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Hansel Places 4th, Leads Lady Flames to Hokie Open Title

November 3, 2017  Blacksburg, Va.  RSS
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Erin Hansel paced the Lady Flames with a fourth-place finish at Friday's Hokie Open.

Erin Hansel paced the Lady Flames with a fourth-place finish at Friday's Hokie Open.

Four days before her 19th birthday, Liberty sophomore Erin Hansel placed fourth in the Hokie Open women's 4K, Friday at Virginia Tech's Buford Meredith Cross Country Course. Her effort helped the Lady Flames capture the women's team championship.

Liberty topped the field of four women's squads, finishing nine points (24-33) ahead of runner-up UNCG.

On an unseasonably warm afternoon, Hansel clocked a time of 14:48.3, averaging just under six minutes per mile. She crossed the line only one place and five seconds behind her coach, Rebekah Ricksecker.

In total, the Lady Flames had three top-10 finishers in the 27-member field, also including sophomore Gabriella Delbo (eighth, 15:27.9) and redshirt sophomore Torree Scull (10th, 15:46.4). For Hansel, Delbo and Scull, it marked their second race in seven days, following Saturday's Big South Cross Country Championship.

Making her 2017 season debut, redshirt sophomore Elizabeth Hutton ran over a minute faster than she did at the 2016 Hokie Open. Her time of 16:10.9 was good for 13th place.

Clara Lynch also raced on Friday, closing out her freshman cross country season and Liberty's five scorers with a 16th-place showing in 16:26.4.

Up Next
Liberty will now prepare for the 2017 NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Championships. The qualifying meet for the 2017 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships will take place next Friday at Panorama Farms in Earlysville, Va. The women's 6K will go off at 10:30 a.m., followed by the men's 10K at 11:30.

The 2017 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships will be contested at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 18, beginning with the women's 6K at 10:45 a.m.