Seven of the first eight men's runners to cross the finish line at the Liberty Big South Preview were Liberty Flames.
After capturing the Liberty Big South Preview title, the Liberty men's cross country team maintained its No. 10 ranking in the Southeast Region, as announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
The top seven teams in this week's regional poll remain unchanged, including Furman (No. 1), Virginia (No. 2), Virginia Tech (No. 3) and NC State (No. 4).
Competing in the first meet at its new home course, Liberty dominated Saturday morning's men's 8K race. The Flames placed seven runners in the top eight on their way to a 52-point (19-71) victory over runner-up UNC Asheville. The win marked Liberty's first invitational championship since the Flames captured the men's black race team title at Pre-Nationals on Oct. 17, 2015.
Junior Azaria Kirwa was the individual champion in a course-record time of 26:43.9, claiming the first cross country victory by a Liberty men's runner since Caleb Edmonds won the VMI Invitational on Sept. 21, 2013.
Kirwa was followed across the finish line by redshirt senior Samuel Proctor (third place, 26:50.8), redshirt sophomore James Zentmeyer (fourth, 26:56.0), freshman Augostine Lisoreng (fifth, 27:04.1), freshman Felix Kandie (sixth, 27:14.1), redshirt sophomore Nick Doan (seventh, 27:21.8) and redshirt junior Louis Paone (eighth, 27:36.7).
After taking this weekend off, Liberty will face its stiffest competition of the season to date on Sept. 29. That day, the Flames and Lady Flames will compete in the Paul Short Run in Bethlehem, Pa., for the first time since 2010. The day's first race is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Goodman Campus Cross Country Course.
USTFCCCA Division I Southeast Region Men's Cross Country Rankings 1) Furman 2) Virginia 3) Virginia Tech 4) NC State 5) Eastern Kentucky 6) Campbell 7) Kentucky 8) Charlotte 9) William & Mary 10) Liberty 11) Duke 12) Wake Forest 13) George Mason 14) Louisville 15) North Carolina
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