By Don Nelson
While their older, veteran teammates — you know, the freshmen and sophomores — used another big meet to hone their training, Liberty Bell’s middle-school cross-country runners offered a glimpse of the future at last weekend’s Carl Westling South Whidbey Invitational.
In their first meet, the Liberty Bell boys’ and girls’ teams — made up of seventh- and eighth-graders — each finished first among middle schools in team scoring. They competed over a 1.5-mile course at Langley.
Meanwhile, the girls’ and boys’ varsity teams — once again racing against many much larger high schools — claimed sixth place and third place, respectively, over 5,000 meters.
“A super-fun first race of the middle school season,” head coach Erik Brooks said in his meet report. “Our athletes were ready to race and offered a great glimpse of good things to come. Across the board we saw tremendous effort, a whole lot of smiling, and it seems that quite a few of our new racers caught the cross-country bug and will hopefully be a part of the program for years to come.”
The girls’ varsity team placed three runners among the top 11 — out of 87 racers — to finish behind only Edmonds-Woodway and Redmond in the division 1 varsity race. Leading the Lady Lions was sophomore Novie McCabe in third place, followed by freshman Liv Aspholm in eighth place and sophomore Gretta Scholz in 11th. McCabe was the fastest sophomore, and Aspholm the fastest freshman, in the varsity girls’ race.
In the division 2 boys’ varsity race, sophomore Walker Hall was the first Mountain Lions finisher, in 17th place. Senior Eli Nielsen was 24th and freshman Ian Delong 31st among the 114 runners.
Liberty Bell travels to Walla Walla Point Park on Saturday (Sept. 23) for the Wenatchee Invite.