2007 Team Honored as Liberty Men’s XC’s Best
In conjunction with each institution's sports information office, the ASUN Conference has announced each member school's top team in men's cross country program history. The 2007 squad was recognized as Liberty’s top men’s cross country team, with the next three years (2008, 2009 and 2010) each earning honorable mention.
Top Men’s Cross Country Season – 2007
Liberty’s 2007 men’s cross country season is best remembered for Josh McDougal’s dramatic victory over Oregon’s Galen Rupp at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships. But the senior was hardly a one-man team.
Big South Coach of the Year Brant Tolsma coached his squad to a 31-point victory (27-58) over High Point at the Big South Cross Country Championships. McDougal, younger brother Jordan McDougal and Jarvis Jelen placed 1-2-3 to lead the way for the Flames’ second consecutive conference title.
Liberty recorded its best-ever team finish (fifth place) at the NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Championships, paced by the all-region trio of Josh McDougal (first place), Jordan McDougal (16th) and Jelen (20th). Josh Edmonds (40th) and Kalib Wilkinson (94th) also stepped up with clutch performances for the Flames.
Honorable Mention – 2008, 2009 and 2010
Sam Chelanga’s first season as a Flame (2008) saw him lead the Flames to their third straight Big South title and their second consecutive fifth-place regional finish. For the first time, Liberty qualified a pair of runners to the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships, as Jordan McDougal joined national runner-up Chelanga in Terre Haute, Ind.
Chelanga was joined by Evans Kigen in 2009 as Liberty produced another Big South championship and a ninth-place regional showing. Both Flames earned All-America honors, as Chelanga raced to his first national title and Kigen placed 20th at the 2009 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships.
The 2010 season marked the senior year for Chelanga, Kigen and Josh Edmonds, and all three Flames went out with a bang. They placed 1-2-3 at the Big South Championship and 1-2-15 at the NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Championships for the eighth-place Flames. Chelanga successfully defended his NCAA national title, while Kigen came in 31st.
During the coming weeks, the ASUN Conference will continue revealing each member’s top seasons in each sport the conference sponsors.