By Don Nelson
A swarm of green jerseys flashed across the finish line in the middle school girls’ 1.5-mile race at the Can-Am Invitational cross-country meet in Kettle Falls on Saturday (Oct. 3), earning the Liberty Bell High Schools girls’ team another first-place trophy.
Liberty Bell took the top four spots, plus eighth place, to easily claim the win with 17 points. Leading the way in one-through-four were Novie McCabe, Rivers Leeman, Gretta Scholz and Liv Aspholm, with Lindsay Worrell claiming eighth place. Colville took second place in team scoring with 46 points.
The previous week, the Lady Lions varsity girls’ team took first place at the Trojan Invite in Manson.
At Kettle Falls, it was a clean sweep in the middle school category as the Liberty Bell boys also took first place in the 1.5-mile run. Walker Hall finished in second, followed by Ian DeLong in fifth, Travis Grialou in sixth, Andrew Kominak in 11th and Erick Lopez in 15th place for a team total of 33 points. Omak was second with 52 points.
Liberty Bell also made a strong showing the in the combined girls’ varsity-junior varsity race over 5,000 meters, taking third place. Freshman phenom Athena Milani finished 10th, the tandem of Icel Sukovaty and Ava Mott took 17th and 18th respectively, Mia Stratman finished 43rd and Sage Borgias 45th.
Liberty Bell’s junior varsity boys took sixth place in team scoring, led by Simon Studen in sixth place and Lazo Gitchos in 18th.
In the varsity boys’ 5,000m race, the Mountain Lions were without the team’s top runner, senior Ben Klemmeck, who is undefeated this year. Klemmeck was taking the SAT college entrance exam. Sophomore Eli Nielsen stepped up to take fourth place for Liberty Bell, and the team finished sixth overall. Sophomore Cade Quigley, running for the first time this season, was the next Mountain Lion finisher after Nielsen, in 15th place.
Coach Craig Herlihy said that with Klemmeck running his typical race, the Mountain Lions would have finished higher in the team competition. “Eli had a great race stepping in for Ben,” the coach said. He said Quigley ran “a strong-minded and totally focused race.”
After 10 years without a win before last week, the Liberty Bell girls’ team is starting to get excited about the notion of finishing up front, Herlihy said. “They’ve got something going,” he said.
Milani has been gaining ground on runners who went to the state meet last year and seems to be getting stronger each week, Herlihy said — as are Sukovaty and Mott.
The Kettle Falls meet, with 17 high schools and nine junior high schools represented, was a good mid-season test for the Mountain Lions, Herlihy said.
Liberty Bell traveled to Chelan for a rare Tuesday meet (Oct. 6), and will be back on the road for the Leavenworth Invite on Saturday (Oct. 10). Next after that is the Mt. Cashmere meet on Oct. 15. Then the team has a break until Oct. 24, when Liberty Bell hosts its only home event of the year, the B league championship meet.
Liberty Bell High School finishers, Can-Am Invitational
MIDDLE SCHOOL BOYS, 1.5 MILES
2. Walker Hall, eighth grade, 9:51
5. Ian DeLong, seventh grade, 10:26
6. Travis Grialou, seventh grade, 11:03
11. Andrew Kominak, seventh grade, 11:33.6
15. Erick Lopez, seventh grade, 12:01
24. Aidan Catlin, seventh grade, 12:45
MIDDLE SCHOOL GIRLS, 1.5 MILES
1. Novie McCabe, eighth grade, 10:17
2. Rivers Leeman, eighth grade, 10:54
3. Gretta Scholz, eighth grade, 10:58
4. Liv Aspholm, seventh grade, 11:12
8. Lindsay Worrell, seventh grade, 11:53
15. Eva Weymuller, seventh grade, 12:47.08
16. Lena Nelson, seventh grade, 12:50
19. Annika Libby, seventh grade, 13:22
VARSITY AND JUNIOR VARSITY GIRLS COMBINED, 5,000 METERS
10. Athena Milani, freshman, 21:17
17. Icel Sukovaty, freshman, 22:37
18. Ava Mott, freshman, 22:39
43. Mia Stratman, sophomore, 25:08.63
45. Sage Borgias, freshman, 25:17
JUNIOR VARSITY BOYS, 5,000 METERS
13. Simon Studen, freshman, 21:01
18. Lazo Gitchos, freshman, 21:33
35. Michael Mott, freshman, 23:12
38. Ian Dornfeld, freshman, 23:24
44. Zach Strong, freshman, 25:12
VARSITY BOYS, 5,000 METERS
4. Eli Nielsen, sophomore, 17:33
15. Cade Quigley, sophomore, 18:35.16
20. Emerson Worrell, freshman, 19:00
50. Carter Dornfeld, junior, 20:09
59. Tim Haley, sophomore, 21:06
64. Cameron Quinn, junior, 21:23