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    May 12, 2022 Jacksonville, Fla. RSS | | Box Score Box Score

    Defending champion Liberty got off to a successful start on day one of the 2022 ASUN Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Thursday at Visit Jax Track at Hodges Stadium. The Flames and Lady Flames both lead the team standings after winning four events and setting records in three different disciplines.

    Liberty’s event champions included Taylen Langin (women’s pole vault – 12-9.5), Naomi Mojica (women’s hammer – 195-8), John Hicks (men’s hammer – 212-8) and Kennedy Sauder (7-0.25).

    Mojica’s winning throw broke the meet record, as did Anthony Bryan’s decathlon 100 time of 10.84. Donald McClinton took down three records with his 20.56 clocking in the men’s 200 prelims, including the Liberty, meet and ASUN all-time standards.

    The Lady Flames own a 15-point advantage (52-37) over Kennesaw State through three women’s events. Meanwhile, the Flames are 26 points clear of KSU (62-36) after four men’s disciplines.

    Women’s Day 1 Recap
    Mojica claimed the Lady Flames’ first victory of the day, doing so in dramatic fashion. After being overtaken for the lead by Kennesaw State’s Kali Terza in the final round, Mojica responded with a lifetime-best and meet-record 195-8 effort to win by more than 10 feet. It also broke the meet record set by former teammate Chelsea Igberaese a year ago. Mojica has captured eight conference titles in the shot put, but Thursday marked the first time she has taken top honors in a different event.

    Liberty collected five of the eight scoring places in the event, as Mojica was followed by Grace Artis (third, 184-5), Megan Mann (fifth, 168-8), Sofia Mojica (seventh, season-best 162-11) and Annika Hantho (eighth, 160-6).

    Langin’s pole vault victory also featured a bit of drama, as she needed a third-attempt clearance at her opening height of 12-3.5 to stay in the competition. She was then the only athlete to make it over the next height (12-9.5), successfully defending her title from 2021. Langin is the first Lady Flame to claim back-to-back outdoor pole vault conference titles since Liberty Athletics Hall of Famer Andrea Wildrick won three Big South championships in succession between 2000 and 2002.

    Freshman Mia Bowers made it a 1-2 Liberty finish in the event, thanks to a third-attempt clearance at 12-3.5.

    Liberty’s final points of the night came courtesy of a 3-4 finish by Grace Dwyer (personal-best 36:09.27) and Anna Hostetler (36:15.88) in the women’s 10K. Dwyer’s first 10K as a Lady Flame landed her at No. 9 on the Lady Flames’ all-time list.

    Both Lady Flames who comped in running event prelims on Thursday won their heats to advance to Saturday’s finals, including Nimeesha Coleman in the 400 hurdles (1:02.78) and Isis Brooks in the 200 (23.63). Brooks’ time was the fastest wind-legal 200 clocking in program history, eclipsing Ty’Asia Dansbury’s 23.66 effort from the 2019 ASUN Championship.

    Myiah Scott sits in sixth place after day one of the heptathlon with her best-ever day one score (2,844). She opened with a big personal best in the 100 hurdles (14.88) and later recorded the No. 3 shot put mark (38-11.5) in Liberty heptathlon history.

    Men’s Day 1 Recap
    Hicks (212-8) and Mastro (185-11) repeated their 1-2 men’s hammer finish from last year’s ASUN meet, with Beau Backes nabbing a fourth-place finish at 165-0. Hicks joins Jon Hart (2007 and 2008 – Big South) as the only Flames ever to claim back-to-back conference men’s hammer crowns.

    Competing in his home state, freshman All-American Kennedy Sauder made it over 7-0.25 to complete a sweep of this year’s ASUN indoor and outdoor high jump championships. Defending champion Quinten Clay achieved a season-high 6-8.25 clearance on Thursday for fourth place in the event.

    All three Liberty men’s javelin throwers went over 60 meters and all finished inside the top five. Jacob Strickler was the runner-up with a personal-best 205-5 effort, Kevin Nedrick took third at 201-9 in his first javelin competition in three years and freshman Ethan Mylin reached a personal-best 198-10 for fifth.

