By Don Nelson
Personal and seasonal best performances by several Liberty Bell High School track team members at last week’s district meet will propel them into the state championships beginning Thursday (May 26) at Eastern Washington University in Cheney.
The top four finishers in each individual event and in the relays at the district meet in Ephrata qualified for the state championships.
The senior Klemmeck brothers — Micah and Ben — each qualified for two running events, and Micah anchored the 4×100 meter and 4x400M relay teams that advanced to state.
Micah Klemmeck put up a personal best time of 42.24 seconds in the 300M hurdles, good for first place in that event and fourth place all-time in the Mountain Lion record books. He took third place in the 110M hurdles in 16.85 seconds, a shade slower than his personal best of 16.68 set earlier this year (eighth all-time for Liberty Bell).
Ben Klemmeck took second in the 1,600M run, and followed that with a third-place finish in the 3,200M run.
Senior Connor Cooley, who has been consistently over 20 feet in the long jump this year, qualified for state with a leap of 20 feet, 2-1/2 inches, good for second place. Senior Andrew Reggiatore triple-jumped to a personal record of 40 feet, 11 inches (fourth all-time for Liberty Bell) to take second place.
The 4x100M relay team of senior Meritt Fink, Cooley, Reggiatore and Micah Klemmeck clocked its best time all year — 44.88 seconds, second on the all-time Liberty Bell list — for third place. The 4x400M relay team — Fink, Reggiatore, senior Charlie Thornton-White and Micah Klemmeck — also took third place with a time of 3:33.88, best this year and third-fastest in Liberty Bell history.
Reggiatore had a personal best of 53.21 seconds in the 400M run, but placed fifth and just missed going to state in that event.
In the 300M hurdles, sophomore Seth Stevie took fifth place with a personal best, and freshman Brayden White was sixth.
The boys’ team took third place in overall team scoring.
The girls’ team also had two multiple qualifiers for the state meet — both freshman.
Lucy Cole was fourth in the 400M run and third in the 800M run with a personal best. Icel Sukovaty took third in the 1,600M run and second in the 3,200M run,
Freshman Athena Milani took second and junior Lauren Fitzmaurice took third in the 300M hurdles, Fitzmaurice with a personal best. Sophomore Natalie Treise took sixth place in the 100M hurdles.
The 4x400M relay team of Fitzmaurice, Sally Thornton-White, Cole and Milani took third place and will move on to state. The 4x200M team of Milani, Haley Post, Fitzmaurice and Thornton-White had a shot at qualifying for state, coach Rocky Kulsrud said.
“We were in sixth place when the anchor runner, Sally Thornton-White, got the baton and passed one girl and got the fourth-place runner with 15 meters to go, and then the unthinkable happened and she fell,” Kulsrud said. “It was a tragic way to end this race. They almost qualified. Sally got back up and finished the race but was banged up. She ran in the other two relay races to show her fortitude.”
The girls’ team took fifth place in overall team scoring.
“There were a lot of good things to build on as we head to Cheney this week,” Kulsrud said. “We had a lot of kids sick this past week and we hope and pray that they will be fully healthy this week.”
Freshman Ava Mott will accompany the team as an alternate on the girls’ 4x400M relay.
2B District 5/6 Championship Meet, May 21, Ephrata
Liberty Bell 72
White Swan 51
Lake Roosevelt 15
Soap Lake 2
Individuals (state qualifiers in bold)
5. Andrew Reggiatore, 53.21
2. Ben Klemmeck, 4:42.81
3. Ben Klemmeck, 10:35.58
3. Micah Klemmeck, 16.85
1. Micah Klemmeck, 42.24
5. Seth Stevie, 44.79
6. Brayden White, 46.95
3. Meritt Fink, Connor Cooley, Andrew Reggiatore, Micah Klemmeck, 44.88
3. Meritt Fink, Andrew Reggiatore, Charlie Thornton-White, Micah Klemmeck, 3:33.88
6. Connor Cooley, 5-08
2. Connor Cooley, 20-02.5
2. Andrew Reggiatore, 40-11.0
Liberty Bell 52
Soap Lake 33
White Swan 16
Individuals (state qualifiers in bold)
4. Lucy Cole, 1:03.71
3. Lucy Cole, 2:37.39
3. Icel Sukovaty, 5:56.84
2. Icel Sukovaty, 13:13.56
6. Natalie Treise, 18.49
2. Athena Milani, 49.93
3. Lauren Fitzmaurice, 50.27
7. Natalie Treise, Cece Odell, Haley Post, Sally Thornton-White, 56.26
7. Athena Milani, Haley Post, Lauren Fitzmaurice, Sally Thornton-White, 2:01.11
3. Lauren Fitzmaurice, Sally Thornton-White, Lucy Cole, Athena Milani, 4:24.91