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Liberty Journal

NCAA Div. I and Club Sports teams make bids for national championships

Summer 2014 : Liberty University Athletics & Club Sports

Several Liberty University athletics teams tested their mettle against the best programs in the country when they vied for national championships last season.

After winning its first-ever Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association conference title, the women’s swimming and diving program sent four athletes to the NCAA Division I Championships in Minneapolis, Minn. Sophomore Jess Reinhardt earned an impressive 10th-place finish in the 100 butterfly.

The Flames’ men’s golf team advanced to its fourth consecutive NCAA regional competition in Eugene, Ore., on May 17, where senior Niklas Lindstrom placed third individually and the team finished eighth.

Liberty’s outdoor track & field team sent five male and two female athletes to the May 29-31 NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet at North Florida in Jacksonville, Fla.

Flames Baseball qualified for its second straight NCAA regional tournament after earning its first-ever at-large bid.

The wrestling team had a program-best second-place showing at the March 13-14 National Collegiate Wrestling Association National Championships in Allen, Texas, after placing third at the National Duals Jan. 24-25 in Dalton, Ga. The Flames had one individual champion and four third-place finishers.

At the 36th annual United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association National Championships at Lake Placid, N.Y., site of the 1980 Winter Olympic Games, Liberty’s men’s and women’s snowboard teams both placed fourth in the slopestyle competitions after the men placed second in the Rail Jam, showcasing the skills they’ve perfected at the Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre.

Ranked No. 1 nationally in Class AA throughout the year, the Flames’ paintball team sent a record four teams (one Class A and three Class AA) to the April 11-13 National Collegiate Paintball Association Championships in Lakeland, Fla. The Class A team placed 11th before the Class AA Blue line finished sixth and its Red line 11th to help Liberty clinch the Class AA regular-season banner.

Liberty’s triathlon team earned a 29th combined place finish out of 119 teams at the April 5 USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships in Tempe, Ariz. Both the men’s and women’s teams placed 33rd in their respective races.

For the first time ever, Liberty’s men’s volleyball team qualified for the 48-team National Collegiate Volleyball Federation Division I-A championship bracket at the April 3-6 national tournament in Reno, Nev., where it placed 34th by upsetting No. 17 UCLA and No. 20 Pittsburgh.

Seven members of Liberty’s gymnastics team competed at the National Association of Intercollegiate Gymnastics Championships in Chattanooga, Tenn., April 3-5. The women placed 22nd out of 75 schools.

The disc golf team made its third consecutive trip to the National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships in North Augusta, S.C., April 16-19 after defending its title at the Liberty Flamethrower Collegiate Classic on March 9.

The tae kwon do team also sent its first two athletes, freshman Dani Gallagher and Biranganine “John” Ntibonera, to the National Collegiate Taekwondo Association Championships at the University of California at Berkeley.