Photo by Erik Brooks

The Liberty Bell girls’ 4×200-meter relay team — from left, Sammy Curtis, Sally Thornton-White, Athena Milani and Ali Palm — took fourth place the state 2B track meet in Cheney last weekend.

Boys barely missed some scoring opportunities

By Don Nelson

It’s a promising progression: 0 in 2015; 3 in 2016; 9 in 2017; 17 in 2018.

That’s how many points the Liberty Bell High School girl’s track team has scored in the past four state 2B meets. The most recent tally boosted the Lady Lions to a tie for 15th place at the state meet last weekend in Cheney.

The boys’ team scored 3 points, tying them for 35th place, with all those coming from the same two athletes who scored 5 points in the same event last year: the 300-meter hurdles.

Senior Seth Stevie took seventh place in that event, followed by junior Brayden White in eighth (the first eight finishers in each event score points).

Photo by Erik Brooks

Liberty Bell’s Emerson Worrell, No. 1175, finished fourth in this preliminary heat of the boys’ 800-meter run, but just barely missed making the finals by less than a second.

Last year, Stevie Stevie was fifth and White eighth in the 300M hurdles.

The top podium performance for the girls came from junior Icel Sukovaty, who took third place in the 3,200M run with a personal best time of 11:58.05. She had finished eighth in the event at each of the past two state meets.

Sukovaty also scored points for the Lady Lions with a PR of 5:32.14 in the 1,600M run, good for eighth place. Ahead of her for Liberty Bell was freshman Liv Aspholm, who took fifth place in her first state meet with a PR of 5:29.51.

The girls’ 4x200M relay team of freshman Sammy Curtis, junior Sally Thornton-White, sophomore Ali Palm and junior Athena Milani took fourth place with a time of 1:50.97 — the second-best time in Liberty Bell history and just a quarter of a second slower than the school record time set in 2007.

Also scoring for the Lady Lions was senior Lauren Ochoa, who took eighth place in the discus with a toss of 100 feet, 2 inches.

Just missing a scoring opportunity was the ninth-place 4x400M relay team of freshman Keeley Brooks, Thornton-White, Aspholm and Milani, who ran a time of 4:26.39 — 11th-best in the Liberty Bell record books.

In other events, Curtis did not advance to finals in either the 100M or 200M dashes. Aspholm, Brooks and junior Ava Mott did not make into the 800M finals. Freshman Lindsay Worrell finished 16th in the 1,600M and 3,200M runs. Milani did not advance to the finals in the 300M hurdles.

The 4x100M relay team of Curtis, Palm, Thornton-White and junior Angelique Kelley was 11th in preliminaries, less than a second from qualifying for the finals.

Lauren Ochoa was 12th in the javelin. Palm took 12th place in the triple jump, while sophomore Tommie Ochoa finished 16th in the triple jump.

On the boys’ side for Liberty Bell, a tick of the stopwatch or just a bit more distance here and there could have earned the Mountain Lions a few more points. Junior Emerson Worrell ran 2:04.72 for ninth place in the 800M preliminaries, and missed making the finals by less than a second.

In the 110M hurdles, Stevie finished 10th in the preliminaries and didn’t make finals. In the triple jump, sophomore Magnus Treise jumped 38-02.75, good for ninth place but missing eighth place by half an inch.

In other events, freshman Bodie Paul was 15th in the 1,600M; the 4x400M relay team of senior Carson Gunnip-Hunter, White, Stevie and Worrell took 12th place with a time of 3:37.54 — good for fifth place in the Liberty Bell record books; and Treise was 12th in the javelin with a toss of 137 feet, 2 inches.

Kalama won the boys’ 2B meet, followed by Adna and Pe Ell. Northwest Christian (Lacey) won the girls’ 2B meet, followed by St. George’s and La Conner.

Summing up

“The state meet always has many highs and lows but one of the highlights is having 19 athletes experience the pinnacle of their sport making it to the state meet and competing against the best in the state,” coach Rocky Kulsrud said. “Those who placed are always some of our highlights but there are others who just missed out that also can look back and after they get over the disappointment of not making it on the podium can realize what they accomplished to get there.”

“Some highlights have to be Icel’s race in the 3,200M, just an amazing effort and breaking 12 minutes with a great last lap to finish third,” Kulsrud said. “The girls’ 4x200M relay team had a small disappointment in prelims, but still qualified for finals and then regrouped and came back to finish fourth. Also, Liv and Icel in the 1,600M both placing with season-best times; Seth Stevie and Brayden White placing in the 300M hurdles though not finishing the way they would have liked, still placing for the second year in a row in that event.” Kulsrud cited the progress of Lauren Ochoa, who switched from softball to track this spring and put up impressive numbers in shot put, discus and javelin.

“Though not placing as high as she would have liked [in the discus throw], it still was a very good and inspiring year for Lauren.” the coach said. “It generally takes a lot longer to pick up the technique of throwing various implements then mastering in one year, but Lauren put in a lot of work to being able to throw all implements with a high degree of success.”

“Both boys and girls 4x400M relay teams just missed the podium. Magnus Treise, also a newcomer to the sport of track and field, made the finals in the triple jump and just missed the podium by the smallest of margins,” Kulsrud said.

“There is a lot to be proud of and the table is set for a great 2019 season,” Kulsrud concluded.