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Coach's Corner with Brant Tolsma
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With both the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships and the start of the 2011 outdoor track season set for this weekend, Nick Pierce caught up with Liberty redshirt sophomore sprinter/hurdler Taylor Courtney and head coach Brant Tolsma.
Last weekend, the Liberty men's squad matched its best-ever showing at the IC4A Indoor Track & Field Championships, sharing second place with Rutgers. The performance helped lift the Flames to a No. 24 national ranking this week.
Meanwhile, the Lady Flames improved from a 32nd-place finish a year ago to claim 14th place at the ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Courtney played an important role in the Flames' IC4A runner-up showing, winning the 500-meter run. His time of 1:01.96 broke the school record and ranks No. 4 in the NCAA for 2011. The performance came on the heels of the Keystone State native's 400-meter title at the Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships the previous week.
Courtney is among a large group of Liberty athletes who will compete in the Coastal Carolina Invitational, Friday and Saturday in Conway, S.C. He is entered in the 400-meter dash and 400-meter hurdles in the first outdoor meet of the season.
Meanwhile, Sam Chelanga will run both the 3K and 5K at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships, Friday and Saturday in College Station, Texas. Chelanga, a 10-time All-American, will race in the men's 5K final Friday at 8:30 p.m. Eastern. He will then toe the line for the 3K final Saturday at 7:55 p.m. Eastern.
If you have not seen it already, here is the video of Courtney's 500-meter title at the IC4A Championship: