Liberty swept this week's ASUN Conference Cross Country Runner of the Week honors, as senior Azaria Kirwa was named ASUN Men's Runner of the Week and sophomore Noel Palmer was tabbed ASUN Women's Runner of the Week.
Kirwa wins his second ASUN weekly honor of the season, as the All-American was previously recognized on Sept. 5. Palmer becomes the first Lady Flame ever to be recognized as ASUN Women's Cross Country Runner of the Week.
Kirwa was also named USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week on Monday, thanks to his second consecutive individual victory to begin the 2018 season. The native of Eldoret, Kenya won the men's 8K at Friday's Iona College Meet of Champions at Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, N.Y. Kirwa's time of 25:01.0 topped the field of 137 runners, headlined by Indiana All-American Kyle Mau.
Kirwa opened his season with a triumph in the Virginia Tech Invitational men's 6K on Aug. 31. He is the first Liberty men's cross country runner to win back-to-back races since Zac Edwards in 2011 (Coastal Carolina Invitational/Big South Preview and Charlotte Invitational).
Palmer paced the Lady Flames by finishing sixth of 128 women's runners in the women's 5K, Friday at the Iona College Meet of Champions. A Forest, Va., native, Palmer clocked a cross country 5K personal-best time of 17:49.0. That marked the fastest time by a Lady Flame since Ednah Kurgat ran 17:12.97 at the 2015 Big South Championship.
Following a weekend off from competition, Liberty will return to the course for the Sept. 28 Queen City Invite at McAlpine Creek Park in Charlotte, N.C. The women's 5K is set to begin at 5 p.m., followed by the men's 8K at 5:30.
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