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Lady Flames to Compete in Rutgers Invitational, This Weekend

November 18, 2015  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Lady Flames to Compete in Rutgers Invitational, This Weekend

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The Liberty swimming & diving team travels to New Jersey for the first time in program history this weekend. The Lady Flames will wrap up their fall schedule by competing at the Rutgers Invitational, held Friday through Sunday at RU Aquatics Center in Piscataway, N.J.

The Lady Flames hold a 5-3 dual-meet record, including 3-0 against CCSA opponents this season. Prior to this year, Liberty had competed at the Virginia Tech Invitational on this corresponding weekend each of the last three years.

New Jersey, the home state of Liberty senior Hannah Wakeley, will be the 12th different state in which the Lady Flames have contested a regular-season meet in six years as a program. Also, current Liberty assistant coach Jessica Barnes served as an assistant coach at Rutgers during the 2009-10 season before joining the inaugural Liberty swimming & diving coaching staff.

A total of 10 teams are scheduled to compete at Rutgers this weekend. Among Liberty's top competitors will be Navy, who is ranked 43rd in the latest CollegeSwimming.com National Rankings and eighth in the CollegeSwimming.com Mid-Major Rankings. James Madison is currently ranked No. 24 in the CollegeSwimming.com Mid-Major Rankings.

This week's meet will feature a championship format, similar to the program that will be followed at the 2016 CCSA Swimming & Diving Championships and 2016 NCAA Championships. The three-day program will consist of two sessions each day, with preliminary heats in the morning and evening finals.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Fans unable to attend the Rutgers Invitational can follow the action through live timing, provided by Rutgers.

The Lady Flames (5-3, 3-0 CCSA) have received national recognition this season. Liberty earned its highest national rankings to date, listed 26th in the CollegeSwimming.com Team Rankings and No. 4 in the CollegeSwimming.com Mid-Major Rankings on Oct. 6. The team posted a win over a Big 12 team for the first time in program history, defeating TCU in Fort Worth, Texas, on Oct. 9.

Liberty fell to 2015 CAA runner-up James Madison, 155-145, on Oct. 17 in the team's last meet. The Lady Flames and Dukes evenly split the events, winning eight events each. Kendall Hough won two events, claiming the 100 back and 100 free. Prudence Rooker won the 200 breaststroke and 200 IM. Kristin VanDeventer (1000 free), Victoria Tschoke (200 back) and Alicia Finnigan (100 fly) earned one event victory each.

Courtney Fox set a new program record in three-meter diving (222.25) at JMU, earning her first-ever CCSA Women's Diver of the Week honor. Liberty divers won three straight Diver of the Week awards, as Fox's sister, Brooke Fox, was named CCSA Diver of the Week on Oct. 6 and Oct. 13. Brooke Fox, a freshman, holds Liberty's one-meter diving record, 236.93, which she set at TCU on Oct. 9.

Kendall Hough was named CCSA Women's Swimmer of the Week on Oct. 20, her second career weekly honor. She is currently ranked second in the CCSA in the 100 back (56.61), while sitting third in the 100 free (51.79) and fourth in the 50 free (23.97). Hough holds Liberty's program records in the 50 back (24.97) and 100 back (53.98), set at the 2015 CCSA Championships.

Kristin VanDeventer has won the 1000 free on three occasions this season. She swam a season-best 10:26.08 at James Madison, a time that is ranked fourth on the current CCSA performance list. She has swept the 500 and 1000 free twice this year.

Alicia Finnigan has made an immediate impact as a freshman. Her 200 fly time of 2:03.93 on Oct. 10 is ranked fourth in program history, and third in the CCSA. She also holds the fourth best 100 fly (56.66) time in the conference this season.

Prudence Rooker won the 200 breaststroke at James Madison. She won the 100 IM in 57.76 at TCU, the third fastest 100 IM time in the CCSA this year and second best in program history. She ranks fourth in the conference in both the 100 breaststroke (1:04.83) and 200 IM (2:05.92).

Victoria Tschoke has posted the second fastest 200 back time in the CCSA this season, at 2:02.81. She has picked up three 200 back victories so far this year, including in the Lady Flames' last meet, at James Madison.

Current Lady Flames with Program Records
1000 Free – Hannah Wakeley (10:06.55; 2/21/15)    
1,650 Free – Hannah Wakeley (16:45.43; 2/21/15)    
50 Back – Kendall Hough (24.97 – L; 2/18/15)
100 Back – Kendall Hough (53.98; 2/20/15)     
1-Meter Diving – Brooke Fox (236.93; 10/9/15)
3-Meter Diving – Courtney Fox (222.25; 10/17/15)

Following this week's invitational, Liberty is scheduled to open the 2016 portion of the season with its annual Florida training trip. The Lady Flames will compete in the Florida Gulf Coast Quad Meet, Jan. 9 at FGCU Aquatics Complex in Fort Myers, Fla.