The Liberty Bell High School cross-country team opened the season in excellent form against a lineup of larger schools at the Sehome Invitational in Bellingham last weekend.
Liberty Bell’s reigning state 1B/2B champion Novie McCabe took first place among 83 competitors in the 2-mile race for junior girls, in a time of 11:46.03. That was the second-fastest time among all girls for the day, behind only the 11:34.36 by Annika Reiss of Bellingham in the senior girls’ race. McCabe and Reiss were the only girls to break 12 minutes.
McCabe was the only Lady Lion in the junior girls’ race, but Liberty Bell fielded enough runners in the freshman and sophomore races to come away with first-place finishes in both the 2-mile races — beating teams including Shorewood, Burlington-Edison, Snohomish, Anacortes, Arlington, Sehome and Mount Vernon.
In the freshman girls’ race, Liberty Bell’s Jori Grialou was 4th, Mahali Kuzyk 14th, Lilia Kuzyk 28th, Payten Kaufman 51st and Ayeanna Ruprecht 53rd.
In the sophomore girls’ race, the Lady Lions’ Liv Aspholm took 4th, Greta Laesch 6th, Keeley Brooks 10th, Eva Weymuller 19th, Lena Nelson 36th, Lindsay Worrell 38th and Annika Tate Libby 57th.
In the senior girls’ 2-mile race, Liberty Bell’s Icel Sukovaty took 9th place, followed by Ella Kuzyk in 11th.
On the boys’ side, senior Owen Hevly, new to the team this year, was the first Liberty Bell finisher in the boys’ junior varsity 2-mile race, in 37th place. Freshman Eli Neitlich finished 81st, and freshman Kieren Quigley in 132nd.
In a separate race for freshman boys, Cooper Legler was 28th, Bellamy Kar 44th and David Kominak 63rd for Liberty Bell.
Bodhi Kuzyk took 45th in the sophomore boys’ 2-mile race, and Andrew Kominak was 118th.
In the senior boys’ 2-mile run, Liberty Bell’s Emerson Worrell took 29th place, followed by Simon Studen in 61st and Lazo Gitchos in 74th.
The next scheduled meet is on Sept. 22, the Nike Battle for the 509 in Cheney.