    Caleb Olson closed out the Flames’ scoring with a fifth-place 10K finish, crossing the finish line in 30:03.16.

    All nine Flames who competed in running event preliminaries successfully advanced to Saturday’s finals, with five of them winning their respective heats. Liberty’s McClinton (20.56), Diamantae Griffin (20.72) and Christian Lyon (21.07) won the three heats of the 200, with Felix Lawrence (400 hurdles – 53.90) and Ryan Drew (1,500 – 3:48.48) also achieving heat victories.

    Racing out in lane nine, McClinton took down Griffin’s Liberty, meet and ASUN all-time standards for the men’s 200 and clinched a spot in the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet.

    Bryan will take a 222-point lead into day two of the decathlon after tallying 3,778 points during Friday’s five events. He clocked a meet-record 10.84 100 to begin his day and added a personal-best 23-4.5 long jump and a collegiate-best 6-1.25 high jump.

    Women’s Team Scores (Through 3 of 21 Events)
    1) Liberty – 52
    2) Kennesaw State – 37
    3) Lipscomb – 10
    4) Jacksonville – 7
    5) Eastern Kentucky – 6
    6) Jacksonville State – 4
    7) Bellarmine – 1

    Men’s Team Scores (Through 4 of 21 Events)
    1) Liberty – 62
    2) Kennesaw State – 36
    3) Central Arkansas – 28
    4) Eastern Kentucky – 18
    5) North Florida – 10
    6) Bellarmine – 2

    Women’s Day 1 ASUN Champions
    Taylen Langin – Pole Vault – 12-9.5
    Naomi Mojica – Hammer – 195-8

    Men’s Day 1 ASUN Champions
    John Hicks – Hammer – 212-8
    Kennedy Sauder – High Jump – 7-0.25

    Other Women’s Day 1 Top 3 Finishers
    2nd – Mia Bowers – Pole Vault – 12-3.5
    3rd – Grace Artis – Hammer – 184-5
    3rd – Grace Dwyer – 10K – 36:09.27

    Other Men’s Day 1 Top 3 Finishers
    2nd – Sam Mastro – Hammer – 185-11
    2nd – Jacob Strickler – Javelin – 205-5
    3rd – Kevin Nedrick – Javelin – 201-9

    Women’s Day 1 Record Breakers
    Meet Record – Hammer – Naomi Mojica – 195-8
    Previous Record: 195-4 by Liberty’s Chelsea Igberaese in 2021

    Men’s Day 1 Record Breakers
    ASUN Conference Record – 200 – Donald McClinton – 20.56
    Previous Record: 20.63 by Liberty’s Diamantae Griffin (once in 2021 and once in 2022)

    Liberty Record – 200 – Donald McClinton – 20.56
    Previous Record: 20.58 by Diamantae Griffin at the Meet of Champions on April 16, 2022

    Meet Record – 200 – Donald McClinton – 20.56
    Previous Record: 20.63 by Liberty’s Diamantae Griffin in 2021

    Meet Record – Decathlon 100 – Anthony Bryan – 10.84
    Previous Record: 10.94 by Kennesaw State’s Bilal Abdullah in 2015

    New Men’s NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round Qualifiers
    Donald McClinton – 200 – 20.56

    Day 1 Updates to Liberty’s All-Time Women’s Top 10 List
    Heptathlon Shot Put – No. 3 – Myiah Scott – 38-11.5
    Hammer – No. 5 – Naomi Mojica – 195-8
    10K – No. 9 – Grace Dwyer – 36:09.27

    Day 1 Updates to Liberty’s All-Time Men’s Top 10 List
    200 – No. 1 – Donald McClinton – 20.56
    Decathlon 100 – Tie for No. 3 – Anthony Bryan – 10.84

    Up Next
    The meet will resume Friday at 10:30 a.m. with the decathlon 110 hurdles.