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Host Flames claim 24th consecutive men’s indoor track & field title, third in ASUN

Ally Kipchirchir (right), a junior from Kenya, broke Liberty’s men’s 800-meter record for the second meet in a row with his runner-up finish in 1 minute, 50.40 seconds. (Photos by Ross Kohl)

For the third consecutive year, the Liberty University’s men’s squad claimed the team championship on its home track at the 2021 ASUN Indoor Track & Field Championships. Meanwhile, the Lady Flames finished second, just five points behind women’s team champion Kennesaw State, at the two-day meet which wrapped up Saturday at the Liberty Indoor Track Complex.

Liberty finished with a 63-point margin of victory (236-173) over runner-up Kennesaw State in the final men’s team standings, as first-year Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Lance Bingham earned his first conference title with the Flames. As a result, he was duly honored as ASUN Men’s Coach of the Year.

The Flames have now won 24 consecutive indoor conference titles overall, dating back to the inaugural Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships in 1998. That is the longest active championship streak in NCAA Division I men’s indoor track & field.

On the women’s side, Kennesaw State led Liberty by a single point heading to the 4 x 400 relay before pulling out victory in both the event and the final team standings (223-218). KSU’s team victory came by the smallest margin in the meet’s 16-year history. The Owls became the first visiting team ever to win a track & field conference title against the Flames in Lynchburg.

Liberty won 10 events on Saturday and 16 of 34 total events contested over the course of the two-day competition. Athletes who combined for three of the Flames’ victories picked up individual honors at the meet’s conclusion.

Abby Pantlitz became the Lady Flames’ first-ever ASUN Most Valuable Female Performer after pacing all women’s competitors with 21.5 points. The sophomore swept the women’s 60 (7.55) and 200 dash (24.53) titles before leading off for the third-place 4 x 400 relay quartet (3:52.57).

Liberty’s men’s team celebrates its third ASUN Indoor Track & Field championship in as many tries Saturday at the Liberty Indoor Track Complex.

Another sophomore, Quinten Clay, shared the ASUN Most Valuable Male Performer award with Lipscomb’s Jonathan Schwind. Both athletes earned 22 points, with Clay’s tallies coming in the men’s long jump (first place, 23-7.5), high jump (third place, 6-7) and triple jump (third place, 47-3.5).

Ally Kipchirchir, a junior from Kenya, broke the Liberty men’s 800 record for the second meet in a row with his 1:50.40 clocking for second place. He also bettered the previous meet record but was defeated by Lipscomb’s Schwind, who claimed his third straight title in the event in 1:49.72.

>> Read complete coverage on the Liberty Athletics track & field team page.

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