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Flames Receive No. 6 Regional Ranking

September 15, 2009
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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The 2009 Liberty men's cross country squad enters the season ranked sixth in the Southeast Region.

The 2009 Liberty men's cross country squad enters the season ranked sixth in the Southeast Region.

The Liberty men's cross country team opens the season ranked No. 6 in the Southeast Region, according to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The Flames trail only No. 1 William & Mary, No. 2 Virginia, No. 3 N.C. State, No. 4 Duke and No. 5 Louisville in the preseason regional rankings.

This year's team is highlighted by five-time All-American Sam Chelanga, who is widely considered to be the top returning men's cross country runner in the country. He enjoyed consistent success on the trails last season, winning five out of six races and finishing second at the NCAA National Championship with a time of 29:08 in the 10K event. The redshirt junior from Nairobi, Kenya was named the 2008 Big South Runner of the Year, and also took home three Big South Runner of the Week honors.

The Flames finished fifth at last year's regional meet, equaling their best-ever regional finish, while Chelanga claimed the individual victory.

Both the Liberty men's and women's cross country squads finished second at their season-opening meet on Sept. 4, the Virginia Tech Relays in Blacksburg, Va.

The Flames and Lady Flames are back in action this Saturday, competing in the Big South Preview in Winston-Salem, N.C. Race time is scheduled for 10 a.m.

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Men's Cross Country Preseason Rankings
Southeast Region
1) William & Mary
2) Virginia
3) N.C. State
4) Duke
5) Louisville
6) Liberty
7) Virginia Tech
8) Richmond
9) Eastern Kentucky
10) Clemson
11) North Carolina
12) Charlotte
13) Kentucky
14) George Mason
15) Appalachian State