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Kigen, Neal Sweep Big South Weekly XC Honors
The Liberty duo of Evans Kigen and Hailey Neal has swept the Big South Conference Choice Hotels Men's and Women's Cross Country Runner of the Week awards, after their outstanding performances at Friday's Coastal Carolina Invitational.
Kigen, a redshirt senior from Eldoret, Kenya, started his season in impressive fashion. His winning 6K time of 18:30.8 left the race runner-up 26 seconds in his wake and cut 44 seconds off of the existing course record. The returning All-American's performance helped the Flames capture the men's team title, as Kigen was one of six Liberty runners to place inside the top 11.
Meanwhile, Neal placed second out of 77 women's entrants in the opening race of her senior campaign. The West Palm Beach, Fla., native ran a personal-best 5K time of 18:26.6 and was Liberty's No. 1 women's cross country finisher for the first time in her career. She contributed to the Lady Flames' third-place team showing.
A number of Liberty women's cross country runners will compete in Saturday's Big South Preview meet at 10:30. The meet will be held at Blacksburg Middle School, the site of the 2010 Big South Cross Country Championships on Oct. 30.
Kigen and Neal will both return to action on Oct. 1, when the Flames and Lady Flames travel to Bethlehem, Pa., for the Brooks Paul Short Run. The men's 8K will begin at 11 a.m., with the women's 6K to follow at 11:45.