7 Liberty alums, Tolsma make Big South Women’s Outdoor Track All-Decade Team
The Lady Flames’ honorees featured one sprinter (Abigail Flower), one distance runner (Jennifer Klugh), one jumper (Mia Aghaji), two throwers (Mychelle Cumings and Jocelyn Williams) and two heptathletes (Erika Jackson and Christina Mitchell). Tolsma was voted the team’s head coach.
Throughout the month of June, the Big South will be recognizing each sport’s top student-athletes and coaches from the recently completed decade. Liberty wrapped up its 27-year Big South Conference membership on June 30, 2018, departing for the ASUN Conference.
The Flames excelled during their final years of Big South competition, earning seven Sasser Cups and 62 Big South team championships between 2010-18.
A 15-person committee of Big South Conference administrators served as the official voting panel to determine the All-Decade Team, with fan voting comprising 20 percent of the overall total. The 2010-19 Women’s Outdoor Track & Field All-Decade Team features eight sprinters/hurdlers, eight distance/mid-distance runners, eight jumpers, eight throwers, two heptathletes and one head coach. In case of ties, additional honorees have been added.
A Lynchburg, Va., native, Flower punctuated her career with three victories (women’s 100, 200 and 4 x 100 relay) at the 2015 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships. She finished among the top three every time she contested either the 100 or 200 dash at the Big South outdoor meet during her career, also including a pair of runner-up finishes and four third-place medals. During the 2013 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Flower set still-standing school records for the 100 (11.57) and 200 (23.48).
Klugh made her third Big South All-Decade Team of the month after previously being included on the cross country and women’s indoor track & field squads. The Centerburg, Ohio native captured back-to-back Big South women’s 1,500 titles in 2011 and 2012 and added a 5K crown in 2012. In total, Klugh was a six-time All-Big South performer outdoors as the only runners to defeat her at either the 2010, 2011 or 2012 Big South outdoor meets were Liberty teammates.
Aghaji won an event during all four of her Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships appearances, including the 2008 high jump and three consecutive triple jump crowns (2010, 2011 and 2012). The Chester, Va., native scored a team-high 29 points at the 2012 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships, winning the triple jump, placing second in the high jump and 4 x 400 relay, taking third in the long jump and coming in sixth in the 400 hurdles.
Cumings claimed four Big South outdoor women’s shot put titles (2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016) to go along with her quartet of Big South indoor women’s shot put crowns (2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016). That made the Madison, Tenn., native the first female student-athlete ever to win the same event eight times at the Big South meet. The 2012 Big South Women’s Freshman of the Year and the 2013 Big South Women’s Most Outstanding Field Performer added Big South women’s discus championships in 2012 and 2013 for good measure.
A Hamilton, N.J., native, Williams was a three-time All-Big South performer outdoors. She was the women’s discus and hammer runner-up in 2013. Two years later, Williams again placed second in the Big South hammer competition during a season which saw her net second team All-America honors in the event.
After finishing second in the 2014 Big South heptathlon competition, Jackson posted back-to-back Big South heptathlon victories in 2015 and 2016, setting new meet records both times. The Lynchburg, Va., native’s winning score of 4,921 from 2016 ranks No. 2 in meet history.
Mitchell is the only three-time heptathlon champion in Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships history, claiming three consecutive victories (2011, 2012 and 2013) after coming in second in 2010. The Monroe, Va., native’s strongest individual event was the javelin, and she recorded Big South javelin triumphs in 2012 and 2013.
Tolsma coached the Lady Flames to six Big South outdoor team championships during the decade, including 2010, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, and was voted Big South Women’s Coach of the Year on each occasion. The 2010 victory wrapped up the only “Double Triple” in Big South Conference history, as Liberty captured all six possible Big South titles in men’s and women’s cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field during the 2009-10 academic year.
The Big South Conference previously announced additional all-decade teams as part of its 30th anniversary celebration during the 2013-14 academic year. The following Lady Flames were included on those squads.