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LU Men's Cross Country Listed No. 8 in Region

October 20, 2008  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Freshman Kyle Powers ran a personal-best time at Pre-Nationals and served as Liberty's No. 4 runner.

Freshman Kyle Powers ran a personal-best time at Pre-Nationals and served as Liberty's No. 4 runner.

The Liberty men's cross country team continued its streak of being ranked in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Southeast Region poll every week this season. After last Saturday's performance at Pre-Nationals, the Flames are listed No. 8 in the region.

Liberty, which has been ranked as high as No. 4 in the Southeast Region this season, finished 18th out of 40 teams in the men's 8K white race at Pre-Nationals. The Flames defeated fellow regionally ranked squads Louisville and Morehead State in the race and featured the Pre-Nationals individual winner for the fourth year in a row.

Former Liberty All-American Josh McDougal won the Pre-Nationals individual crown each of the past three seasons, before redshirt sophomore Sam Chelanga (Nairobi, Kenya) took the mantle on Saturday. Chelanga raced out to a 4:16 opening mile and never looked back. He broke the tape 44 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor and broke McDougal's course, meet, Liberty and Big South 8K cross country records in the process. Chelanga's official time of 22:51.3 stamped him as a NCAA national title contender.

Other notable performances by the Liberty men's squad came courtesy of Jordan McDougal (R-Sr., Peru, N.Y.) and Kyle Powers (Fr., Waterford, Vt.). McDougal backed up Chelanga's effort by running a 24:16.8 for 34th place. Meanwhile, Powers came in as Liberty's No. 4 finisher in a personal-best clocking of 25:46.4.

Virginia remained No. 1 in this week's regional poll, but the two teams directly behind the Cavaliers swapped positions. William & Mary moved up to No. 2, while N.C. State slid to No. 3. Liberty was the only Big South team to be regionally ranked this week.

Liberty is not scheduled to compete this weekend. The Flames will return to action on Nov. 1, at the New Balance Big South Cross Country Championships presented by UCS, hosted at Liberty's Campus East intramural fields. The men's team will go for its fourth consecutive Big South in the 8K championship at 10:30 a.m., followed by the Lady Flames' attempt for a third straight Big South crown in the 5K race at 11:30.

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Men's Cross Country Regional Rankings
Southeast Region – Week 4
1) Virginia
2) William & Mary
3) N.C. State
4) Eastern Kentucky
5) North Carolina
6) Duke
7) Virginia Tech
8) Liberty
9) Louisville
10) Kentucky
11) Richmond
12) Appalachian State
13) Charlotte
14) Morehead State
15) Clemson