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BSC Champion Flames Climb to No. 10 in Region
After winning its unprecedented ninth consecutive Big South Conference title on Saturday, the Liberty men's cross country team moved up to No. 10 in the Southeast Region, as announced today by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Ohio Valley Conference champion Eastern Kentucky remains atop the regional rankings, followed in second place by ACC runner-up North Carolina. High Point, which finished as the Big South runner-up for the seventh straight year, joins the rankings at No. 13 this week.
High Point put pressure on Liberty on Saturday when Panthers Patrick Crawford and Jeff LaCoste finished first and second, respectively, at the Vista Links Golf Course in Buena Vista, Va. However, the Flames' team depth (seven runners among the race's top 17 finishers) enabled Liberty to post a 40-48 victory over High Point.
Leading the way for Liberty were a quartet of All-Big South performers, including sophomore Jeremie Bourget (third place), redshirt junior Josh MacDonald (fourth place), sophomore Sam Hibbs (ninth place) and senior Zach Barker (11th place).
Liberty's nine straight Big South titles rank as the third-longest active conference championship streak among NCAA Division I men's cross country teams. Only Iona (23 straight MAAC titles) and William & Mary (14 straight CAA titles) own longer current streaks than the Flames.
Liberty will now prepare for the 2013 NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Championships. The meet will be contested on Nov. 15 at Panorama Farms in Earlysville, Va., and will determine the qualifiers for the 2013 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships.
The runners not heading to Panorama Farms will wrap up their 2013 campaigns in Blacksburg, Va., at Friday afternoon's Hokie Open. The meet is slated for a 4:30 p.m. start.
USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Southeast Region Men's Cross Country Rankings
1) Eastern Kentucky
2) North Carolina
4) Virginia Tech
7) NC State
9) William & Mary
12) Appalachian State
13) High Point
14) Wake Forest
15) George Mason