Liberty claimed its 16th consecutive indoor conference title on Friday, winning the Big South Championship at the JDL Fast Track.
Head coach Brant Tolsma’s men’s squad, which has won this meet every year it has been contested, posted a winning score of 163.5 points. The Flames were 65 points ahead of High Point, which posted a runner-up finish for the first time in meet history.
Liberty’s impressive title streak is the second-longest active string of conference titles in Division I indoor men’s track & field.
The Liberty men’s squad won three events on Friday, and they all came in a flurry at the end of the day. Sophomore Kyle Wheeler got things started in the high jump, clearing an indoor personal-best 6-9.5 to win the event for the consecutive season.
Freshman Patrick Donigan complemented Wheeler’s victory with a third-place showing. He high jumped a season-best 6-6.25 for the first All-Big South honor of his career.
While Wheeler was taking his final leaps, the Flames were burning up the track in the men’s 5K final. Josh MacDonald won the race with a personal-best time of 14:27.62, moving him up to No. 8 in program history.
Behind MacDonald, Jeremie Bourget took third place in 14:39.62 and Ngetich Kipchirchir was fifth in 14:53.31.
On the track, the Flames 4X400 relay team of Andre Washington, Tyler Weigandt, Kyle Gill and Paul Arslain earned a come-from-behind victory. Arslain overtook Charleston Southern’s anchor in the closing strides, winning the event in a time of 3:20.66. It was Liberty’s consecutive men’s 4×400 title at this meet.
After winning the shot put on Thursday, Ryan Smith captured runner-up honors in the men’s weight throw Friday. His 12th career All-Big South accolade came as a result of his 62-8.5 mark.
Liberty had a strong showing in the men’s mile. After capturing the men’s 3K title the previous day, Edmonds grabbed third place from the slow section of the mile. He ran a personal-best time of 4:15.46, moving into eighth place on the Flames’ all-time list.
Teammate Jarred Cornfield took third place in the next heat and the fourth spot overall, crossing the finish line in 4:16.56. Both times hit the IC4A standard and gave Liberty 11 points in the event.
Tevan McIntire collected his first All-Big South medal on Friday, thanks to an almost 300-point personal best in the heptathlon. He finished with 4,877 points for third place in the event and seventh place all-time at Liberty. McIntire started his day with a personal-best 8.62 clocking in the 60 hurdles, pole vaulted 12-7.25 and then wrapped things up with a personal-best 2:48.29 effort in the 1,000-meter run.
Sophomore John Sherret was yet another first-time All-Big South performer for the Flames. He finished strong in the 800-meter run final, coming up for third place in a time of 1:57.91.
Three hours before their memorable effort in the 4×400 relay, Washington came in fourth and Arslain was fifth in the 400-meter dash. Washington’s time was 49.45, while Arslain’s 49.97 effort earned IC4A qualification.
The men’s team’s final top-five finisher on the day was Maxwell Asante. He clocked 7.00 seconds for fifth place in the 60 final.