By Don Nelson
Liberty Bell High School senior Ben Klemmeck powered to a first-place finish in the varsity boys’ 5,000-meter race at the Runners Soul Erik Anderson Invite in Spokane on Saturday (Sept. 19), besting runners from 14 other schools including several in larger enrollment classifications.
Liberty Bell was eighth overall in the varsity boys’ competition with 214 points, the highest finish among the 1B/2B schools in the meet. West Valley of Spokane was first with 73 points.
Klemmeck, who finished fourth in the 1B/2B state meet last year as a junior, won at Spokane in 15:46.10, a marked improvement over the 17:07.2 he ran the week before, while taking first place in the varsity boys’ 5,000m race at the Moses Lake Invitational.
Eli Nielsen in 15th, Emerson Worrell in 58th, Carter Dornfeld in 66th and Peter Aspholm in 94th also scored points for the Mountain Lions.
Liberty Bell’s Novie McCabe also recorded her second consecutive victory, claiming first place in the girls’ junior high 1.5-mile race with a time of 9:07.73. The Lady Lions took six of the first 12 places in the race, with McCabe followed by Gretta Scholz in third, Liv Aspholm in fifth, Lindsay Worrell in sixth, Lena Nelson in ninth and Keeley Brooks in 12th.
Coach Craig Herlihy said the Mountain Lions and Lady Lions “performed marvelously” especially considering that the team had arrived in Spokane on Friday and camped out overnight. “We had fun, it was good for team bonding,” Herlihy said of the camping experience.
Herlihy said Klemmeck again ran a smart strategic race, hanging with a pack of front-runners until he began to break away at about the two-mile mark.
“He pulled away and never looked back,” the coach said. “It was a very commanding performance.”
Herlihy also cited the performance of freshman Athena Milani, who took 12th place in the varsity girls’ 5,000m race. “She gets stronger as the race goes on,” he said. And Herlihy was pleased with how well both the boys and girls junior high competitors ran. “They were all running real smart,” he said.
Herlihy said the Mountain Lions’ overall strategy of not going out too fast continues to pay off. “In a 3-mile race, you have time to make it up,” he said. “You will feel better about your race if you finish strong as opposed to getting passed.”
Liberty Bell travels to Manson on Saturday (Sept. 26) for its next competition.
Liberty Bell finishers, Runners Soul Erik Anderson Invite
Varsity boys, 5,000 meters
Senior Ben Klemmeck, first, 15:46.10
Sophomore Eli Nielsen, 15th, 17:00.05
Freshman Emerson Worrell, 58th, 18:21.05
Junior Carter Dornfeld, 66th, 18:39.71
Freshman Peter Aspholm, 94th, 20:16.68
Senior Geza Sukovaty, 95th, 20:23.03
Sophomore Tim Haley, 96th, 20:23.83
Varsity girls, 5,000 meters
Freshman Athena Milani, 12th, 21:03.07
Freshman Icel Sukovaty, 25th, 22:03.00
Sophomore Mia Stratman, 26th, 22:04.10
Freshman Ava Mott, 29th, 22:09.25
Junior high boys, 1.5 miles
Seventh-grader Ian Delong, ninth, 9:20.78
Seventh-grader Travis Grialou, 10th, 9:36.28
Seventh-grader Andrew Kominak, 28th, 11:52.83
Junior high girls, 1.5 miles
Eighth-grader Novie McCabe, first, 9:07.73
Eighth-grader Gretta Scholz, third, 9:54.76
Seventh-grader Liv Aspholm, fifth, 10:05.93
Seventh-grader Lindsay Worrell, sixth, 10:35.72
Seventh-grader Lena Nelson, ninth, 11:18.68
Seventh-grader Keeley Brooks, 12th, 11:44.10
Seventh-grader Eva Weymuller, 14th, 11:57.14
Seventh-grader Annika Libby, 12:37.98
Junior varsity boys, 5,000 meters
Junior Cameron Quinn, 70th, 21:17.08
Freshman girls, 5,000 meters
Sage Borgias, 10th, 25:42.39
Johanna Vollmer, 12th, 26:22.04
Larkin Lucy, 15th, 27:59.01
FreshmAn boys, 5,000 meters
Simon Studen, 16th, 20:36.85
Lazo Gitchos, 41st, 22:39.87
Michael Mott, 44th, 23:34.02
Sam Neitlich, 49th, 24:58.74
Zach Strong, 51st, 25:24.78
Ian Dornfeld, 52nd, 25:27.74