Looking for repeats at state meet in Pasco
By Don Nelson
The Liberty Bell High School girls’ and boy’s cross-country teams handily secured their return to the state championships with first-place finishes at the District 5-6 1B/2B meet on Oct. 25 in Wenatchee.
The Mountain Lion teams will be in Pasco on Saturday (Nov. 4), where the girls will defend their 2016 state championship and the boys will look to match or improve on their second-place finish last year. Liberty Bell’s Novie McCabe will also be aiming for a second consecutive first-place finish in the girls’ race.
At last week’s meet on the Walla Walla Point Park 5,000-meter course, the girls claimed their third straight district title, while for the boys it was the seventh time in eight years, and sixth straight time, that they have finished first.
McCabe duplicated her first-place finish at the 2016 district meet, crossing the line more than 30 seconds ahead of Trout Lake’s Hannah Funkhouser. Liberty Bell’s Gretta Scholz took third place, followed by Ella Kuzyk in fourth, Athena Milani in sixth and Liv Aspholm in seventh for a team score of 17 points — almost duplicating their perfect score of 15 at the league championship meet. Icel Sukovaty finished a non-scoring eighth, while Eva Weymuller finished 12th — giving the Lady Lions seven of the first half-dozen finishers. Tri-Cities Prep was second with 61 points.
The Liberty Bell boys had more teams and runners to compete against, so their winning score of 40 points “was actually more impressive to me and was perhaps a less-predictable outcome,” said coach Erik Brooks. “They [the Mountain Lions] had a good chance to win, but the score is an excellent indicator of our depth.”
In cross-country team competition, where the low score wins based on overall finish, it can be just as important for a non-scoring runner to finish ahead of other team’s competitors — as did Liberty Bell’s Simon Studen at the district meet.
“With Cade Quigley still a little under the weather, we still haven’t seen our boy’s team at 100 percent peak capacity — but with everyone clicking on all cylinders (fingers crossed) the boys should be very competitive again this coming weekend,” Brooks said.
Brooks complimented Liberty Bell’s junior varsity teams “for also showing off our depth in a race with competition from 1A schools like Cashmere and Omak.” The boys’ JV team took first place; there were no team scores in the girls’ JV competition.
There will be a sendoff for the teams at the high school on Friday (Nov. 3) at 9 a.m.
LBHS boys are state academic champs
The Liberty Bell High School boys’ cross-country team won the Academic State Championship for 2B schools in the fall sports season, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association announced last week. The Mountain Lion boys finished with a cumulative 3.943 grade point average.
The Scholastic Awards Program recognizes the team with the highest grade point average among all Washington high schools in their enrollment classification. The winning teams will be presented with a special plaque at the upcoming state championships.
Results, District 5-6 1B/2B meet, Oct. 25
Girls’ 1B/2B varsity, 5K
Team scores: Liberty Bell 17, Tri-Cities Prep 61, Riverside Christian 73, Lake Roosevelt 88
1. Novie McCabe
3. Gretta Scholz
4. Ella Kuzyk
6. Athena Milani
7. Liv Aspholm
8. Icel Sukovaty
12. Eva Weymuller
Boys’ 1B/2B varsity, 5K
Team scores: Liberty Bell 40, Manson 72, Tonasket 84, Tri-Cities Prep 116, Trout Lake 142, Bickleton 175, Brewster 183, Bridgeport 202, Lake Roosevelt 228, Riverside Christian 253, White Swan 259
5. Eli Nielsen
7. Walker Hall
9. Emerson Worrell
11. Ian DeLong
13. Travis Grialou
18. Simon Studen
31. Cade Quigley
Boys’ JV, 5K
Team scores: Liberty Bell 34, Cashmere 46, Omak 86, Cascade 103, Manson 121, Tonasket 141
3. Lazo Gitchos
5. Peter Aspholm
7. Nick Fitzmaurice
9. Tim Haley
10. Bohdi Kuzyk
18. Galen Fonda
20. Logan Hall
22. Erick Lopez
27. Andrew Kominak
30. Eden Davis
Girls’ JV, 5K
1. Keeley Brooks
2. Lindsay Worrell
4. Lena Nelson