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Tolsma Recaps Successful 2014-15 Track Season

June 16, 2015  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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On the heels of the 2015 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Nick Pierce of the Liberty Flames Sports Network caught up with Liberty Track & Field Head Coach Brant Tolsma to review his men's and women's squads' success this past season.

Team Accomplishments
Big South's Best
Liberty won three Big South track & field team titles in 2015, including the men's indoor, men's outdoor and women's outdoor championships. Liberty has now swept the Big South men's indoor and outdoor track & field titles for nine consecutive seasons.

News and Notes:
• The men's indoor track & field team outdistanced runner-up Campbell by 89 points, capturing its 18th straight Big South title.

• Liberty's 235 points were its most at this meet since 2000 and its 89-point margin of victory was its largest since 2008.

• The Flames have won all 18 Big South men's indoor track & field titles ever awarded, marking the longest run of consecutive championships in Big South Conference history in any sport.

• At the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships, the Flames defeated runner-up Coastal Carolina by 106 points.

• It was Liberty's largest margin of victory at the meet since 2009 and the Flames' 288.5 points were their most since tallying 291.5 points in 2001.

• It marked Liberty's ninth consecutive outdoor team championship and its 20th title in the 22-year history of the meet.

• The Lady Flames edged Coastal Carolina by 11.5 points (210.5-199) for their second Big South outdoor team championship in three years and 14th overall.

Among the ECAC's Elite
The Lady Flames backed up their third-place finish at the 2014 ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships with a fifth-place showing in 2015.

News and Notes:
• Liberty finished with 43 points, just 10 behind ECAC champion Connecticut.

Riley Brandon (pentathlon), Abigail Flower (60) and Jocelyn Williams (weight throw) all finished as ECAC runners-up.

Success Against the ACC
The Liberty men's squad fared well against ACC opposition during the 2015 outdoor track & field season, defeating Virginia in a dual meet at the Virginia Cup (March 21) and taking down Clemson, Duke, North Carolina and NC State to win the April 10-11 Duke Invitational.

Meanwhile, the Lady Flames finished as the Duke Invitational runners-up to the host Blue Devils, placing ahead of Clemson, North Carolina and NC State.

Individual Achievements
What a Year for Williams!
Redshirt senior Jocelyn Williams finished off her collegiate career with a bang, placing 16th in the women's hammer to garner second team All-America honors at the 2015 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Ore.

News and Notes:
• Williams became the Lady Flames' fourth track & field All-American in NCAA Division I history and second in the hammer (also Melinda Bendik in 2012).

• Williams was Liberty's first NCAA national qualifier since Mychelle Cumings, Ryan Smith and Isaac Wendland competed at the 2013 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Awards Aplenty
Below is a list of awards and honors Liberty athletes and coaches garnered during the 2015 indoor and outdoor track & field seasons.

Aklesso Agama – Big South Men's Outstanding Field Performer (Indoor), Big South Men's Field Athlete of the Week (March 25)

Riley Brandon – Big South Women's Field Athlete of the Week (March 12)

Jacy Christiansen – Capital One Academic All-District, Big South Women's All-Academic Team (Outdoor)

Mychelle Cumings – Big South Women's Field Athlete of the Week (March 17)

Ryan Davis – Big South Men's Track Athlete of the Week (March 17)

Steve Feister – Capital One Academic All-District, Big South Men's Field Athlete of the Week (April 30)

Abigail Flower – Big South Women's Track Athlete of the Week (Dec. 11, March 12, March 25)

Fred Fulton – Big South Men's Outstanding Field Performer (Outdoor), Big South Men's Field Athlete of the Week (March 17, April 1, April 8)

Jessie Glynn – Big South Women's Field Athlete of the Week (April 30)

Darrel Jones – Big South Men's Field Athlete of the Week (March 12)

Janae Jones – Big South Women's All-Academic Team (Indoor)

Ednah Kurgat – Big South Women's Freshman of the Year (Indoor, Outdoor), Big South Women's Track Athlete of the Week (Jan. 28, Feb. 11), ECAC Division I South Rookie of the Week (March 4)

David Scouten – Big South Men's Scholar-Athlete of the Year (Outdoor), Big South Men's All-Academic Team (Outdoor), Capital One Academic All-District, Big South Men's Field Athlete of the Week (Feb. 11)

John Sherret – Big South Men's All-Academic Team (Indoor), Capital One Academic All-District

Brant Tolsma – Big South Coach of the Year (Men's Indoor, Men's Outdoor, Women's Outdoor)

Jocelyn Williams – USTFCCCA 2nd Team All-America, Big South Women's Field Athlete of the Week (May 7)

Breaking Records
Liberty athletes broke four different program records in 2015, all of which were women's events.

Women's Indoor Track & Field
200 – 24.14 – Abigail Flower (March 8)
5K – 16:28.29 – Ednah Kurgat (Feb. 6)

Women's Outdoor Track & Field
400 Hurdles – 59.92 – Mary Witmer (May 16)
4 x 100 Relay – 45.68 – Dana Mercer, Abigail Flower, Olivia Davis, Kate Flower (May 16)

Charting the Champions
Liberty won 26 events at the 2015 Big South Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The following is a list of the Flames and Lady Flames' conference champions.

Men's Big South Indoor
Aklesso Agama – Long Jump, Triple Jump
Stephen Racanelli – 200, 400
David Scouten – Weight Throw
Ryan Davis, Jeff Jacobs, John Sherret, Ryan Versen – 4 x 400 Relay

Men's Big South Outdoor
Aklesso Agama – Triple Jump
Ryan Davis – 400 Hurdles (Second in a row)
Steve Feister – Javelin
Fred Fulton – Shot Put, Discus
Tevan McIntire – Decathlon
Stephen Racanelli – 400
Ken Ritchey – Pole Vault
Kyle Wheeler – Long Jump

Women's Big South Indoor
Riley Brandon – Pentathlon (Second in a row)
Abigail Flower – 60, 200
Ednah Kurgat – 3K

Women's Big South Outdoor
Mychelle Cumings – Shot Put
Abigail Flower – 100, 200
Erika Jackson – Heptathlon
Janae Jones – Triple Jump (Second in a row)
Jennifer Smith – Discus (Second in a row)
Dana Mercer, Abigail Flower, Olivia Davis, Kate Flower – 4 x 100 Relay