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2007 Recognized as Liberty Women's XC's Top Season

September 8, 2020  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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The 2007 women's cross country team poses with its Big South Championship trophy.

The 2007 women's cross country team poses with its Big South Championship trophy.

In conjunction with each institution's sports information office, the ASUN Conference has announced each member school's top team in women's cross country program history. The 2007 squad was recognized as Liberty's top women's cross country team, with the 1991, 2000 and 2010 teams each earning honorable mention.

Top Women's Cross Country Season – 2007
Guided by Big South Coach of the Year Brant Tolsma, the 2007 Lady Flames defeated rival Coastal Carolina to capture their second straight Big South Conference title. Liberty placed four runners inside the top eight at the conference meet, including Piper Newby (runner-up), Big South Freshman of the Year Dacia Bushman (sixth), Rebekah Ricksecker (seventh) and Kati Albright (eighth).

Two weeks later, the Lady Flames posted what still ranks as the program's best performance at the NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Championships, placing seventh of 31 teams. Newby led the way, clocking a 6K program-record time of 21:07.70 for 17th place and all-region honors. She was followed closely by Bushman (44th), Ricksecker (52nd), Ashley Osborne (55th) and Albright (59th).

Depth was the 2007 team's greatest strength. Albright, Bushman, Newby, Osborne, Ricksecker and Carol Jefferson all won Big South individual event titles on the track during their respective careers.

Honorable Mention – 1991, 2000 and 2010
During their inaugural season of Big South Conference competition, the 1991 Lady Flames posted a dominant 57-point victory (27-84) over runner-up Davidson. Five Liberty runners finished among the top eight, paced by runner-up Patti Bottiglieri.

Heather Sagan became Liberty's first Big South individual women's cross country champion, leading the 2000 Lady Flames to their first conference title in eight years. While helping Liberty achieve its first-ever top-10 team finish (ninth place) at the NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Championships, Sagan qualified for her first NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships appearance.

Jennifer Klugh's first of three consecutive Big South individual titles headlined the 2010 Lady Flames' Big South team championship. Klugh then came in 15th at the NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Championships, contributing to a 10th-place team showing.

During the coming weeks, the ASUN Conference will continue revealing each member's top seasons in each sport the conference sponsors.