By Joseph Garcia
The Liberty Hill Panthers’ cross country season finished Saturday as they competed against the highest possible level of competition at Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock for the state meet.
Last season, the LH boys’ team took to the medal stand with a bronze around their necks and Susie Kemper outright won the cross country title for individuals. This year the Liberty Hill girls’ team was the only one to qualify for state, along with junior standout Mitchell Germann for the boys.
Both the girls’ and boys’ teams are young and will be returning many key runners for their 2013 campaign, but at state this year the girls finished 12th overall with Germann meeting his goal of a top-10 finish, coming in at No. 10.
Saturday was very windy which effected many runners, but it also did not help that Liberty Hill’s top girl was ill for the meet.
“The girls didn’t have a good race,” said Liberty Hill Coach Kim Holt. “Danielle (Rimann) was sick and they just didn’t run well as a team, but yes they gained some valuable experience that they will use when they return to state next year.”
Rimann, usually the first across the finish line for the Panthers, ended up second for Liberty Hill and 57th overall with a time of 13:38.40.
Jordan Marsh was Liberty Hill’s top runner, finishing 39th overall with a time of 13:14.85, followed by Rimann, Maria Rodriguez (13:41.35), Abigail Shelton (13:46.87), Baylie Bevers (13:49.62), Chelsea Cole (13:57.11) and Amanda Kelley (14:11.90).
The girls’ team, returning every single runner next year, will also be experienced and reloaded as well, which should make for a champion-caliber team, according to Holt.
“They ran against the best teams in the state,” Holt said. “So they experienced what it will take to win a state cross country championship. We have some good 8th graders coming up next year and the girls’ team is losing no one, so we should be making a run next year for a medal at state.”
Earlier in the year Germann said his goal was to first make it to state and then to run to a top-10