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Jelen, Lady Flames Both Victorious at Longwood Invitational
Jelen's (Sr., Sioux Falls, S.D.) victory, the first cross country triumph of his Liberty career, propelled the Flames to second place out of four teams. Liberty totaled 46 points, finishing 20 points behind meet champion Campbell and seven points in front of host Longwood.
On the women's side, the Lady Flames packed four runners in the top seven finishers, paced by Ashley Osborne's (Jr., Bristol, Va.) runner-up effort. Liberty tallied 34 team points, just one fewer than Campbell. Longwood rounded out the three-team field with 55 points.
Jelen's individual title marked the second-straight week a Liberty men's runner has finished first at an invitational. Josh Edmonds (So, Cooperstown, N.Y.) won last Saturday's Virginia Tech Invitational. Jelen clocked a 25:30 on a slick, winding 8K course, outdistancing the race runner-up by 34 seconds.
The Flames' second through fifth runners were bunched in a 46-second span, led by Jordan Whitlock (R-Fr., Elmhurst, Ill.). Whitlock placed eighth out of 39 finishers in 27:26, and was followed closely by Mark Brucker (R-Fr., Clarksboro, N.J.), the 11th-place finisher in a time of 27:35. Clint Jackson (R-Jr., Cascade, Colo.) returned from injury to clock 28 minutes even for 16th, and freshman Kyle Davidson (Charlotte, N.C.) closed out the Liberty men's scorers, placing 19th in 28:12.
Osborne completed the women's 5K course in 19:39, finishing 27 seconds behind race champion Baillie Locke of Campbell. Three Lady Flames finished within 23 ticks of Osborne. Seniors Piper Newby (Hayden Lake, Idaho) and Jo Welch (Castro Valley, Calif.) came in side-by-side. Newby, Liberty's top runner a season ago, was awarded third place in a time of 19:43.1 and Welch took fourth in 19:43.2.
Freshman Rod'Esther Castor (Hamilton, N.J.) closed out the Lady Flames' lead pack with her second top-10 finish in as many weeks. Her time of 20:02 netted seventh place out of 30 finishers. Coming in fifth for Liberty was senior heptathlete Marie Williams (Tampa, Fla.), making her collegiate cross country debut. Williams took 26th place in a time of 23:41.
The men's and women's races also featured a number of unattached runners. On the men's side, Liberty newcomer Mark Hopely (Lorney's Point, N.J.) competed unattached for the second-straight week and finished seventh overall in 27:09. Meanwhile, Liberty assistant coach Heather Zealand captured sixth place in the women's race, stopping the clock in 20:01.
Liberty's full men's and women's squads will be in action for the first time at the Notre Dame Invitational, Sept. 28 in South Bend, Ind.
Men's 8K Race
Individual Finishers (39 total finishers in race):
1) Jarvis Jelen, 25:30
2) Wyatt Verelle, Campbell, 26:04
3) Ryan Carroll, Unattached, 26:47
4) Terence Attema, Campbell, 26:50
5) Ken Eichberg, Campbell, 26:59
8) Jordan Whitlock, 27:26
11) Mark Brucker, 27:35
16) Clint Jackson, 28:00
19) Kyle Davidson, 28:12
1) Campbell, 26
2) Liberty, 46
3) Longwood, 53
4) Hampden-Sydney, 110
Women's 5K Race
Individual Finishers (30 total finishers in race):
1) Baillie Locke, Campbell, 19:12
2) Ashley Osborne, 19:39
3) Piper Newby, 19:43.1
4) Jo Welch, 19:43.2
5) Jacquelyne Chantry, Longwood, 19:47
7) Rod'Esther Castor, 20:02
26) Marie Williams, 23:41
27) Richlyn Yond, 24:02
1) Liberty, 34
2) Campbell, 35
3) Longwood, 55