis
    Jumps | Creekview High School | Carrollton, Texas
    • Ranked among the nation’s top five high jumpers during the abbreviated 2020 outdoor season
    • Qualified for the Texas 5A state high jump final as a sophomore
    High Jump: 6-10

    Women’s Newcomers
    Emily Branham
    Pole Vault | Lakeland Christian School | Lakeland, Fla.
    • Back-to-back Florida 1A state pole vault champion as a sophomore and junior
    Pole Vault: 12-0

    Gabrielle Brohard
    Sprints | Woodgrove High School | Hillsboro, Va.
    • Helped her 4 x 100 relay team place fifth at the Virginia 4A state meet as a sophomore
    • Competing for the Ashburn Elite Track Club, was part of a third-place 4 x 200 squad at the 2019 AAU Indoor Nationals

    Kamia Cooper
    Sprints/Jumps | Hershey High School | Hershey, Pa.
    • Two-time Pennsylvania indoor state meet qualifier in the 60 dash
    60: 7.94
    100: 12.48
    200: 25.82
    Long Jump: 17-0.5

    Grace Dwyer
    Distance | Hamilton North-Nottingham High School (Furman) | Mercerville, N.J.
    • Graduate transfer spent the last four years at Furman
    • Top-five runner for a pair of teams which placed inside the top 10 at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships. Furman came in seventh in 2017 and ninth in 2019.
    • Eight-time SoCon all-conference performer between track and cross country, headlined by the 2019 SoCon 10K individual title
    1,500: 4:39.65
    3K: 9:52.28
    5K: 17:00.54
    10K: 36:40.53
    Cross Country 5K: 17:13.8
    Cross Country 6K: 20:55.5

    Chloe Fraley
    Throws/Pole Vault | Valley Christian High School (Grand Canyon) | Chandler, Ariz.
    • During one year at Grand Canyon, placed 14th in the 2020 WAC pentathlon
    • Back-to-back Arizona Division IV state champion in the javelin as a junior and senior
    • Also recorded multiple state meet podium finishes in the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and pole vault
    • Third member of her family to compete in track & field at Liberty, following in the footsteps of older siblings Chandler and Caleb
    Pole Vault: 10-11.75
    Javelin: 133-1

    Nanah Fung Loy
    Heptathlon | Veurs Lyceum (Hogeschool Van Amsterdam) | The Hague, Netherlands
    • Captured multiple Dutch championships
    60 Hurdles: 8.94
    100 Hurdles: 14.46
    Pole Vault: 11-9.75
    Long Jump: 18-11.75
    Javelin: 126-0
    Pentathlon: 3,743
    Heptathlon: 4,803

    Annika Hantho
    Throws | Woodstown High School | Mannington, N.J.
    • New Jersey Group 1 discus runner-up as a junior
    • One week later, came in ninth in the New Jersey Meet of Champions discus competition
    Discus: 127-8
    Javelin: 101-0

    Dawn Hilton
    Sprints | Lakota East High School | Cincinnati, Ohio
    • Helped her team win the Ohio Division I outdoor track & field team state title as a junior with a victory in the 4 x 100 relay (state-record 45.82) and runner-up finish in the 4 x 200
    100: 12.3

    Isabella Huner
    Pole Vault | Independence High School | Thompson’s Station, Tenn.
    Heptathlon: 3,236

    Megan Mann
    Throws | Lee-Davis High School | Mechanicsville, Va.
    • Captured a pair of state championships, including the 2019 Virginia 5A discus and the 2020 Virginia 4A indoor shot put crowns
    • Emerging elite shot put champion at the 2019 New Balance Indoor Nationals
    Shot Put: 44-5.25
    Discus: 144-0

    Jada Williams
    Sprints | Westside High School (Western Texas College) | Jacksonville, Fla.
    • As a senior in high school, placed seventh in the 100 and 10th in the 200 at the Florida 2A state meet
    • During her junior season, her 4 x 100 relay team came in third at the Florida 2A state championship
    60: 7.66
    100: 11.87
    200: 24.24