Liberty Bell runners Ben Klemmeck and Liam Daily – from left, in the middle of the photo – stalk the frontrunners at the 2.3-mile mark of last weekend’s state cross-country championships in Pasco. Daily finished sixth and Klemmeck seventh to lead the Lions to a fifth-place finish in team standings. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Duguay

Liberty Bell runners Ben Klemmeck and Liam Daily – from left, in the middle of the photo – stalk the frontrunners at the 2.3-mile mark of last weekend’s state cross-country championships in Pasco. Daily finished sixth and Klemmeck seventh to lead the Lions to a fifth-place finish in team standings. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Duguay

By Mike Maltais

Senior Liam Daily closed out his Liberty Bell High School cross-country career by leading the Mountain Lions to fifth place at the state meet and posting the third-fastest all-time LBHS record for 5,000 meters at the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association 1B/2B state championships in Pasco last weekend.

It was Liberty Bell’s best team finish since 2001, when the Mountain Lions placed second for the third straight year. Liberty Bell’s 1998 XC team won the school’s first-ever state varsity title.

Daily’s sixth-place time of 16 minutes, 44.74 seconds was a personal best and only 4 seconds behind Evan Soderquist’s 1998 Liberty Bell record of 16:40, and 3 seconds off of Matt Tuller’s 1998 time of 16:41.

“Liam had a pre-race strategy and he went out and nailed it,” said coach Craig Herlihy.

“His goal was to run a 5:15 first mile and he hit 5:11 and was in eighth place before moving up to sixth at the finish,” Herlihy added.

Ben Klemmeck crossed the line only 6 seconds behind Daily with a seventh-place time of 16:47 that moved the sophomore up to fourth-fastest all-time at Liberty Bell.

Senior Willy Duguay “ran just a great race” to finish 18th in 17:14.74, Herlihy said.

Morgan Ott, 42nd, and Erik Ellis, 98th, rounded out the team’s senior contingent that will be lost to graduation next year.

The seniors “went out with their best race, they were happy,” the coach said.

Junior Josiah Klemmeck was 70th among the 125 runners with a time of 18:40.09.

Freshman Carter Dornfeld placed 99th in 20:04.69.

Running conditions were ideal under overcast skies and temperatures in the 50s on his team’s second visit to the Pasco course this season, Herlihy said.

The Mountain Lions missed the fourth-place podium position by only one point behind Tri-Cities Prep.

After first place Northwest Christian-Colbert with 68 points, “only 20 points separated the next four teams,” Herlihy said.

 

LBHS state results

6 Liam Daily 16:44.74

7 Ben Klemmeck 16:50.01

18 Willy Duguay 17:14.74

42 Morgan Ott 17:56.76

70 Josiah Klemmeck 18:40.09

98 Erik Ellis 20:03.87

99 Carter Dornfeld 20:04.69

 

Team scores

1 NW Christian-Colbert 68

2 Asotin 101

3 NW Christian-Lacey 105

4 Tri-Cities Prep 120

5 Liberty Bell 121

6 St. George’s 149

7 Republic 166

8 Reardan 190

9 Mossyrock 263

10 Onalaska 273

11 Crosspoint Academy 308

12 Three Rivers Christian 319

13 Bickleton 337

14 Chief Leschi 371

15 Lake Roosevelt 377