The Liberty Flames men’s and women’s cross country team swept the Big South Tournament Championships Saturday, Oct. 27.
Along with the sweep, Head Coach Brant Tolsma won his 52nd Big South Coach of the Year award.
Led by redshirt senior Jennifer Klugh, the Lady Flames were able to capture their fifth championship in seven years. Klugh also won her third consecutive Big South Runner of the Year award.
The men’s team eclipsed its record eighth-straight Big South Championship win. Senior David Ricksecker led the Flames in a second-place finish with a time of 24:39.62.
Junior Caleb Edmonds and the Men’s Freshman of the Year winner N’Getich Kipchirchir finished third and fourth. The Flames finished with seven in the top 15. Liberty scored 28 points and defeated rival High Point University by 21.
In the women’s 5K, Liberty tallied only 40 points while Coastal was a distant second with a score of 72.
“Our team as a whole is looking really fantastic,” Klugh said. “The Lord has really blessed us with girls that are just dropping times, and we all are trying to keep our focus in the right spot.”
Liberty had six top 20 finishes, which included Klugh’s first place time of 17.18.72. Senior Khristina Kanagy, sophomore Jacy Christiansen and Betel Yosef finished seventh, eighth and ninth — all set personal bests during the event.
“Even if we do not make nationals, it will still show how we stack up to all the Division I programs in the southeast,” Tolsma said. “I would say we have an outside shot at that, but it’s not something we can count on.”
The NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Championships will be Nov. 9 in Charlotte, N.C.