By Joseph Garcia
The city of Liberty Hill was host to the track and field season-opening meet Saturday, Feb. 16, with seven schools participating. It was the Panthers’ first taste of the 2013 track and field season, in which there will be several successes and plenty of growth.
The Panthers had good showings on all four teams (boys varsity and JV, girls varsity and JV), with the boys varsity and JV teams winning first place. The varsity boys’ score of 152 was good enough to beat out district foes Gatesville (126) and Brownwood (121), which placed second and third, respectively.
On the girls’ side, Liberty Hill’s young team took third place, scoring 102, finishing behind winners Brownwood (169) and second place Salado (128). The girls’ JV team came away with a second-place finish (136), behind Gatesville (142).
In total, the weekend was a success for the Liberty Hill Panthers in their first meet of the season.
“Overall, it was a good showing, but we have a lot to improve on and build on,” said Liberty Hill girls track and field Coach Gretchen Peterson. “Our kids competed and put forth a great effort, but it’s early and we are still getting in track meet shape; that will come with time, so there is nothing to panic about. We are young, so we are developing right now. District will be tough based on what we saw this weekend, but at least we know what our goals need to be.”
The most notable individual result for the Liberty Hill girls was Madi Sharp’s first-place finish in the long jump, with an attempt of 14-9 1/2.
Sharp also finished second in the high jump with an attempt of 4-8 and 110-meter hurdles with a time of 16.62 seconds.
Liberty Hill’s boys track and field program has a plethora of participating athletes this season. And on Saturday, three first-place finishes were recorded.
Will Fromme boasted two gold medals, taking first in both the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles with times of 15.0 and 41.87. The third gold medal on the boys’ side went to Gabe Shoemaker, who in the absence of Jadon Durity-Boatright won the triple jump with an attempt of 39-4 1/2. Bradley Noel finished right behind him in second place with a jump of 37-7 1/2.
But at this stage in the season, it is all about getting the body into track and field shape and overall healthy. The second meet will take place Saturday, Feb. 23, at Westlake for the Chap Relays, where the boys will be participating in the varsity and freshmen divisions and the girls in varsity and JV divisions against 5A schools, among others.
“We have 65 boys currently participating in track,” said Liberty Hill boys track and field Coach Jimmy Duncan. “It is very early in the season, so we are mainly trying to get into shape while managing some nagging injuries. We had good showings from our hurdlers and field events. We consider each meet to be practice meets leading up to district.”