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Flames, Lady Flames Remain in Region's Top 10
After sweeping the team titles at Saturday's Big South Cross Country Championships, the Liberty men's and women's cross country squads remain highly regarded in the region. The Flames check in at No. 9, while the Lady Flames are No. 10 in this week's U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Southeast Region poll.
Head coach Brant Tolsma's men's team actually dropped two places in the region, after defeating High Point (currently ranked No. 13 in the region) by 12 points for its sixth consecutive Big South championship.
The results of the ACC Championships shook up the top of the men's regional poll. N.C. State now leads the way, followed by conference rivals North Carolina and Virginia.
Liberty was led by impressive front-running by a trio of redshirt seniors on Saturday. Sam Chelanga, Evans Kigen and Josh Edmonds finished first, second and third, respectively. It was the third consecutive Big South title for Chelanga and Kigen's second runner-up finish in a row. Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year Edmonds joined Josh McDougal as the only Liberty runners ever to earn four All-Big South cross country recognitions.
Meanwhile, the Lady Flames retain their No. 10 regional listing, after posting an impressive 25-point margin of victory Coastal Carolina on Saturday. Led by the trio of Jennifer Klugh (conference champion), Dacia Bushman (third place) and Hailey Neal (fourth place), Liberty has now won back-to-back Big South titles and four crowns in the last five seasons. Klugh became the Lady Flames' first Big South individual champion since Heather Sagan in 2001.
The women's ACC meet also served to restructure the top several places in this week's regional poll. Virginia is now No. 1 in the Southeast Region, trailed closely by Duke and North Carolina.
A number of Liberty runners will wrap up their 2010 campaign Friday afternoon, at the Cavalier Open in Charlottesville, Va. The men's 8K race will begin at 4 p.m., followed by the women's 5K at 4:45.
Meanwhile, most of Liberty's top seven men's and women's runners will have this weekend off from competition. They will prepare for the NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Championships on Nov. 13 in Louisville, Ky. The women's 6K race will begin at 10 a.m., with the men's 10K to follow at 11:15.
USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Southeast Region Men's Cross Country Rankings
1) N.C. State
2) North Carolina
5) William & Mary
7) Eastern Kentucky
10) Wake Forest
11) Norfolk State
12) Appalachian State
13) High Point
14) UNC Greensboro
15) Virginia Tech
USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Southeast Region Women's Cross Country Rankings
3) North Carolina
4) N.C. State
6) Wake Forest
7) Virginia Tech
9) James Madison
11) William & Mary
12) Western Kentucky
15) Appalachian State