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Tolsma Looks Back at 2015-16 Track Season

June 23, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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On the heels of another successful track & field season, Nick Pierce of the Liberty Flames Sports Network caught up with Liberty Track & Field Head Coach Brant Tolsma to review his teams' accomplishments.

Team Accomplishments
Big South's Best
For the first time since 2010, Liberty swept the men's and women's team championships at both the Big South Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The Flames have now swept the Big South men's indoor and outdoor track & field titles for 10 consecutive seasons.

News and Notes:
• The men's indoor track & field team outscored runner-up High Point by 110 points for its 19th straight Big South title.

• The Flames' 110-point margin of victory was their largest at the meet since 2002.

• Liberty has won all 19 Big South men's indoor track & field titles ever awarded, marking the longest run of consecutive championships in Big South Conference history in any sport. It is also the longest active conference championship streak in NCAA Division I men's track & field.

• The women's indoor track & field squad finished 69.5 points clear of runner-up Coastal Carolina to win its first title since 2012 and its 11th indoor crown overall.

• The Lady Flames enjoyed their largest margin of victory in the 19-year history of the Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships.

• The men's outdoor track & field team defeated second-place Coastal Carolina by 101 points, earning its 10th straight conference title and its 21st championship in the meet's 23-year history.

• The Flames have now enjoyed a margin of victory of 100+ points in back-to-back years.

• The women's outdoor track & field team beat runner-up Coastal Carolina by 102.5 tallies for its first back-to-back titles since winning 10 in a row between 1994 and 2003. Liberty has claimed 15 of 23 women's championships in meet history.

• The Lady Flames had not won by as many as 102.5 points since 1999.

• Liberty hosted the 2016 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships at the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex for the eighth time. The Flames and Lady Flames have swept the team titles every time the meet has been contested in Lynchburg.

Among the IC4A and ECAC's Elite
The Liberty men's squad placed third at the 2016 IC4A Indoor Track & Field Championships, marking the Flames' best finish at the meet since 2011. Meanwhile, the Lady Flames recorded their third straight top-10 finish at the ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships, coming in sixth.

News and Notes:
Erika Jackson was Liberty's lone first-place finisher at the IC4A/ECAC meet, claiming the pentathlon title. She became just the second Lady Flame to win the ECAC pentathlon, joining Danielle McNaney (2004 and 2005).

Individual Achievements
Keeping Up with Kurgat
Ednah Kurgat enjoyed a historic sophomore season, including a ninth-place finish in the women's 5K at the 2016 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships and a fourth-place showing in the women's 5K at the 2016 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

News and Notes:
• Kurgat became the first Lady Flame ever to earn NCAA Division I All-America honors in cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field during the same athletic year.

• Kurgat scored the Lady Flames' first points at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships since 2002. Liberty tied Arizona State and Nebraska for 46th place in the final women's team standings with five points.

Cumings the Champion
Mychelle Cumings captured the women's shot put titles at the Big South Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships, becoming the first female athlete in conference history to win four indoor and four outdoor championships in the same event during her career.

News and Notes:
• Cumings finished as a 10-time Big South champion overall, also including a pair of women's discus titles. She is tied with Robin Williams for third place on Liberty's all-time list for most Big South women's individual event titles.

Hauling in the Hardware
Below is a list of awards Liberty athletes and coaches garnered this season.

Jeremie Bourget – CoSIDA Academic All-District

Zach Davis – Big South Men's Field Athlete of the Week (Feb. 3)

Steve Feister – Big South Men's All-Academic Team (Outdoor), Big South Men's Field Athlete of the Week (March 24)

Mariel Finger – Big South Women's Field Athlete of the Week (Feb. 17)

Darrel Jones – Big South Men's Field Athlete of the Week (Feb. 10, April 28)

Ednah Kurgat – USTFCCCA 1st Team All-American (Outdoor 5K), USTFCCCA 2nd Team All-American (Indoor 5K), Big South Women's Runner of the Year, Big South Women's Track Athlete of the Week (Feb. 17, April 20)

Delaney McDowell – Big South Women's Freshman of the Year (Indoor), Big South Women's Track Athlete of the Week (April 28)

