TRACK PREVIEW: Bucs travel to Liberty Elite Invitational

TRACK PREVIEW: Bucs travel to Liberty Elite Invitational

CHARLESTON, S.C. - The Charleston Southern track and field team will be one of eight teams making the trip to Lynchburg, Va. and the Liberty Indoor Track Complex this weekend as the Buccaneers compete in the Liberty Elite Invitational on February 9-10.

The Bucs take on the field consisting of CSU, Charlotte, East Carolina, ETSU, Elon, High Point, Liberty, and North Carolina A&T this weekend. It's CSU's final tune-up prior to the 2018 Big South Conference Indoor Championships that will be held in Lynchburg.

The Flames added the state-of-the-art indoor track facility to its list of numerous new athletics complexes in recent years when the Liberty Indoor Track Complex opened in January 2017. The track itself is the facility's most dynamic feature and one of only a handful of indoor tracks in the U.S. to offer a six-lane, 200-meter, hydraulically banked oval.

Other such tracks are located at Navy, Nebraska, Penn State, Texas A&M and VMI. VMI and Liberty are the only schools to have banked tracks that feature a specially formulated surface manufactured by Beynon, the company that resurfaced Liberty's outdoor Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex and the University of Oregon's Hayward Field, site of the United States Olympic Trials in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

The Buccaneers have a number of athletes looking to boost their standings in the conference rankings heading into the Indoor Championships. Others will be looking to secure their spots among the conference's elite heading into February 23-25.

Freshman sprinter Diamond Rush is among the latter as the sprinter paces the conference with a time of 7.67 seconds in the women's 60m dash. Sophomore high jumper Frankie Thomas leads the conference by half an inch in the men's high jump after posting a height of 6' 6.75" at the Clemson Orange and Purple.

Hurdlers Vincent Johnson (men's 60m hurdles) and Caroline Edmondson (women's 60m hurdles) are both ranked second overall in the conference standings following strong performances at the VMI Team Challenge. Johnson posted a career-best 8.12, while Edmondson's 8.78 is just two-hundredths of a second from the top mark in the Big South.

Long jumpers Timothy Davis and Niegel Simmons are top three in the category on the men's side for the Bucs. Davis (second) and Simmons (third) travel only Winthrop's Quernell Brave in the event. Davis is also second overall in the men's triple jump, while freshman Tamara Damjanovic is second in the women's triple jump.

Off record-setting performances at the VMI Team Challenge, shot putters Ryan Spiecha and JP Caglione are currently ranked second and third in the Big South behind Gardner-Webb senior Jordan Smith. Caglione is also top three in the men's weight throw.

The men's distance medley is also ranked second overall following their record-setting pace at the Commodore Invitational. Keeping pace is the women's 4x400m relay team ranked third overall with a time of 4:07.48 at the VMI Team Challenge.

Georgina Russell leads the women's distance efforts, sitting third overall in the conference in the mile following her performance at the Commodore Invitational.

Live results will be available for the meet, while virtual scoreboards will also be available on web and mobile.

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