Liberty will begin the fall 2021 cross country season on Sept. 1 at the Virginia Tech Invitational.
Liberty's Fall 2021 Cross Country Schedule Recently promoted Liberty Head Cross Country Coach Isaac Wendland announced the Flames' fall 2021 schedule on Friday. Liberty will get things started on Sept. 1 at the Virginia Tech Invitational.
The Flames hope to wrap up their season at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships for the second year in a row. If so, it would mark the team's third visit to Florida (Tallahassee) on the season, following Pre-Nationals (Oct. 15 in Tallahassee) and the ASUN Championship (Oct. 30 in Orlando).
Another schedule highlight is Liberty's first visit to the Roy Griak Invitational in 15 years. The meet will take place Sept. 24 at Les Bolstad Golf Course in Minneapolis, Minn.
Sept. 1 – Virginia Tech Invitational (Blacksburg, Va.) • Prior to the abbreviated 2021 spring season, Liberty had competed at the Buford Meredith Cross Country Course at least once for 13 consecutive seasons.
• Liberty's last visit to the venue came on Nov. 8, 2019 at the Hokie Open.
• This marks the Flames' lone meet inside the Commonwealth of Virginia for 2021.
Sept. 24 – Roy Griak Invitational (Minneapolis, Minn.) • Liberty is competing at the prestigious Roy Griak Invitational for the first time since 2006.
• During the Flames' last Roy Griak appearance, Josh McDougal beat out Northern Arizona's Lopez Lomong for the men's 8K gold race individual title.
Oct. 15 – Pre-Nationals (Tallahassee, Fla.) • Pre-Nationals will take place at Apalachee Regional Park, which will play host to the 2021 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships in November.
• Liberty last raced at this course on Feb. 5, 2021 at the FSU Winter Cross Country Classic. The Lady Flames' impressive seventh-place team finish helped to propel them to the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships the following month.
Oct. 30 – ASUN Championship (Orlando, Fla.) • The 2021 ASUN Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships will be contested at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.
• The Lady Flames will attempt to win back-to-back conference titles for the first time since 2009 and 2010 (Big South). Meanwhile, the Flames are still in search of their first ASUN men's cross country championship after placing second in 2018, 2019 and Spring 2021.
• The new ASUN members could contend for hardware right away. On the women's side, Eastern Kentucky won nine consecutive Ohio Valley Conference titles to wrap up its tenure in the league, while Central Arkansas is the two-time defending Southland Conference champion. The Eastern Kentucky men's cross country squad had captured 14 straight Ohio Valley Conference crowns before the streak came to a halt last season.
Nov. 12 – NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Championship (Lexington, Ky.) • The NCAA regional championships return to the schedule after a one-year hiatus and will be the primary avenue for qualifying to the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships.
• The meet will take place at Masterson Station Park in Lexington, Ky., for the first time. This will be the meet's first visit to the Bluegrass State since 2014 (Louisville).
Nov. 20 – NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships (Tallahassee, Fla.) • The second NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships contested in 2021 will mark the meet's first-ever appearance in Florida.
• Liberty has been represented at three of the last four NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships. Azaria Kirwa raced at the 2017 and 2018 editions. The women's team then qualified for the 2020 meet, which was held in March 2021.