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Christiansen Wins at Greater Louisville Classic

October 4, 2014
|  Louisville, Ky.
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Senior Jacy Christiansen won her first collegiate cross country race title, Saturday at the Greater Louisville Classic.

Liberty senior Jacy Christiansen captured the individual title in the women's 5K blue race at Saturday's Greater Louisville Classic, leading the Lady Flames to fourth place as a team. Meanwhile, top 12 finishes by Titus Koech, Josh MacDonald and Stalline Kurgat helped Liberty come in third in the men's 8K blue race at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park.

Christiansen's first collegiate cross country victory came in a 5K personal-best time of 17:32.09 and contributed to the Lady Flames' team score of 190 points. That placed Liberty fourth out of 37 teams. Missouri finished first in the women's team standings with 122 points, putting the Tigers 49 tallies in front of runner-up Belmont.

On the men's side, the Flames scored 126 points for third place out of 42 teams in the blue race. They trailed only meet champion Hillsdale (96 points) and runner-up Missouri (108) at the course which will play host to the 2014 NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Championships on Nov. 14.

Women's 5K Race Recap
Christiansen's time of 17:32.09 put her 11 seconds in front of runner-up Teresa Williamson of Radford and just 13 seconds off of Jennifer Klugh's 5K program-record time of 17:18.72 from the 2012 Big South Championship in Rock Hill, S.C. Klugh's victory in that race marked the most recent first-place finish by a Liberty women's cross country runner prior to Christiansen's triumph on Saturday.

The Lady Flames' next four finishers were separated by just 7.52 seconds, including redshirt junior Meredith Mistretta (48th place, 18:52.15), sophomore Jessie Proehl (49th place, 18:52.46), redshirt junior Caroline Parris (52nd place, 18:56.07) and sophomore Terrill Zentmeyer (56th place, 18:59.67). For both Parris and Zentmeyer, it marked their first career sub-19:00 5K performances.

Sophomore Kat Bouton clocked a personal-best time of 19:20.86 for 109th place, with classmate Lindsey Bray finishing 157th out of 351 competitors in 19:43.28.

Men's 8K Race Recap
In the men's race, freshman Koech was one of just six runners to break 25 minutes for the 8K. His time of 24:58.88 placed him fifth of 356 finishers and was the fastest of his young collegiate career.

Redshirt senior MacDonald crossed the line just over a second later, coming in seventh in 25:00.02. Both Koech and MacDonald defeated Campbell's Amon Terer, who was the champion at the Sept. 13 Gardner-Webb XC Invitational.

Terer placed 11th on Saturday, only one spot in front of freshman Kurgat, whose official time was a season-best 25:08.06.

Junior Sam Hibbs (34th place, 25:35.23) and redshirt sophomore Will Templeton (68th place, 25:53.33) closed out Liberty's five scorers.

Redshirt sophomore Josh Showalter came in 73rd in 25:56.08, with freshman Cameron Francis posting a 132nd-place finish in 26:27.54 during his second collegiate race.

Liberty will take a weekend off from competition before returning to action at the ISU Pre-National Invitational on Oct. 18 in Terre Haute, Ind. The first race of the day will begin at 11 a.m. at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course, the site of the 2014 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships.