College Report: Week 1 Indoors

I will be attempting to do a weekly report of the college scene in the state of Virginia with a sprinkling of news on former Virginian high school preps competing in college outside of the Commonwealth. Feel free to contact me for any omissions of noteworthy performances, especially those of individuals who compete outside of Virginia collegiately, so we can get them the recognition they deserve. This week was the first week of the college indoor season with several in-state schools getting their feet wet in competition. At the Liberty Kickoff held at Liberty University\'s one-year old Toslma Track Center, the home team Liberty wasted no time in getting individuals qualified for possible NCAA Nationals competition with distance runner Josh McDougal and multi-event star Brandon Hoskins hitting NCAA provisional qualifying marks at their home meet.

Liberty sophomore distance star Josh McDougal, finishing fourth at the NCAA National Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute just two Mondays ago, kicked off his season with an impressive PR best time of 13:52.87 to win the 5K over 2005 CAA Conference cross country champion Ian Fitzgerald of William & Mary (14:17.53). McDougal\'s time provisionally qualifies him for NCAA Indoor Nationals as he was only a mere two seconds off the automatic qualifier. Fitzgerald and teammate Matt Keally (14:34.04) both went under the IC4A qualifying time of 14:47.90, but Fitzgerald ran unattached at Liberty.

Teammate Brandon Hoskins also hit a NCAA provisional qualifying mark in winning the heptathlon with 5375 points.

Another notable performance from the Liberty squad was Carol Jefferson breaking the 5K indoor record with a third place finish in the 5,000 meter run in a time of 17:14.65. Green and gold surrounded Jefferson as William & Mary junior Julia Catchart won in a time of 16:43.43, while teammate Kristyn Shiring had an excellent debut meet to finish second in a time of 17:09.84 after redshirting the cross country season due to injury. Catchart\'s time qualifies her for the ECAC Championships where she ran her 5K personal best of 16:38 at last March. Teammates Shiring and sophomore Kaitlin Hurley (4th, 17:20.5) will be joining her at this year\'s ECAC meet.

A pair of William & Mary multi-event athletes also earned trips to the ECAC Championships in their first meet of the season with Oakton High School grad Bonnie Meekins (3590 pts) and Pulaski High School grad Brenna Blevins (3443 pts) finishing first and second in the pentathlon.

Division III schools in state should watch out for the Lynchburg College men as they had some impressive performances in the field events and sprints. Ryan Holmes was a double event winner as he beat Division I competition to take first place in the triple jump (48-1) and long jump (22-4). Holmes\' mark in the triple jump provisionally qualifies for the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships. Also provisionally qualifying for Lynchburg was Andy Rollins in the pole vault with his second place clearance of 15-5.

At the Navy Invitational on Friday evening, CAA squads James Madison University and Virginia Commonwealth University were in attendance with many of their top athletes competing. In the 5000 meter run, JMU\'s two distance studs in junior CW Moran and senior Allen Carr had outstanding runs as Moran won in a time of 14:25 and Carr took second in 14:45 as both qualified for the IC4As.

Virginia Commonwealth also had a IC4A qualified in James Frierson as his 6.40 clocking in the 55 meter dash will qualify him for the 60 meter dash at IC4As. VCU\'s Davion Lambert, an NCAA Nationals qualifier one year ago, just missed qualifying for IC4As by an inch in the high jump with a clearance of 6-8.

At the VMI opening invitational, VMI junior Paul Vince Obuon ran an identical time to VCU\'s Frierson in the 55 meter dash (6.40) and qualified for IC4As as well. The performance of the day for the Keydets came from Garrett Brickner. While competing unattached, the VMI senior cleared a lifetime best of 7-1 in the high jump competition. In all, VMI had 16 first place finishes at their home meet.

While the JMU men competed at Navy, the JMU women went a little further north to compete in the Bucknell University hosted Bison Opener in Pennsylvania. Top performance of the meet for the Lady Dukes came from Adrienne Mayo as she won the long jump competition with a mark of 19-4, which easily qualifies her for the ECAC Championships.

Christopher Newport University hosted their first home meet of the season on Sunday where the dedicated their indoor track to be named after long-time coach Vince Brown, who retired last outdoor season after 25 seasons at the helm at CNU that included 12 national championships.

At CNU, the Hampton women had some very impressive individual performances. Menchville High product Yvette Lewis was flying high in the horizontal jumping events with impressive winning marks in the long jump (19-2) and triple jump (41-8.5). Her triple jump mark provisionally qualifies her for NCAA Division I Indoor Nationals. Lewis also won the 200 meter dash in 24.79 as well as finishing second in the 60 meter hurdles (8.54) and third in the 60 meter dash (7.62). Winning both the 60 meter dash (7.47) and hurdles with an equally impressive performance to Lewis was teammate Kellie Wells (8.42). Wells also took runner-up honors to Lewis in the 200 meter dash (24.84).

VCU\'s Lauren Stewart hit a ECAC qualifying mark in the pole vault with a winning clearance of 12 feet.