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6 Flames Earn USTFCCCA All-Academic Honors

July 17, 2015  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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(Clockwise from top left): Janae Jones, Ken Ritchey, Steve Feister, Riley Brandon, Zach Davis and Fred Fulton each made the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team.

(Clockwise from top left): Janae Jones, Ken Ritchey, Steve Feister, Riley Brandon, Zach Davis and Fred Fulton each made the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team.

The Liberty men's and women's track & field teams and student-athletes Riley Brandon, Zach Davis, Steve Feister, Fred Fulton, Janae Jones and Ken Ritchey each garnered academic recognition from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Friday.

Head coach Brant Tolsma's Flames and Lady Flames were each recognized as USTFCCCA Division I All-Academic Track & Field teams, thanks to posting cumulative team GPAs of 3.00 or higher during the 2014-15 academic year. The Liberty women's team posted a 3.27 GPA for the year, while the men's squad recorded a 3.13.

Brandon, Davis, Feister, Fulton, Jones and Ritchey made the USTFCCCA All-Academic Track & Field Team by compiling a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher and either ranking among the nation's top 96 for their indoor event or competing at the NCAA Division I Preliminary Round meet outdoors. Both Davis and Fulton were included on the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team for the second straight year.

Brandon, a senior from Carrollton, Texas, repeated as Big South pentathlon champion in 2015. She then scored a personal-best 3,753 points to finish as ECAC pentathlon runner-up and earn Big South Women's Field Event Athlete of the Week honors on March 12. The interdisciplinary studies major redshirted the outdoor season but placed ninth in the Drake Relays heptathlon, competing unattached.

A criminal justice major, Davis made significant strides in the multi events as a sophomore, cracking the 5,000-point barrier (5,054) for the heptathlon and joining the decathlon's 7,000-point club (7,171). The Sparta, N.J., native placed second in both the Big South heptathlon and decathlon competitions and high jumped at the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet.

Feister completed his recovery from Tommy John surgery in impressive fashion in 2015. The native of Columbia, Pa., won the Big South men's javelin title, placed 16th at the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet and moved up to No. 2 in program history for the javelin, at 225-11. The redshirt junior electrical engineering major earned Capital One Academic All-District recognition.

Fulton, a redshirt junior from Fredericksburg, Va., excelled during his first outdoor season with the Flames in 2015. He was tabbed Big South Men's Outstanding Field Performer after capturing conference titles in the shot put (57-10.25) and discus (meet-record 184-7), while placing third in the hammer (183-2). The electrical engineering major was a three-time Big South Men's Field Athlete of the Week and threw both the shot put and discus at the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet.

Jones won her second consecutive Big South outdoor women's triple jump title as a junior with a personal-best leap of 41-2.25 and made her debut at the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet. The Matoaca, Va., native made the Big South All-Academic Team for women's indoor track & field as a nursing major.

Ritchey enjoyed a breakthrough junior year, which saw the Forest, Va., native win the Big South outdoor men's pole vault crown after placing second indoors. The electrical engineering major boosted his personal best to 16-6.75, earning a trip to the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet.