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Liberty Announces 2011 Cross Country Schedule
Click here to view Liberty's complete 2011 cross country schedule
Head coach Brant Tolsma announced the 2011 schedule for the defending Big South Conference champion Liberty men's and women's cross country teams today. The slate features nine meets, including a trio of events the Flames have not competed in during recent years.
For the fourth year in a row, Liberty will open its season with the Virginia Tech Cross Country Relays, on Sept. 2. The unique event, which features two-person relay teams, will mark the first of three meets within the Commonwealth of Virginia this season.
The Flames and Lady Flames will then travel to Conway, S.C., on Sept. 17 for the Coastal Carolina Invitational/Big South Preview. The meet at Quail Creek Golf Course will give Liberty its first look at the venue for the 2011 Big South Cross Country Championships.
Liberty will close out the month of September by competing in the Charlotte Invitational for the first time in recent history, on Sept. 30. The meet will be held at McAlpine Park, which is traditionally a very fast course.
On Oct. 14, Virginia's Panorama Farms Invitational will provide the Flames and Lady Flames with their final opportunity to tune up for the Big South meet. The event replaces Pre-Nationals on Liberty's schedule, after the Flames had made six straight Pre-Nationals appearances.
Liberty will return to Conway, S.C., on Oct. 29 for the Big South Cross Country Championships, which will be hosted by Coastal Carolina for the first time since 2003. The Liberty men's squad has won six straight Big South championships, while the Lady Flames have been victorious four of the last five years at this meet.
The Flames and Lady Flames not competing in the regional meet will wrap up their campaign on Nov. 4, when Liberty returns to Charlottesville for the Cavalier Open.
Louisville, Ky. will play host to the NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Championships for the third straight season. The Nov. 12 meet will determine the qualifiers for the 2011 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships.
Liberty has long been a fixture at the IC4A and ECAC Division I Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships, but has not usually taken part in the conference's cross country championship. This season, if the Flames and Lady Flames are unable to qualify for the NCAA national meet, they will head to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx for the IC4A and ECAC Division I Cross Country Championships on Nov. 19.
The aforementioned 2011 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships will take place at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Ind., for the eighth consecutive year, on Nov. 21. Liberty runners have captured the men's individual national title three of the past four years, with Josh McDougal taking the 2007 title and Sam Chelanga earning back-to-back crowns in 2009 and 2010.