By Joseph Garcia
LAMPASAS – It was a cool morning with a brisk breeze floating across the cross country course at Lampasas High School. Wednesday was an ideal morning for a race and an even more ideal outcome for Liberty Hill.
The Liberty Hill girls’ team arrived in Lampasas the favorites to win, but it was the boys’ team that raised some eyebrows once the results became available.
Led by junior runner Mitchell Germann, the Liberty Hill boys placed second with a score of 66 behind Brownwood’s 38. Gatesville finished third as a team, filling the final slot to advance to the Regional Meet on Saturday, Nov. 3, in Lubbock.
“The boys, we are very proud of them,” said Liberty Hill cross country Coach Kim Holt. “I think they did the best they could do today and
they came out second.”
Germann may have run one of his best races ever as he ended up pulling away from Brownwood runner Dylan Person in the final stretch to become the District 8-3A boys’ individual champion with a time of 16:29. Person finished at 16:38.6.
“Mitchell had one of his best races ever,” Holt said. “Strategically the way he raced was awesome staying with (the Brownwood runner) and he wore him out. Mitchell did awesome and is right where he needs to be. He is doing great.”
The Liberty Hill runners who finished behind Germann were Joseph Bolin (18:34), Zack Stiles (18:35.8), Joe Lingren (18:58.6) and Clayton Luckadoo (19:02.6).
“It feels great,” said Germann.
“The first mile or so was pretty downhill so I was just cruising and then the Brownwood runner came up on me and was duking it out with me. I was pushing a lot harder once he caught up to me. We were finishing into the wind and I was so tired at the end. But once we got on the track, I got excited to see the finish.”
The Liberty Hill girls’ team qualified for regionals, but the Lady Panthers were a bit disappointed with their third-place finish with 64 points behind Brownwood (40) and Lampasas (42).
Freshman runner Danielle Rimann finished first for Liberty Hill and eighth overall with a time of 12:47.7. Behind her were teammates Abigail Shelton (12:49.1), Jordan Marsh (12:57.8), Chelsea Cole (13:07.5) and Maria Rodriguez (13:08.3).
“The girls are a little disappointed and we should be,” Holt said. “They didn’t run their best race today and Brownwood and Lampasas did. They can either use this for motivation or be disappointed and not advance to state. But I think they will use this for motivation. They are one of the best teams in Region I; we just didn’t run our best race.”
The Liberty Hill JV teams also ran Wednesday morning and both the boys’ and girls’ teams placed. The girls’ team, led by Baylie Bevers, won first place while the boys took second.
Junior Varsity teams do not advance to another meet, but varsity does and that was the ultimate goal on Wednesday for Liberty Hill – to move forward.
“That was the ultimate goal,” Holt said. “To advance and make it to state.”
Mae Simmons Park located at MLK Blvd and 24th Street in Lubbock will be the site for the Regional Meet. The hilly course will prove to be a challenge for most teams. But Liberty Hill, aptly named, has trained for hills this year and will be ready to run.
“We will get to Lubbock next Friday and we will be able to walk the course and see the hills,” Holt said. “It is a tough course, a little tougher than this one. We’ve got another chance.”