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Liberty Sweeps Big South Track Athlete of Week Honors

February 17, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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(L-R): Mariel Finger, Michael Todd, Ken Ritchey and Ednah Kurgat each earned Big South Conference weekly honors on Wednesday.

(L-R): Mariel Finger, Michael Todd, Ken Ritchey and Ednah Kurgat each earned Big South Conference weekly honors on Wednesday.

Liberty swept the four Big South Conference weekly indoor track & field honors on Wednesday, as Ednah Kurgat (Women's Track Athlete of the Week), Mariel Finger (Women's Field Athlete of the Week), Michael Todd (Men's Track Athlete of the Week) and Ken Ritchey (Men's Field Athlete of the Week) were recognized.

Kurgat opened her sophomore season in a big way, clocking a Liberty and Big South women's 5K record time of 15:47.89 at the Husky Classic, Friday in Seattle, Wash. The native of Eldoret, Kenya placed fourth in the race and ranks No. 12 nationally this season, after lopping 40 seconds off of her previous best time. Kurgat is now a three-time Big South Athlete of the Week for her career.

Finger's first-ever Big South weekly honor comes after the sophomore pole vaulted a career-best 12-9.5 to win the Liberty Quad title on Friday. Finger, a native of Dallas, N.C., ranks No. 1 in the Big South this season and trails only All-American Andrea Wildrick (14-0) on Liberty's all-time women's indoor list.

In just the second 800-meter race of his freshman season, Todd came in second overall and first among collegiate competitors at Friday's Samford Invitational with a time of 1:53.35. The Eagle River, Alaska native also helped the Flames place fourth in the 4 x 400 relay with a time of 3:17.23. Todd ranks No. 1 in the Big South for the men's 800 (1:52.92) this season and No. 4 for the 400 (49.47).

Ritchey, a senior from Forest, Va., placed second in the men's pole vault at Friday's Liberty Quad, clearing a career-best 16-8.75. He now tops the 2016 Big South performance list and ranks No. 4 in program history for the event.

A few Liberty athletes will compete at the Virginia Tech Challenge, Friday and Saturday at Virginia Tech's Rector Field House in Blacksburg, Va.

Most Flames and Lady Flames will take this weekend off from competition in preparation for the 2016 Big South Men's and Women's Indoor Track & Field Championships. The two-day meet will be held Feb. 26-27 at Rector Field House in Blacksburg, Va.