Thanks to an impressive start to the 2019 season, the Liberty women's cross country team has achieved its highest Southeast Region ranking (No. 12) since 2012. Meanwhile, the men's cross country squad checks in at No. 14 in the Southeast Region, as announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
The last time the Lady Flames were ranked this high regionally was Oct. 1, 2012, when they were listed No. 9 in the Southeast. Fast forward seven years, and this year's squad has opened the 2019 campaign with 1-2-3-4 individual finishes at both the Liberty Challenge (Aug. 30) and FGCU Invitational (Sept. 7). Freshman Adelyn Ackley has won back-to-back races to begin her collegiate career, while fellow freshman Priscillah Kiplagat has produced a pair of third-place efforts.
On the men's side, redshirt sophomore Felix Kandie was the individual champion at both the Liberty Challenge and FGCU Invitational. Kandie, newcomer Ryan Drew and redshirt freshman Joe Spitzer placed 1-2-3 at FGCU, leading the Flames to a 17-point victory over ASUN Conference foe Stetson.
After taking a lengthy break from competition, 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 and will pit Liberty against numerous regionally ranked foes.
Other Liberty runners will compete in that day's Queen City Invite at the lightning-fast McAlpine Creek Park course in Charlotte, N.C.
USTFCCCA Women's Cross Country Southeast Region Rankings 1) NC State 2) Furman 3) Duke 4) Wake Forest 5) Virginia Tech 6) North Carolina 7) Virginia 8) Richmond 9) Kentucky 10) Eastern Kentucky 11) Clemson 12) Liberty 13) East Carolina 14) Louisville 15) High Point
USTFCCCA Men's Cross Country Southeast Region Rankings 1) NC State 2) Virginia 3) Eastern Kentucky 4) Virginia Tech 5) Furman 6) Duke 7) Wake Forest 8) Charlotte 9) Louisville 10) North Carolina 11) William & Mary 12) Charleston Southern 13) Campbell 14) Liberty 15) Kentucky
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