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LU Opens Outdoor Track Season Ranked No. 20

March 26, 2008
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Brandon Hoskins is one of four returning NCAA national qualifiers on the 2008 Liberty men's track & field team.

Brandon Hoskins is one of four returning NCAA national qualifiers on the 2008 Liberty men's track & field team.

With four returning NCAA national qualifiers on its roster, the Liberty men's track & field team is ranked No. 20 to start the 2008 outdoor track & field season. The national preseason Top 25 rankings were released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) today.

Two-time defending national champion Florida State is projected to make it three titles in a row, as the Seminoles are listed atop the poll, calculated using the 2007 year-end performance list. SEC squads LSU, Tennessee and Florida are ranked second, third and fourth, respectively.

Liberty seniors Jon Hart (Wyomissing, Pa.), Clendon Henderson (Meadow, Texas), Brandon Hoskins (Garden City, Texas) and Josh McDougal (Peru, N.Y.) all competed at the 2007 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Hoskins and McDougal both garnered All-America honors, helping the Flames tie for 22nd at the meet, the best finish in program history.

Hoskins, now a two-time All-American, placed seventh in the decathlon at last year's national meet. Meanwhile, McDougal pulled double duty. The 14-time All-American came in third in the 10,000-meter final and took fourth at 5,000 meters.

This season, the Flames are off to a fast start, through their first two meets. Five Liberty men's track & field athletes have already qualified for the NCAA East Regional Championships, including Hart and Henderson. Other early qualifiers include Evans Kigen (So., Eldoret, Kenya) in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Matt Parker (Jr., Rome, N.Y.) in the high jump and Kolby Shepherd (Fr., Dublin, Ga.) in the pole vault.

Liberty is preparing to host its first meet of the 2008 outdoor campaign, the Liberty Collegiate Invitational. The two-day meet is scheduled for this Friday and Saturday at the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex.

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I men's outdoor track & field preseason rankings
Rank – School (Points)

1 – Florida State (259.63)
2 – LSU (247.33)
3 – Tennessee (209.00)
4 – Florida (195.32)
5 – USC (188.89)
6 – Georgia (181.19)
7 – UCLA (173.79)
8 – Arizona State (172.36)
9 – Auburn (169.21)
10 – Washington (162.05)
11 – Oklahoma (156.32)
12 – Texas (147.43)
13 – Arkansas (144.86)
14 – Baylor (129.86)
15 – Northern Iowa (129.50)
16 – Texas A&M (129.27)
17 – Nebraska (118.72)
18 – Kansas (114.90)
19 – Louisville (113.94)
20 – Liberty (111.61)
21 – Colorado (110.90)
22 – Stanford (110.89)
23 – Clemson (109.10)
24 – UTEP (100.18)
25 – Texas Tech (97.65)