Jennifer Klugh clocked a 5K time of 17:28.3 during Friday's Charlotte Invitational, breaking a school record that had stood since 1987.
Liberty redshirt juniors Zac Edwards and Jennifer Klugh both posted impressive performances during Friday afternoon's Charlotte Invitational. Edwards captured the men's 8K individual title, while Klugh broke Liberty's long-standing 5K program record at McAlpine Park. Edwards won his second straight race, completing the 8K course in 24:08.7. It was the South Alabama transfer's second straight victory, following up his win at the Coastal Carolina Invitational/Big South Preview on Sept. 17. Edwards led three Liberty finishers in the top 13, a front-running effort which netted second place in the men's team standings. The Flames totaled 86 points, trailing only Virginia Tech's winning score of 35. Liberty defeated a pair of regionally-ranked opponents on Friday, as Wake Forest placed third with 101 points and Georgia Tech came in fourth with 106 tallies. Klugh placed seventh overall with her school-record clocking of 17:28.3. The effort bettered Lori Lingenfelter's existing program standard of 17:35, which had stood since Aug. 26, 1987. The Buckeye State native's performance helped the Lady Flames place ninth out of 36 teams with 272 points. For the second time in as many meets, Liberty suffered a close loss to new Big South foe Campbell. The Camels came in eighth with 247 markers. Virginia Tech won the women's team championship with 84 points, giving the Hokies a comfortable margin over runner-up Furman's 127 tallies.
Men's Meet Recap Edwards crossed the finish line more than five seconds ahead of the men's 8K runner-up, Gilbert Kemboi of USC Upstate. Liberty men's runners have now recorded individual victories in each of the 2011 season's first three meets. Josh MacDonald preceded Edwards' pair of triumphs with a first-place finish at the season-opening Virginia Tech Alumni Invitational on Sept. 2. David Ricksecker ran a personal-best 8K time for the second straight meet, coming in ninth place with his 24:41.2 effort. MacDonald followed closely behind in 13th place, making his first foray into the sub-25 minute club at 24:45.7. Sophomore Caleb Edmonds continued the string of personal-best times, with his 25:13.7 time netting a 30th-place finish in the field of 258 runners. Yet another personal-best effort, Will Reeves' 25:32.3 clocking, closed out Liberty's five scorers with a 44th-place showing. Isaac Wendland came in 54th at 25:56.0, dipping under 26 minutes for the second meet in a row. Sophomore Zach Barker served as the Flames' No. 7 runner on Friday, clocking a personal-best 26:27.8 for 77th place.
Women's Meet Recap Klugh's record-setting run sliced 26 seconds off of her previous best cross country 5K clocking. It also marked her third individual school record, to go along with the cross country 6K (20:55.5) and indoor track 5K (16:56.14) marks she set a year ago. Klugh's seventh-place finish came in a sizable field of 290 runners. She crossed the finish line 35 seconds ahead of the next Big South finisher, Campbell senior Rachel Deline. Liberty's No. 2 and 3 runners on Friday were juniors Betel Yosef and Khristina Kanagy, and they finished back-to-back, with each recording a personal-best time. Yosef ran 18:36.1 for 61st place and Kanagy clocked 18:38.1 for the 62nd position. Katie Russo almost broke the 19-minute barrier for the first time in her collegiate cross country, posting a 19:01.1 effort and placing 87th. Freshman Meredith Mistretta closed out the Liberty scoring five, notching a 112th-place finish with her time of 19:23.3. Running on her former home course, Charlotte native Alyssa Allen stopped the clock in 19:43.2 for 133rd place. Caroline Parris was the Lady Flames' seventh finisher, nabbing 153rd place at 20:11.2
In two weeks, Liberty will run its final tune-up meet for the 2011 Big South Cross Country Championships as the Flames and Lady Flames compete in the Panorama Farms Invitational. The Oct. 14 meet in Charlottesville, Va. will begin at 4 p.m. with the men's 8K race. The women's race will follow at 4:45 p.m. and will see the Lady Flames compete at the 6K distance for the first time this season.