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Liberty Men, Women Go 1-1 at UVa Duals
The Liberty men's and women's cross country teams both went 1-1 at the low-key 2013 season-opening UVa Duals, Friday afternoon at Panorama Farms.
On the men's side, the Flames defeated Big South rival Radford, 15-40, and lost to the host Cavaliers by a 20-35 count. Meanwhile, the Lady Flames posted a 20-35 victory over Radford and a 15-40 setback against Virginia.
Liberty only entered five runners in the men's race, and the quintet completed the rolling 4K course together on a warm, sunny day. The Flames' finishers took places five through nine in the field of 17 entrants. Sophomore Sam Hibbs led the way, clocking a time of 12:57. Redshirt junior Josh MacDonald and senior Caleb Edmonds also crossed the line in 12:57, while redshirt sophomore Ngetich Kipchirchir and sophomore Jeremie Bourget were both timed in 12:58.
Virginia's Kyle King was the top collegiate finisher, covering his home course in a time of 12:46.
Junior Jacy Christiansen paced a group of 10 Lady Flames who finished consecutively in eighth through 17th places among 30 entrants in the women's 4K. Five of the 10 Liberty harriers in that span were freshmen.
Christiansen was clocked in 16:25, while freshman Jessie Proehl and redshirt freshman Chelsea Page followed in 16:26. Junior Meredith Mistretta and senior Katie Russo closed out Liberty's top five placers, each finishing in 16:27.
Freshman Alexis Taylor (16:28) opened the Lady Flames' next five, followed by junior Stephanie Buda (16:32), freshman Kat Bouton (16:36), senior Jessica Gass (16:43) and freshman Lindsey Bray (16:48).
The first six women's runners to finish the race were Virginia Cavaliers, paced by Barbara Streheler's 14:17 effort.
The Flames and Lady Flames will return to Panorama Farms two more times in 2013, including the Sept. 28 Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational and the Nov. 15 NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Championships.
Liberty will now take three weeks off from competition before the VMI Invitational on Sept. 21. The meet will be contested at the Vista Links Golf Course in Buena Vista, Va., which will be the venue for the 2013 Big South Cross Country Championships. The men's 8K will begin at 10 a.m., followed by the women's 5K at 10:45.