Liberty Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Brant Tolsma announced 23 newcomers to the men's and women's track & field/cross country program for the upcoming 2019-20 athletic year.
The newcomers join the previously announced duo of Adelyn Ackley and Noah Tindale as part of a sizeable, talented group of new faces on this year's roster.
"It is gratifying to see the interest in Liberty continue to grow," stated Tolsma. "We graduated some exceptional athletes, so it will be difficult for our newcomers to fill the void in certain areas, but we are optimistic that they can make up in other areas. It will be fun to see how they develop and what God has planned for them."
By the numbers, these 23 newcomers include 13 men's athletes and 10 women's athletes. Nearly half (10 of 23) of the newcomers are either mid-distance or distance runners.
This group of newcomers hails from 13 different states, along with Kenya.
Men's Newcomers Ryan Drew Mid-Distance | Kellam High School (VMI) | Virginia Beach, Va. • Will have two years of eligibility remaining after transferring from VMI • Competed for VMI in 2017-18, placing 77th at the 2017 NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Cross Country Championships 800: 1:53.97 1,500: 3:52.29 Mile: 4:12.34
Michael Ginder Decathlon/Pole Vault | Northern High School | Dillsburg, Pa. • Placed ninth in the Pennsylvania state pole vault final as a junior and senior Pole Vault: 15-0 High Jump: 6-2
John Hicks Throws | Hampshire High School | Romney, W.Va. • West Virginia state record holder in the boys' discus (190-1) • Two-time West Virginia boys' discus state champion Discus: 190-1 Shot Put: 51-8.5
Lane Hluch Throws | Rootstown High School (Cedarville) | Rootstown, Ohio • Will have one outdoor season of eligibility remaining after transferring from Cedarville • 2019 NCCAA indoor men's weight throw champion Weight Throw: 56-11.25 Hammer: 186-5
Bryson Hunter Sprints/Jumps | Liberty Christian Academy | Lynchburg, Va. • Part of two state champion relay squads in Virginia, including the 2018 indoor 4 x 200 and 2018 outdoor 4 x 400 • 2019 indoor state runner-up in the long jump 55: 6.67 100: 10.90 200: 22.14 300: 35.87 Long Jump: 22-5.5
Jordan Jackson Sprints | Worthington Christian High School | Columbus, Ohio • Helped Worthington Christian win Ohio state titles in the 4 x 800 as a junior and senior • Also finished as state runner-up in the 400 and 4 x 400 as a senior 100: 11.02 200: 22.01 400: 48.39
Erick Johnson Hurdles/Jumps | Meade Senior High School | Fort Meade, Md. • As a senior, finished fifth at the Maryland 4A outdoor state meet in both the 110 hurdles and long jump and seventh in the triple jump • Also took fourth place in the 55 hurdles at the Maryland 4A indoor state meet in 2018 55 Hurdles: 7.91 110 Hurdles: 14.96 Long Jump: 22-2 Triple Jump: 44-10
Felix Lawrence Hurdles | Freehold Township High School | Freehold, N.J. • 2019 New Jersey Group 4 state champion in the 110 hurdles and runner-up in the 400 hurdles • Born in Puerto Rico and lived in Dominica for much of his life 55 Hurdles: 7.98 110 Hurdles: 14.04 400 Hurdles: 52.12
Tyler Modrzejewski Mid-Distance | Chopticon High School | Morganza, Md. • Helped Chopticon sweep the 2019 Maryland state 4 x 800 relay titles and place ninth at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in 7:47.55 • Owns impressive range, winning the 2019 Maryland indoor 500 state title three months after placing 19th in the Maryland state cross country championship (3 miles) 500: 1:07.26 800: 1:56.96 1,600: 4:21.02 3,200: 9:45.73 5K (track): 15:52.46
Caleb Olson Distance | Hanford High School | Richland, Wash. • Placed ninth in the Washington state cross country championship and 10th in the NXR Northwest Regional Championship as a senior • Came in 10th in the 3,200 at the Washington state meet as both a junior and senior 1,600: 4:18.13 3,200: 9:10.55 3-mile (XC): 14:33.8 5K (XC): 15:31.8
Cole Peterlin Hurdles/High Jump | Perkiomen Valley High School | Schwenksville, Pa. • 2019 Pennsylvania state champion in the indoor high jump and runner-up in the outdoor high jump High Jump: 6-8 110 Hurdles: 14.42
Brandon Potra Mid-Distance | Hebron Christian Academy | Dacula, Ga. • Best finishes at the Georgia 1A private state meet were second on the track (2019 800) and fourth in cross country (2016) 800: 1:56.73 1,600: 4:22.14 5K (XC): 16:23.82
Zach Wendt Decathlon | Rochester Mayo High School | Rochester, Minn. • Placed eighth in the long jump at the Minnesota state meet his senior year 110 Hurdles: 15.05 300 Hurdles: 40.69 Long Jump: 22-3
Women's Newcomers Courtney Alexander Distance | West Chester Henderson High School | Exton, Pa. • As a senior, placed 21st at the Pennsylvania 3A state cross country meet, helping her team claim the runner-up spot 1,600: 5:18.56 3,200: 11:26.55 5K (XC): 18:23.30
Kali Grayson Javelin | Long Branch High School | Long Branch, N.J. • New Jersey Group III runner-up in the javelin as a junior Javelin: 124-9
Madeline Hebert Distance | Keller High School | Keller, Texas • Helped her team win back-to-back Texas 6A state cross country titles in 2016 and 2017 3,200: 11:49.00 5K (XC): 19:06.4
Priscillah Kiplagat Distance | Eldoret, Kenya Stephanie Kline Hurdles | Loudonville High School | Loudonville, Ohio • Two-time Ohio state meet qualifier in the 300 hurdles 300 hurdles: 46.01
Abigail Pantlitz Sprints | Navarre High School | Navarre, Fla. • Seventh-place finisher in the 2019 Florida 3A state 100 dash final • Graduated from high school a year early and will begin college at the age of 17 100: 12.01 200: 25.00
Bethany Park Mid-Distance | Rutgers Preparatory School | North Brunswick, N.J. • Cross country state runner-up (New Jersey Non-Public B) as a senior and fourth-place finisher as a junior • Placed fourth in the 800 at the New Jersey Non-Public B state meet her junior year 800: 2:20.09 Mile: 5:16.46
Lauren Peurifoy Distance | Martin Luther King High School | Riverside, Calif. • Posted back-to-back top-five finishes in the California State Cross Country Championships, placing second in 2016 and fifth in 2017 • Came in 25th in the 2016 NXN Nike Cross Nationals Mile: 4:58.92 3,200: 10:23.14 3-mile (XC): 16:35.7 5K (XC): 17:20.1
Myiah Scott Heptathlon | Farmington High School | Farmington, Minn. • Qualified for the Minnesota state meet in the 100 hurdles as a sophomore and junior 55 Hurdles: 8.69 100 Hurdles: 14.81 High Jump: 5-2 Long Jump: 16-7
Kristiana Young Mid-Distance | Millard North High School | Omaha, Neb. • Came in seventh in the 800 and ninth in the 1,600 at the 2019 Nebraska Class A state meet • Best state cross country finish was 24th as a senior 800: 2:19.86 1,600: 5:13.15