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Women Place First, Men Place Second at VMI
For the second-straight race the Liberty's men's and women's cross country teams were led by underclassmen as the women place first and the men placed second at the VMI Invitational at the Virginia Horse Center.
Sophomore Carol Jefferson (So., Schwenksville, Pa.) paced the Lady Flames as she finished first for the second time in two races, running the 5k course in a time of 18:37.04, while Sarah Roberts (So., Zeiglerville, Pa.) was not far behind as she placed second with a time of 18:48.
The women's team placed four of the top five runners as Chelsey Swanson (r-Jr., Littleton, Colo.) finished fourth in a time of 19:26.00 and Danielle Jordan (So., Medford, Ore.) placed fifth, running 19:26.70. Rounding out the top five finishers for Liberty was Reyna Quiroz (r-So., Canyonville, Ore.) as she placed seventh with a time of 19:33.58 to give the Lady Flames the victory.
"Our girls looked really impressive," commented head coach Brant Tolsma. "Not only did they run strong, we showed good depth."
Liberty finished with 18 points followed by UNC Asheville (58), VMI (79) and Radford (90).
On the men's side it was the same story, different race as All-American Josh McDougal (So., Peru, N.Y.) paced the men as he placed first in a time of 24:27.66 on the 8k course, while his brother, Jordan McDougal (r-Fr., Peru, N.Y.) picked up his second-consecutive second-place finish, running in a time of 25:40.97.
Unlike their last race, where the Flames placed four in the top 10, the McDougal brothers were the only two Liberty top 10 finishers.
Picking up a 12th place finish was Evan Falat (Sr., Stockton, Calif.) as he ran in a time of 27:02.13, while Drew Ponder (So., Colonial Heights ,Va.) and Nate Edwards (Fr., Warren, Minn.) rounded out the Flames' top five finishers with times of 27:18.91 and 27:32.44, respectively.
"Our guys struggled as we had to hold two of our top 6 runners out," explained Tolsma. "VMI exposed our weakness with our lack of depth."
VMI won the meet with 37 points, followed by Liberty (52), UNC Asheville (57) and Radford (79).
The men and women will be back in action next weekend as a portion of the team will travel to Richmond, Va., to participate in the McDonald's CC Festival on Friday and then a portion of team will travel to Stanford, Calif., to run at the Stanford Invitational.