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Liberty XC Remains in Regional Rankings
Both the Liberty men's and women's cross country teams are again ranked in this week's U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Southeast Region polls. The Lady Flames are listed No. 13 regionally, while the men's squad sits at No. 14.
In the final Southeast Region poll prior to the Oct. 27 Big South Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships, Liberty is the only Big South team listed for either gender. Eastern Kentucky remains atop the men's poll for the second straight listing, while Duke is the new No. 1 in the women's Southeast Region poll.
The Liberty men's team posted its first victory of the 2012 season at Friday's Royal Cross Country Challenge in Charlotte, N.C. The Flames did so in impressive fashion, sweeping the first four individual places and scoring just 19 total points.
Liberty's top seven men's runners all recorded 8K personal-best times, led by individual champion David Ricksecker's 24:07.6 effort. He was followed closely by teammates Caleb Edmonds in second place, Ngetich Kipchirchir in third place and Jeremie Bourget in fourth place.
Meanwhile, the Lady Flames placed fourth out of 25 teams in Charlotte, despite racing without senior standouts Jennifer Klugh and Khristina Kanagy. In their absence, sophomore Meredith Mistretta stepped up as Liberty's No. 1 runner, clocking a personal-best 5K time of 18:04.03 for 11th place overall.
Five of Mistretta's teammates followed her across the finish line within the next 21 seconds, including Jacy Christiansen (17th place), Betel Yosef (20th place), Katie Russo (27th place), Jessica Gass (28th place) and Courtney Russo (29th place).
Liberty's next race will be the Big South Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships, to be contested Oct. 27 in Rock Hill, S.C. Winthrop will host the meet at the Winthrop Coliseum and Farm.
The women's 5K championship will begin at 10:30 a.m., with the men's 8K to follow at 11:30. The Lady Flames will seek their fifth Big South title in the last seven years, while the Flames will aim for their unprecedented eighth consecutive Big South championship.
USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Southeast Region Men's Cross Country Rankings
1) Eastern Kentucky
3) Virginia Tech
5) William & Mary
7) North Carolina
8) N.C. State
9) Wake Forest
11) George Mason
USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Southeast Region Women's Cross Country Rankings
2) William & Mary
3) N.C. State
4) North Carolina
8) South Carolina
9) Virginia Tech
10) Appalachian State
11) James Madison
14) East Carolina