On a beautiful and mostly calm Tuesday (April 19) afternoon, the Liberty Bell Invitational Track and Field Meet turned into a festival of personal records and outstanding performances by local and regional high school athletes at Mountain Lion Stadium.
In all, 144 personal bests were recorded by athletes of the seven attending schools from North Central Washington.
“We had over 20 PRs set on Tuesday,” Liberty Bell coach Erik Brooks said. “That was pretty amazing.”
Sophomore Sandra Hernandez led the way, setting three marks of her own: placing 2nd in the 200-meter dash, and winning both the 400M run (1:06.71) and javelin (78 feet, 11 inches). Freshman Zoe Kaltenbach also set three PRs on the day, running to 6th-place finishes in the 200M and 400M and placing 7th in the javelin.
Leki Albright set a new personal best on her way to victory in the 1,600M run with her best-ever time of 5:34.37, the third-fastest statewide time in the 2B classification this year. Albright doubled her win total on the day about an hour later in the 800M, defeating a field of five runners in 2:36.94.
Freshmen Kady Hammer (100M, shot put) and Izabel Bajema (100M, javelin) posted two PRs each and Savannah Bird added one of her own in the javelin.
There were several outstanding performances on the boys’ side. Perhaps the statement race of the day was in the 3,200M, where freshman Dexter Delaney had his sights set not just on his personal record, but on the school record, set by Ben Klemmeck in his senior year, 2016. Delaney jumped out from the start and set a blistering pace, lapping the field twice on his way to being only the second Mountain Lion to break the 10-minute mark, completing his eight orbits around the track in 9:55.03, just over three seconds slower than Klemmeck’s school record of 9:51.36.
“He really wanted it, but just missed it. It was a great run, though,” said the coach Brooks said. “He certainly could do it at some point.”
Sophomore Will Halpin, returning to the track for the first time in several weeks, led wire-to-wire in the 1600M, turning in a time of 4:53.57. Aksel Thomson took the top spot in the 800M with a personal best of 2:14.25.
Kyler Mitchell joined the PR fest with a victory in the 300M intermediate hurdles, setting his best career mark at 46.39. In the field events, Fischer Edwards garnered two 2nd-place rankings in the javelin (124 feet, 4 inches) and the shot put (33 feet, 5 inches) to go with his PR of the day in the 200M on the track. Mitchell teamed up with Thomson, Halpin and John Chavez-Hernandez to close out the meet with a victory in the 4x400M relay.
Holden Riggs (100M and 200M) and George Chavez-Hernandez joined the double-PR club, Isaiah Stoothoff ran a PR 25.66 in the 200M to 4th place overall, and Omar Ortega also set a PR in the 200M.
Saturday (April 23) at the Quincy Invitational, Dexter Delaney doubled in the 800M and 1,600M, where he placed 4th in the former and took the top spot at 4:35.08 in the latter. Will Halpin was 5th overall (4:50.15). Aksel Thomson was a strong 2nd place in the 3,200M, setting another PR in that event. Kyler Mitchell placed 7th in the 300M hurdles. Fischer Edwards’ javelin throw of 126 feet, 7 inches was good for 7th place, and the top B class thrower of the day.
Leki Albright took 2nd in the 3,200M in a personal record time of 11:33.28. Sandra Hernandez was the only other Liberty Bell girl to compete at Quincy, placing 10th in the javelin.
The Central Washington 2B League Championships are scheduled for Liberty Bell High School on Wednesday, May 11.
The Mountain Lions had three matches scheduled over the last week with trips to Soap Lake on Tuesday (April 19), a Wednesday (April 20) match at Manson and a scheduled Thursday (April 21) home match with Pateros that was delayed until Friday when the weather was slated to improve.
At Soap Lake, the boys swept the Eagles aside, 5-0. Haizea Alvarez and Amelia Evans each won their singles matches as the girls split, 2-2.
At Manson, rain washed out the bulk of the afternoon activities. Before the downpour, the Mountain Lions had some success against the Trojans, the doubles pair of Connor Herlihy and Gannet Fisher winning their match, 6-2, 6-4. Angel Arrellano managed a split, winning set one 6-3, dropping set two 5-7 before the rains came and the match was stopped as a draw.
