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It may have been the first-ever Conference 30 championship but, for Liberty's girls team, it was the usual script.
The Minettes used their great depth and proficiency across events to dominate the conference meet, hosted by Heritage last Tuesday and Wednesday.
1. Liberty 233.5
2. Heritage 137
3. Rustburg 77.5
4. Brookville 51
5. Tunstall 4
The men of Liberty didn't fare too poorly, either.
1. Heritage 173.6
2. Brookville 131.6
3. Liberty 112.2
4. Rustburg 80.6
5. Tunstall 17
The big news, of course, is the rompin' and stompin' victory by the Minettes. Five female athletes bedecked in red, white and blue took top honors in eight different events.
That parade was led by a pair of multiple winners: Kennedy Flynn and Nicole Smith.
The Flyin' Flynn rang up victories in three separate events: the 800 meters (2:29), 1600 meters (5:39) and the 3200 meters (12:36).
The VMI-bound senior had company from Rustburg's Morgan Alvis, who placed second in the two longer races. In the 800, Liberty freshman Alexis Mattson was sandwiched between the two elder runners, nabbing second.
Smith dominated the throws. The junior heaved the shot 34' 9", a full two feet ahead of the field. In the disc, she launched the steel frisbee a full 128'.
They grow 'em strong in Bedford. Liberty had six athletes place in the girls' throws, including Angelic Gee, Jerica Thompson, Yasmine Robinson, Emily Barrett and Shannon Robinson.
The other three winners were Megan Beisser, Oksana Kittrell and Alexus Pannell.
Beisser, who was named the Rotary Club's top female scholar-athlete in Bedford County last week, took the win in the 300 hurdles (48.11 seconds).
Pannell, who is a wee dynamo on the basketball court, launched herself 35' 4.5" in the triple jump. In that event, Pannell headlined a trio of top finishers, as Mikalah Jones took second and Kittrell wound up third.
Pannell also nabbed second in the 100 and 400 meter dashes.
Other individual second-place finishers for Liberty included Beisser (200 meter dash and 100 hurdles), and Mattson's 2:35 in the 800.
Kittrell, who will bring her springy legs to Eastern Mennonite this fall, took the win in the long jump, sailing 16' 3.5".
M-Men move on
Only two Liberty athletes took top honors in any event.
Jamaal Preston took the win in the shot put despite entering the competition seeded ninth in the field, with a previous best toss of 38' 8".
When it counted, however, he came through with flying colors, giving a toss of 41' 5".
It was only the third time Preston has thrown the shot this year. He must have spent his free time in the weight room!
Preston showed his versatility as he dashed from the shot put circle to the track for sprint prelims. There he showed he's strong AND fast. He took second in the 200 dash at 22.88 seconds.
Justin Haupt is no stranger to the 800 meters. He came to the meet ranked as the top dog at that distance, and he did not disappoint. Haupt took the win in 2:06: nowhere near his best time, but good enough for the victory.
Haupt also landed second in the 400 meters, shaving .10 seconds of his best time at 51.84 seconds.
Luke Bondurant nabbed second in the 110 hurdles with a time of 16.25. The sophomore shows a lot of upside. Indeed, he went on to seize second in the 300 hurdles, clocking in at 42.23 seconds.
Bondurant also teamed up with Jake Tomlin, Dennis Caldwell and Glenn Field to take second in the 4 X 400 relay (3:43).
Tomlin and Field, meanwhile, conspired with Daniel Brown and Yuri Snyder to earn second in the 4 X 800 relay (8:59).
The team will be in action this weekend, along with Staunton River, at the 4A-West regional meet, hosted by Cave Spring.