Despite winning Friday's Queen City Invite title, the Liberty men's cross country team fell two spots to No. 6 in the Southeast Region on Monday, as announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Virginia continues to top the regional rankings, while Eastern Kentucky (No. 2) and Virginia Tech (No. 3) both made big moves upward in this week's poll.
Liberty rolled to victory at the Queen City Invite at McAlpine Creek Park in Charlotte, N.C., totaling just 18 points (the Flames' lowest team score since Oct. 3, 2009) to defeat runner-up Embry-Riddle by 97 tallies. The Flames, who also won the Virginia Tech Invitational championship to open the season, have posted two first-place finishes in a year for the first time since 2013.
Azaria Kirwa led the 249 men's runners across the 8K finish line in 23:53, winning his third consecutive race to start his senior season. The next three runners to finish were Liberty teammates, including runner-up Felix Kandie (24:16), third-place Augostine Lisoreng (24:17) and fourth-place Benjamin Klemmeck (24:35). James Zentmeyer rounded out the Flames' five scorers with an eighth-place showing in 24:47.
Liberty will be represented in two different meets on the weekend of Oct. 12-13. Some Flames and Lady Flames will return to McAlpine Creek Park on Oct. 12 for the Royals Challenge. The women's 5K is slated for 4:30 p.m., with the men's 8K to follow at 5 p.m.
Liberty will also take part in the Wisconsin Pre-Nationals on Oct. 13 at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course in Madison, Wis., site of the 2018 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships. The day's first of six races will go off at 11 a.m. Eastern.
USTFCCCA Men's Cross Country Southeast Region Rankings – Week 4 1) Virginia 2) Eastern Kentucky 3) Virginia Tech 4) NC State 5) Furman 6) Liberty 7) Duke 8) Charlotte 9) North Carolina 10) Campbell 11) Wake Forest 12) Kentucky 13) William & Mary 14) Louisville 15) Appalachian State
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