Alvarez and Evans teamed up at Manson for a doubles match, losing a tough-fought battle, 4-6 and 4-6, according to Assistant Coach Keri Miles. “They were due to play singles after but got rained out,” Miles said. “The No. 2 girls’ doubles was mid-match when we got rained out, however they were fighting back after losing the first set 2-6, and were at a second set score of 6-6.”
At Pateros, the boys came away with a sweep of the Billygoats, winning all of their scheduled singles and doubles matches in straight sets. Amelia Evans won her singles match, 6-3 and 6-1, then matched up with Amelie Stracke to win their doubles match.
The Mountain Lions hosted Oroville in a home match late Tuesday (April 26). Thursday (April 28) they travel to Entiat and Friday (April 29) the Omak Pioneers come to Liberty Bell for a 4 p.m. start time at the Liberty Bell tennis courts.
In a battle for the top spot in the Central Washington B League, Liberty Bell hosted the Brewster Bears last Tuesday at Mountain Lion Field. Liberty Bell jumped out to a first-inning 1-0 lead, set up when Eli Neitlich was walked by Brewster pitcher A.J. Woodward. Noah Holston drilled a shot to right field, advancing Neitlich to second. He moved to third on a Damon Alumbaugh single, then was driven home by Sawyer Crandall.
In that first inning, the Mountain Lions felt they had a chance to really jump on Woodward, getting five runners on base with three hits and two free passes.
“We just had trouble getting runs across the plate,” said assistant coach Bret Alumbaugh.
Holston scored in the third inning to put Liberty Bell up by a 2-1 count. The Bears scored their initial tally in the top of the third, then added a run in the fourth to tie the game at 2, and an unearned run on two errors in the fifth inning, followed by a four-run seventh and the final count of 7-2 for Brewster.
Alumbaugh took the loss on the mound, giving up only one earned run. Mac Surface came in to pitch the seventh, and pitched well according to Aspholm. “The error thing bit us again,” he said. Of the four runs charged to Surface, none were earned.
The Mountain Lions were scheduled to play at Lake Roosevelt on Tuesday, weather permitting. The Raiders come to Liberty Bell on Friday in what could determine the No. 2 spot in the league with only a few games left in the season before District playoffs. First pitch Friday is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
Liberty Bell boys’ soccer looked to be turning a corner, first with a win over Pateros coming off of spring break on April 18, then came a tough 3-1 loss to Manson in the rain last Thursday.
Post-game comments by coach David Marz were clear after the Manson loss: Liberty Bell needs to play with a more aggressive style with more contact, rush the ball, force the action more. “We’ve been outplayed physically. Our team plays hard, they hustle and work hard. We just get out-muscled and pushed around a little,” the coach said.
On Saturday the young Mountain Lions appeared to take a more assertive tack in facing Okanogan. The Bulldogs showed themselves as bigger, faster and stronger, scoring twice in both halves and shutting down the Mountain Lions with an aggressive, physical style of play on defense. Okanogan applied consistent pressure, resulting in two goals in each half for the 4-0 win.
It’s a busy week for Liberty Bell soccer, with a Tuesday game at home with Oroville, followed by Thursday at home (4:30 p.m.) versus Tonasket and a rematch, at home, with Brewster on Saturday, 11 a.m. kickoff.
Liberty Bell traveled to Brewster for a double-header with the second place Bears, Brewster earning two five-inning victories, 12-0 and 12-1. “There isn’t much to say after that,” said head coach Chad Surface. “It was frustrating because we know we are better than what we showed.”
Surface said that Brewster had Liberty Bell’s pitchers figured out and that while the Mountain Lions got some hits and had opportunities, they just couldn’t get girls across home plate.
Two more sets of games are on the schedule for Liberty Bell, both home double-headers this Friday versus Lake Roosevelt, and Tuesday (May 3) the Bridgeport Fillies come to campus to close out the home schedule and Senior Day. First pitch both days will be at 3:30 p.m.