Kylie Polsgrove – Big South Women's Freshman of the Year (Outdoor)

Stephen Racanelli – Big South Men's Outstanding Track Performer (Indoor), Big South Men's Track Athlete of the Week (Feb. 10)

Ken Ritchey – Big South Men's Field Athlete of the Week (Feb. 17)

Hannah Scherlacher – Big South Women's All-Academic Team (Outdoor)

David Scouten – CoSIDA Academic All-District, Big South Men's All-Academic Team (Indoor)

Michael Todd – Big South Men's Freshman of the Year (Indoor), Big South Men's Track Athlete of the Week (Feb. 17)

Brant Tolsma – Big South Coach of the Year (Men's Indoor, Men's Outdoor, Women's Outdoor)

Carson Waters – Big South Men's Field Athlete of the Week (May 5)

Erin Zappia – Big South Women's All-Academic Team (Indoor)

Record Breakers
Liberty broke 10 different program records in 2016, including three by Ednah Kurgat and five women's relays. The women's outdoor 4 x 800 relay mark had stood for 28 years before the Lady Flames broke it at the Texas Relays.

Women's Indoor Track & Field
400 – 54.41 – Erin Edmond (March 6)
3K – 9:32.67 – Ednah Kurgat (Feb. 26)
5K – 15:47.89 – Ednah Kurgat (Feb. 12)
4 x 400 Relay – 3:42.64 – Corinn Bedell, Nicole Leonzo, Ansley Gebben, Erin Edmond (Feb. 27)
4 x 800 Relay – 8:47.12 – Ansley Gebben, Alexis Taylor, Torree Scull, Delaney McDowell (March 6)

Women's Outdoor Track & Field
5K – 15:48.63 – Ednah Kurgat (April 15)
4 x 100 Relay – 45.60 – Nicole Leonzo, Kate Flower, Dana Mercer, Erin Edmond (May 12)
4 x 200 Relay – 1:37.33 – Dana Mercer, Erin Edmond, Nicole Leonzo, Kate Flower (March 18)
4 x 800 Relay – 8:56.96 – Ansley Gebben, Torree Scull, Alexis Taylor, Delaney McDowell (April 2)

Men's Outdoor Track & Field
Javelin – 234-11 (71.61m) – Steve Feister (May 12)

Charting the Champions
Liberty won 29 event titles at the 2016 Big South Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships, while Erika Jackson took home the pentathlon title at the 2016 ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships.

Women's ECAC Indoor
Erika Jackson – Pentathlon

Women's Big South Indoor
Mychelle Cumings – Shot Put
Erin Edmond – 400
Erika Jackson - Pentathlon
Ednah Kurgat – Mile, 3K (Second in a row)
Delaney McDowell – 800
Corinn Bedell, Nicole Leonzo, Ansley Gebben, Erin Edmond – 4 x 400 Relay
Torree Scull, Bailey Reeves, Delaney McDowell, Hannah Scherlacher – Distance Medley Relay

Women's Big South Outdoor
Mychelle Cumings – Shot Put (Second in a row)
Erin Edmond – 400
Ansley Gebben – 800
Erika Jackson – Heptathlon (Second in a row)
Ednah Kurgat – 10K
Nicole Leonzo, Kate Flower, Dana Mercer, Erin Edmond – 4 x 100 Relay (Second in a row)
Corinn Bedell, Ansley Gebben, Olivia Behymer, Erin Edmond – 4 x 400 Relay

Men's Big South Indoor
Ryan Davis – 60 Hurdles
Fred Fulton – Shot Put, Weight Throw
Zach Gilroy - Heptathlon
Darrel Jones – Triple Jump
Stephen Racanelli – 200 (Second in a row), 400 (Second in a row)
Michael Todd – 800
Ryan Davis, Michael Todd, Jeff Jacobs, Stephen Racanelli – 4 x 400 Relay (Second in a row)

Men's Big South Outdoor
Zach Davis – Decathlon
Steve Feister – Javelin (Second in a row)
Fred Fulton – Discus (Second in a row)
Bradley Prentice – 800
Stephen Racanelli – 400 (Second in a row)