The Liberty men's outdoor track & field team has been picked to win its 10th consecutive Big South outdoor title in 2016.
On the heels of sweeping the team titles at the 2016 Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships, the Liberty men's and women's track & field squads have been picked unanimously by the conference's head coaches to accomplish the same feat at the 2016 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Head Coach Brant Tolsma's men's team has won nine straight Big South outdoor championships and 20 team titles in the meet's 22-year history. The Flames received all eight first-place votes and 64 total points to top the preseason poll.
Last season's men's runner-up, Coastal Carolina tallied 53 points for second place. Campbell (48 points) and 2016 Big South indoor runner-up High Point (43 points) finished third and fourth, respectively.
Gardner-Webb and Winthrop shared the fifth position in the men's preseason poll with 25 points apiece, while Charleston Southern (seventh place, 22 points) and UNC Asheville (eighth place, 8 points) rounded out the rankings.
Last season, the Lady Flames won their second Big South outdoor crown in three years and their 14th overall title at this meet. Liberty garnered all nine first-place votes and 81 points.
Coastal Carolina, which has captured eight of the last 12 Big South outdoor team titles on the women's side, tallied 69 points for second place. After finishing just one point behind Coastal Carolina for second place at the Big South indoor meet, Campbell was picked third with 66 points.
Charleston Southern (fourth place, 46 points) finished a single point ahead of High Point (fifth place, 45 points). Winthrop (sixth place, 37 points), Gardner-Webb (seventh place, 26 points), Radford (eighth place, 24 points) and UNC Asheville (ninth place, 11 points) round out the women's poll.
The Flames and Lady Flames officially opened the 2016 outdoor season with back-to-back meets in Myrtle Beach, S.C., including the Coastal Carolina Invitational (March 11-12) and the Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational (March 17-19).
The 2016 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be contested May 10-12 at Liberty's Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex. Liberty will be hosting the meet for the first time since 2013 and the eighth time overall. The Flames and Lady Flames have swept the team titles each of the previous seven times the meet has been contested in Lynchburg.
2016 Big South Conference Men's Outdoor Track & Field Preseason Poll 1) Liberty (8 first-place votes) – 64 points 2) Coastal Carolina – 53 3) Campbell – 48 4) High Point – 43 T5) Gardner-Webb – 25 T5) Winthrop – 25 7) Charleston Southern – 22 8) UNC Asheville – 8
2016 Big South Conference Women's Outdoor Track & Field Preseason Poll 1) Liberty (9 first-place votes) – 81 points 2) Coastal Carolina – 69 3) Campbell – 66 4) Charleston Southern – 46 5) High Point – 45 6) Winthrop – 37 7) Gardner-Webb – 26 8) Radford – 24 9) UNC Asheville – 11
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