Naomi Bowser (front right) served as the Lady Flames' No. 1 runner during Friday's Royals Challenge.
A freshman-laden Liberty women's cross country squad placed 11th of 45 teams at the Royals Challenge, Friday at McAlpine Creek Park. Freshman Naomi Bowser led the way for the Lady Flames, placing 41st of 412 entrants with a 5K personal-best clocking of 18:23.
Davidson and Morehead State, two of seven Division I squads in the women's race, topped the final team standings, with Davidson earning a slim five-point (112-117) victory. The Lady Flames, who totaled 317 points, put their first five runners inside the race's top 88 finishers.
Top 5 Women's Teams (45 Total Teams Entered): 1) Davidson – 112 2) Morehead State – 117 3) SCAD Atlanta – 125 4) Queens – 145 5) Lee – 153 11) Liberty - 317
Women's 5K Individual Results (412 Total Finishers): 1) Hannah Steelman, Wofford – 16:26 2) Leah Hanle, Mount Olive – 16:43 3) Caroline Yarbrough, Davidson – 17:04 4) Sierra Poppell, Morehead State – 17:06 5) Emily Kearney, SCAD Atlanta – 17:11 41) Naomi Bowser, Liberty – 18:23 52) Delaney McDowell, Liberty – 18:36 71) Sophia Jantomaso, Liberty – 18:53 84) Madison MacPherson, Liberty – 19:02 88) Jessica Rogers, Liberty – 19:03 114) Rebekah Leone, Liberty – 19:20
Race Reactions • Five of Liberty's six runners on Friday were freshmen. The lone exception was redshirt junior Delaney McDowell, a mid-distance runner on the track who is competing in a full cross country season for the first time in her collegiate career.
• Four of the six Lady Flames posted season-best 5K times on Friday, including Naomi Bowser (18:23), Delaney McDowell (18:36), Madison MacPherson (19:02) and Rebekah Leone (19:20).
• All six of the Lady Flames' competitors were racing at McAlpine Creek Park for the second time in two weeks, after previously taking part in the Queen City Invite on Sept. 28.
Up Next Liberty will also have a group of runners competing in the Wisconsin Pre-Nationals, tomorrow at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course in Madison, Wis.
The Lady Flames' top seven women will race in the women's 6K cardinal race, beginning at 11 a.m. Eastern, while the team's top seven men will follow in the men's 8K white race at 1:15 p.m. Eastern. Liberty's other runners in Madison will toe the starting line for the women's 6K gray race (2 p.m. Eastern) and the men's 6K gray race (2:45 p.m. Eastern).