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Liberty Women's XC Picked 2nd in the Big South
The 2014 Liberty women's cross country team has been tabbed to finish second in the Big South Conference, as voted upon by the league's head coaches.
Head coach Brant Tolsma's Lady Flames, who were the 2013 Big South runners-up, earned a pair of first-place votes and 106 total points. That placed them second in the poll, behind defending conference champion Coastal Carolina, which collected eight first-place nods and 117 points.
High Point garnered the remaining first-place vote and 98 total points for third place, followed by fellow North Carolina institutions UNC Asheville (fourth place, 88 points) and Campbell (fifth place, 78 points). Radford (sixth place, 62 points), Winthrop (seventh place, 57 points), Charleston Southern (eighth place, 39 points), Longwood (ninth place, 37 points), Big South Championship host Gardner-Webb (10th place, 30 points) and Presbyterian (11th place, 14 points) rounded out the poll.
Liberty, which has recorded 10 consecutive top-two finishes at the Big South Women's Cross Country Championship, returns four of its top five placers from the 2013 Big South meet. Senior Jacy Christiansen came in third a year ago, followed by sophomore Jessie Proehl (ninth), redshirt sophomore Chelsea Page (17th) and sophomore Kat Bouton (29th). Redshirt junior Meredith Mistretta, who placed 15th at the 2012 Big South Championship, is also back following an abbreviated 2013 campaign.
The Lady Flames will begin the 2014 season on Aug. 29 at the UVa Duals. The meet is slated for a 4:30 p.m. start at Panorama Farms in Earlysville, Va. The 2014 Big South Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships will be contested on Gardner-Webb's campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 1.
2014 Big South Conference Preseason Women's Cross Country Poll
1) Coastal Carolina (8 first-place votes) – 117 points
2) Liberty (2) – 106
3) High Point (1) – 98
4) UNC Asheville – 88
5) Campbell – 78
6) Radford – 62
7) Winthrop – 57
8) Charleston Southern – 39
9) Longwood – 37
10) Gardner-Webb – 30
11) Presbyterian – 14