Liberty Hill hosts Cross Country Invitational

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The Girls Cross Country team took First Place in Belton. From left front row are Hannah Manning, Mikayla Stiles, Courtney Peterson, Tabitha Bowles. In back are Chelsea Cole, Mckynzie King, Abbi Shelton, Emma Hofmann and Danielle Rimann. (Shannon Hofmann Photo)

The Girls Cross Country team took First Place in Belton. From left front row are Hannah Manning, Mikayla Stiles, Courtney Peterson, Tabitha Bowles. In back are Chelsea Cole, Mckynzie King, Abbi Shelton, Emma Hofmann and Danielle Rimann. (Shannon Hofmann Photo)

By Taylor Grafft

The Liberty Hill Cross Country team is set to host the 2014 Liberty Hill Cross Country Invitational this Saturday, Sept. 6, at Liberty High Junior High.

The meet will feature 35 different schools and their teams competing in Liberty Hill. This year’s course has been adjusted to make the Boys 5K a little more accurate in distance.

The Panthers’ cross country season is underway after the team traveled to Belton August 28. In Belton, the Panthers found great success at an individual and team level.

Three out of four of the varsity and sub-varsity teams placed in the top three at the meet, while several of the boys and girls from Liberty Hill finished in the top 10 individually.

The course the Panthers competed on in Belton was on a golf course that was relatively flat with a few inclines, according to Head Coach Kim Holt. Last season’s course in Belton was in a different location. Holt added that the heat and humidity played a big factor at the meet and made it hard on the runners.

The Liberty Hill Varsity Girls Cross Country team placed first at the meet with 22 points in the team standings. Sophomore McKynzie King followed up her terrific freshman season, which included a trip to the State Meet in Round Rock, with another strong start this season.

King placed first overall at the meet with a time of 12:22.4. Junior Danielle Rimann finished third overall with a time of 12:41.3. Sophomore Hannah Manning finished in fifth place with a time of 12:58.3. Senior Chelsea Cole finished in sixth place with a time of 13:00.0.

Courtney Peterson finished seventh overall with a time of 13:08.8. Abbi Shelton finished in 11th place, while teammate Tabitha Bowles finished in 12th place. Emma Hofmann finished with a time of 13:39.2 and Mikayla Stiles finished with a time of 13:55.5.

Other teams competing against the varsity girls team with top three finishes were Brownwood (2nd) and Brentwood (3rd).

The varsity boys team finished in second place in the team standings with 75 points. Gatesville High School finished in first place with 40 points.

For the varsity boys team, Ryan Ray finished with the best time and placing. Ray placed ninth overall with a time of 17:53.9.

Following Ray was a group of Liberty Hill Panther runners that ran together and finished with similar times.

Clayton Nance finished in 15th place overall with a time of 18:12.5. Cade Castillo finished in 16th place with a time of 18:13.3. Garrett Cummins finished in 17th place overall with a time of 18:14.2. Layne Bolin finished in 18th overall with a time of 18:18.6.

Andrew Frerichs (18:50.6) and Logan Hageman (18:54.2) finished in 24th and 25th place overall. Clayton Luckadoo finished with a time of 19:20.7 and Michael Natividad finished with a time of 19:22.9.

The Junior Varsity Girls Cross Country team finished first in the team standings for Liberty Hill, while the Junior Varsity Boys team missed placing in the top three, but showed a lot of promise for future meets.

“We got a good idea where the teams are at this point,” said Holt. “The kids competed hard and had a good first meet of the season. On a positive note, we placed well at this meet. The JV boys still need to improve to get in the top three at meets.  I think we are at a very good place at the beginning of the season.”

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