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Liberty Men's XC Picked 2nd in Big South

August 19, 2015  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Senior Sam Hibbs is a two-time All-Big South performer in cross country.

Senior Sam Hibbs is a two-time All-Big South performer in cross country.

After finishing second at the 2014 Big South Cross Country Championships, the Liberty men's cross country team is picked as the conference runner-up again in 2015, as voted upon by the league's head coaches.

A tight three-way battle between High Point, Liberty and Campbell is anticipated, with the poll's top three teams being separated by only six points. Defending champion High Point is favored to repeat, claiming four first-place votes and 113 points.

Head coach Brant Tolsma's Flames, who had won nine straight Big South titles before last season, finished with four first-place nods and 110 points. Campbell grabbed the three remaining first-place votes and tallied 107 points.

UNC Asheville (fourth place, 73 points), Radford (fifth, 72), Winthrop (sixth, 68), Coastal Carolina (seventh, 61), Longwood (eighth, 46), Charleston Southern (tie for ninth, 29), Gardner-Webb (tie for ninth, 29) and Presbyterian (11th, 18) round out the poll.

Liberty returns three runners who have earned All-Big South honors in previous years, including senior Sam Hibbs (2013 and 2014), redshirt junior Jeremie Bourget (2013) and redshirt junior Josh Showalter (2014). The Flames also boast a talented group of freshmen, headlined by Azaria Kirwa and James Zentmeyer.

Liberty will begin the 2015 campaign at the UVa Duals, slated for Sept. 2 at 5 p.m. at Panorama Farms in Earlysville, Va.

Presbyterian will host the 2015 Big South Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships at the Milliken Research Park in Spartanburg, S.C., on Oct. 31. The Flames will attempt to win their 16th Big South championship in the last 25 years.

2015 Big South Conference Preseason Men's Cross Country Poll
1) High Point (4 first-place votes) – 113 points
2) Liberty (4) – 110
3) Campbell (3) – 107
4) UNC Asheville – 73
5) Radford – 72
6) Winthrop – 68
7) Coastal Carolina – 61
8) Longwood – 46
9T) Charleston Southern – 29
9T) Gardner-Webb – 29
11) Presbyterian - 18