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Liberty XC Heading South for FGCU Invitational

September 5, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty XC Heading South for FGCU Invitational

Venue Information

Live Results

Fort Myers Weather

The Liberty men's and women's cross country teams will compete for the second straight weekend, flying to Fort Myers, Fla., for Saturday's FGCU Invitational.

The men's 8K is slated to begin at 8 a.m. and will be followed by the women's 5K at 9 a.m. The meet will enable the Flames and Lady Flames to preview the Buckingham Course, which will host the 2019 ASUN Cross Country Championships on Nov. 2.

How to Follow the Flames and Lady Flames
Live results are expected to be available on Saturday, courtesy of Half-Mile Timing.

Weather Report
For the second consecutive meet, Liberty's runners will compete in warm conditions on Saturday. The early morning forecast in Fort Myers calls for partly cloudy skies and a temperature in the 80s.

Checking Out the Course
The mostly flat Buckingham Course is located in Lee County, northeast of FGCU's main campus. It will serve as the venue for the ASUN Cross Country Championships for the second time on Nov. 2. FGCU previously hosted the meet on the same course in 2012.

Scouting the Competition
Liberty will be part of a small field of competitors on Saturday. The Flames and Lady Flames are scheduled to race against ASUN foes FGCU and Stetson as well as South Florida from the American Conference.

First Impressions
Freshman Adelyn Ackley was dominant in her first collegiate race, winning the Liberty Challenge women's 4K on Friday by a wide margin of 68 seconds. The Michigan native became the first Liberty freshman to win her collegiate cross country debut since Ednah Kurgat claimed the 2015 UVA Duals title. As a result, she was named ASUN Women's Cross Country Runner and Freshman of the Week on Wednesday.

Ackley led a 1-2-3-4 finish by the Lady Flames, and each of the team's top four finishers were competing in their first cross country race for Liberty. Runner-up Brittany Carnathan, a redshirt sophomore, was a Liberty student the last two years before joining the team this fall. Third-place Priscillah Kiplagat is a freshman from Eldoret, Kenya, while fourth-place Katie MacDougall was redshirted during her freshman campaign in 2018.

Similarly, two of Liberty's top four men's finishers on Friday were newcomers. Redshirt junior Ryan Drew came in fourth during his first race after transferring from VMI, while true freshman Caleb Olson was the eighth-place finisher.

Picking Up Where He Left Off
After earning All-America honors in the steeplechase during June, redshirt sophomore Felix Kandie opened his 2019 cross country season in impressive fashion at Friday's Liberty Challenge.

The native of Eldoret, Kenya posted his first collegiate cross country victory in the men's 4K, outdistancing the runner-up by 19 seconds to earn ASUN Men's Cross Country Runner of the Week honors. It marked the second straight year a Liberty men's runner has posted a first-place finish in the season opener, following Azaria Kirwa's triumph at the 2018 Virginia Tech Invitational.

Depth on Display
Despite racing without 2018 ASUN runner-up Noel Palmer and 2018 ASUN Freshman of the Year Calli Parlier, the Lady Flames put 15 runners inside the top 21 of the Liberty Challenge women's 4K on Friday.

Six of the top 11 finishers in the men's 4K were Flames, despite the absence of the team's lone senior, 2018 All-ASUN performer Nick Doan.

Up Next
Liberty will split up its runners between two different meets on Sept. 27, beginning with the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational in Earlysville, Va. The event will preview the course for the 2019 NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Championships.

Other Liberty runners will compete in that day's Queen City Invite at the lightning-fast McAlpine Creek Park course in Charlotte, N.C.