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Coach's Corner with Brant Tolsma
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Leading up to this weekend's Liberty Open at the Tolsma Indoor Track Center, Nick Pierce caught up with redshirt sophomore Ryan Smith and head men's and women's track & field coach Brant Tolsma.
The conversation discussed Liberty's successful start to the 2010-11 indoor track & field season. The men's squad is ranked No. 3 in the Southeast Region and already has 12 athletes qualified for the IC4A meet. Meanwhile, the Lady Flames are ranked No. 10 regionally and boast three ECAC qualifiers.
Josh Edmonds (No. 3 in the men's 5K), Jennifer Klugh (No. 3 in the women's 5K) and Sam Chelanga (No. 4 in the men's mile) are all listed among the nation's top five in their respective events. Klugh and Chelanga also joined Smith as Big South weekly award winners on Wednesday.
Klugh was tabbed the Big South Women's Indoor Track Athlete of the Week, Chelanga was named the Big South Co-Men's Indoor Track Athlete of the Week and Smith was honored as the Big South Men's Indoor Field Athlete of the Week.
Smith's honor after he set a shot put personal best (57-0.25) at the Hornet Indoor Sprints, Jumps & Throws Challenge on Jan. 19 and a weight throw personal best (58-1.75) at the Hokie Invitational on Jan. 21. Smith is unbeaten against collegiate competitors through his first three shot put competitions of the season.
The Liberty Open will take place at the Tolsma Indoor Track Center Friday and Saturday, with action getting started Friday at 12:30 p.m. Athletes from 25 different universities will take part in Liberty's largest home indoor track & field meet of the season.