Liberty's Kirwa Triumphs at Iona for Second-Straight Meet Victory

BRONX, N.Y. - Liberty All-American Azaria Kirwa won his second straight race to start the 2018 season, Friday morning at Van Cortlandt Park. The senior took top honors in 25:01.0 in the men's 8K during Friday morning's 24th Annual Br. John "Paddy" Doyle/Iona College Meet of Champions. Fellow Flames Felix Kandie and Augostine Lisoreng placed sixth and seventh, respectively, leading Liberty to third place in the men's team standings. With 68 points, the Flames trailed only meet champion Indiana (55) and Columbia (67).

Sophomore Noel Palmer raced to an impressive sixth place in the women's 5K with a time of 17:49.0. With seven freshmen among their top nine runners, the Lady Flames came in sixth in the women's team standings with a final score of 145.

Top 5 Division I Men's Teams (12 Total Division I Teams Entered):
1) Indiana – 55
2) Columbia – 67
3) Liberty – 68
4) No. 18 Iona – 92
5) Miami (Ohio) - 111

Top 5 Division I Women's Teams (11 Total Division I Teams Entered):
1) No. 20 Indiana – 30
2) Columbia – 30
3) Miami (Ohio) – 108
4) Iona – 124
5) Fordham – 127
6) Liberty – 145

Men's 8K Individual Results (137 Total Finishers):
1) Azaria Kirwa, Liberty – 25:01.0
2) Jamie Dee, Iona – 25:03.0
3) Kyle Mau, Indiana – 25:06.9
4) Ryan Kutch, Fordham – 25:15.7
5) Brian Zabilski, Columbia – 25:21.7
6) Felix Kandie, Liberty – 25:26.6
7) Augostine Lisoreng, Liberty – 25:26.9
22) James Zentmeyer, Liberty – 26:04.4
34) Benjamin Klemmeck, Liberty – 26:29.0
39) Nick Doan, Liberty – 26:34.0
46) Andrew Stanley, Liberty – 26:45.2
53) Paul Squires, Liberty – 26:58.7
68) Jacob Underwood, Liberty – 27:39.2

Women's 5K Individual Results (128 Total Finishers):
1) Katherine Receveur, Indiana – 17:30.8
2) Erin Gregoire, Columbia – 17:40.8
3) Margaret Allen, Indiana – 17:43.3
4) Libby Kokes, Columbia – 17:44.8
5) Alexandra Hays, Columbia – 17:48.0
6) Noel Palmer, Liberty – 17:49.0
30) Calli Parlier, Liberty – 18:49.5
40) Emma Bower, Liberty – 19:10.8
47) Kyley Sorg, Liberty – 19:27.0
57) Greer Wilson, Liberty – 19:50.8
60) Jessica Rogers, Liberty – 20:04.1
63) Jamie Anderson, Liberty – 20:09.5
64) Naomi Bowser, Liberty – 20:11.8
65) Sophia Jantomaso, Liberty – 20:12.5
68) Gabriella Delbo, Liberty – 20:22.9
69) Madison MacPherson, Liberty – 20:25.5
70) Heidi Smith, Liberty – 20:27.1
73) Rebekah Leone, Liberty – 20:37.9
78) Kammi Kurtz, Liberty – 21:00.5

Race Reactions
• Azaria Kirwa's individual victory was the third of his career and his second of the 2018 season. He also finished first at the 2017 Liberty Big South Preview and the 2018 Virginia Tech Invitational.

• Kirwa is the first Liberty men's cross country runner to win back-to-back races since Zac Edwards in 2011 (Coastal Carolina Invitational/Big South Preview and Charlotte Invitational).

• Kirwa has now finished inside the top five at eight of his last nine cross country races.

• The Liberty men's squad defeated No. 18 Iona, but it must be noted that the Gaels did not enter their full team.

• Noel Palmer's 17:49.0 clocking set a cross country 5K personal best by nearly a minute. It was also the fastest cross country 5K effort by a Lady Flame since Ednah Kurgat ran 17:12.97 at the 2015 Big South Championship in Spartanburg, S.C.

• Liberty was racing at Van Cortlandt Park due to the postponement of Saturday's Winthrop/Adidas Invitational, with Hurricane Florence bearing down on the East Coast. It marked the Flames' first meet at Van Cortlandt Park since the IC4A and ECAC Division I Cross Country Championships on Nov. 19, 2011. Liberty will return to Van Cortlandt Park on Oct. 26 for its first-ever appearance at the ASUN Cross Country Championships.

Up Next
Liberty will return to action on Sept. 28, traveling to McAlpine Creek Park in Charlotte, N.C., for the Queen City Invite. The meet begins at 4:30 p.m. and will enable the Flames and Lady Flames to face their first ASUN opponent of the season, Kennesaw State.

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