Ackley, Kandie, Spitzer Sweep ASUN Awards
For the second time this season, Liberty’s trio of Adelyn Ackley (ASUN Women’s Runner of the Week and Freshman of the Week), Felix Kandie (ASUN Men’s Runner of the Week) and Joe Spitzer (ASUN Men’s Freshman of the Week) combined to sweep the ASUN Conference’s cross country weekly honors.
Ackley, Kandie and Spitzer previously combined to win all four ASUN weekly awards on Oct. 2. Ackley has now swept the ASUN Women’s Runner of the Week and Freshman of the Week honors four times this season (Sept. 4, Sept. 11, Oct. 2, Oct. 23). She is the first athlete to win four ASUN Women’s Runner of the Week distinctions in a single season since 2009 (Kennesaw State’s Mackenzie Howe).
A native of Mears, Mich., Ackley placed 15th of 252 runners during Saturday’s Pre-National Invitational women’s blue (seeded) 6K race in Terre Haute, Ind. She finished first among Southeast Region competitors and second among freshmen in the race, contested at the site of the 2019 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships. Ackley’s personal-best time of 20:33.3 was the fastest ever recorded by a Lady Flame at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course and ranks No. 3 in program history for the 6K distance.
Kandie earned his fourth ASUN Men’s Runner of the Week accolade this season (Sept. 4, Sept. 11, Oct. 2, Oct. 23). This is the second straight season a Liberty runner has claimed four ASUN Men’s Runner of the Week honors, as Azaria Kirwa achieved the same feat in 2018. Kandie crossed the line 27th of 257 competitors during the Pre-National Invitational men’s blue (seeded) 8K on Saturday with a new personal-best time of 24:06.1.
Spitzer has now been named ASUN Men’s Freshman of the Week after each of his last two races, on Oct. 2 and Oct. 23. On Saturday, he served as the Flames’ No. 3 finisher, placing 134th with an 8K clocking of 25:06.9. The Versailles, Ohio native’s effort helped Liberty place 20th of 38 squads on the day.
Liberty will now turn its attention to the 2019 ASUN Cross Country Championships, scheduled for Nov. 2 at the Buckingham Course in Fort Myers, Fla. The men’s 8K is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. with the women’s 5K to follow at 9:30. Both races will be broadcasted live on ESPN+.