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    January 26, 2021 Lynchburg, Va. RSS |

    The Liberty women’s cross country team opened its 2021 spring season by posting a perfect score of 15 to win Saturday’s CSU Buccaneer Invitational in Charleston, S.C. Two of the Lady Flames’ top five finishers garnered ASUN Conference weekly awards on Tuesday, including individual champion Calli Doan (Women’s Runner of the Week) and fifth-place finisher Marie Hostetler (Women’s Freshman of the Week).

    Doan outdistanced the field of 41 women’s runners with a 5K time of 17:18.1, edging teammate Priscillah Kiplagat (17:18.8) for the first individual victory of her collegiate cross country career. The junior from Apex, N.C., was the 2019 ASUN women’s cross country runner-up.

    Hostetler, who hails from Parnell, Iowa, made an impressive collegiate debut. She trailed only four Liberty teammates across the finish line on Saturday, and Hostetler’s 5K time of 17:47.5 was more than a minute faster than any other freshman in the race. Liberty has now won five of nine ASUN Women’s Freshman of the Week awards since the honor was first instituted in 2019.

    After taking this weekend off from competition, Liberty will face its stiffest competition of the regular season at the FSU Winter Cross Country Classic, slated for Feb. 5 in Tallahassee, Fla. The day's opening race is set for 9 a.m. at Apalachee Regional Park, which will also play host to the 2021 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships in November.