Kirwa's 19th-Place Finish Headlines Flames' Day at Pre-Nationals

MADISON, WIS. - Liberty senior All-American Azaria Kirwa continued his strong 2018 season on Saturday, placing 19th in the men's 8K white race at the Wisconsin Pre-Nationals. Meanwhile, sophomore Noel Palmer came in a team-best 65th in the women's 6K cardinal race at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course.

The Liberty men's squad totaled 624 points for 25th place in the 34-team white race field, which was topped by champion No. 2 BYU (29 points) and runner-up No. 12 Washington (106 points).

The Lady Flames' total of 760 points was good for 29th place of 35 cardinal race squads. No. 7 Arkansas (51 points) upset No. 4 Oregon (71 points) for the victory atop the standings.

Top 5 Men's Teams – White Race (34 Total Teams Entered):
1) No. 2 BYU – 29
2) No. 12 Washington – 106
3) No. 8 Syracuse – 195
4) No. 25 UCLA – 205
5) Notre Dame – 220
25) Liberty – 624

Top 5 Women's Teams – Cardinal Race (35 Total Teams Entered):
1) No. 7 Arkansas – 51
2) No. 4 Oregon – 71
3) No. 11 Indiana – 166
4) No. 9 BYU – 175
5) No. 13 NC State – 180
29) Liberty – 760

Men's 8K White Race Individual Results (232 Total Finishers):
1) Rory Linkletter, BYU – 23:54.4
2) Aidan Tooker, Syracuse – 23:54.9
3) Chris Olley, San Francisco – 23:54.9
4) Conner Mantz, BYU – 23:55.5
5) Clayson Shumway, BYU – 23:55.7
19) Azaria Kirwa, Liberty – 24:10.0
127) Augostine Lisoreng, Liberty – 25:14.9
153) Felix Kandie, Liberty – 25:37.5
159) Nick Doan, Liberty – 25:43.6
166) Paul Squires, Liberty – 25:50.5
180) Benjamin Klemmeck, Liberty – 26:04.1
200) Jacob Underwood, Liberty – 26:25.1

Women's 6K Cardinal Race Individual Results (234 Total Finishers):
1) Jessica Hull, Oregon – 20:03.2
2) Katrina Robinson, Arkansas – 20:09.4
3) Aubrey Roberts, Northwestern – 20:10.0
4) Erica Birk, BYU – 20:12.2
5) Bethany Hasz, Minnesota – 20:18.3
65) Noel Palmer, Liberty – 21:21.7
129) Calli Parlier, Liberty – 22:00.2
177) Kyley Sorg, Liberty – 22:34.6
193) Emma Bower, Liberty – 22:52.0
196) Greer Wilson, Liberty – 22:54.7
216) Lauren Hirneisen, Liberty – 23:24.9
218) Jamie Anderson, Liberty – 23:29.4

Men's 8K Gray Race Individual Results (77 Total Finishers):
1) Andy Snyder, Washington – 24:29.1
2) Brayden McLelland, BYU – 24:36.9
3) Gavin Parpart, Washington – 24:42.4
4) Nathan Henderson, Syracuse – 24:47.2
5) Kramer Morton, BYU – 24:50.4
76) Andrew Stanley, Liberty – 28:14.0

Race Reactions
• Azaria Kirwa suffered his first defeat of the 2018 season, snapping his three-race winning streak.
• Kirwa posted a lofty Pre-Nationals finish for the second straight season. He came in fourth in the men's red race at 2017 Pre-Nationals in Louisville, Ky.
• Noel Palmer served as the Lady Flames' No. 1 runner for the third straight meet, and her 6K time of 21:21.7 established a new personal best.
• Five of the Lady Flames' seven runners (Calli Parlier, Kyley Sorg, Emma Bower, Greer Wilson and Jamie Anderson) were making their debuts at the 6K distance on Saturday.
• The start of the meet was delayed 30 minutes due to heavy frost in the Madison area Saturday morning.
• The Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course will play host to the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships for the first time, Nov. 17.

Up Next
Liberty's next meet will be its first-ever appearance at the ASUN Cross Country Championships. The 40th edition of the meet will take place at Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, N.Y., with the women's 5K scheduled for 11 a.m. and the men's 8K to follow at noon.

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