Mountain Lions nearly pull off a clean sweep on home course
By Mike Maltais
What began as a race for the Central Washington B League cross-country district championship ended as more of a christening last Saturday (Oct. 26) at Liberty Bell High School as a wave of Mountain Lions surged across the finish line in first, second, fourth, fifth and sixth place in the 5-kilometer boys’ varsity event.
Led by freshman Ben Klemmeck and senior Liam Daily, the Mountain Lion team scored a near-perfect 18 points to virtually dominate the four-school field of 33 varsity boys runners and win the league title for the fourth consecutive year. Other team scores were Lake Roosevelt 62, Bridgeport 73, and Oroville 85.
Klemmeck completed the course in 17 minutes, 52 seconds. Daily was 3 seconds back in 17:55.
Morgan Ott (18:20), Josiah Klemmeck (18:24), and Willy Duguay (18:26) placed fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.
Oren Cox of Bridgeport placed third among the pack of Mountain Lions, and Oroville’s Sierra Speiker matched Duguay’s time to win the varsity girls’ race.
Liberty Bell’s Lilly Schlotzhauer clocked a 25:34 time to take sixth among the girls. Between Klemmeck’s first-place time and Duguay’s sixth-place clocking, only 35 seconds separated Liberty Bell’s top five finishers.
Logan Szafas, 20:24 in 11th place, and Carter Dornfeld, 20:50 in 13th, rounded out the varsity performance.
Erik Ellis, 18th in 21:29 and Geza Sukovaty, 21st in 22:35, represented the Liberty Bell junior varsity.
Along with the team trophy was Senior Recognition Day for Schlotzhauer, Daily, Ott, Szafas and Ellis, who will be leaving the team at the end of the season. Before they do, however regional and state competition awaits ahead.
The Mountain Lions will travel to Wenatchee on Saturday (Nov. 2) to compete in regional competition at Walla Walla Point Park. The state finals will be held in Pasco on Nov. 9.