Cross Country teams fare well at State

LHHS Men's Cross Country

LHHS Men's Cross Country

Cameron Cardwell (left) and Mitchell Germann (right) make their way down the final stretch of the 3A boys cross country meet Saturday, which Liberty Hill placed third. (

ROUND ROCK – It may not have been the team results they were looking for, but the Liberty Hill cross country teams had a very good showing at the UIL State Championships Saturday at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.

Liberty Hill, like all the other schools, had to contend with winds over 20 mph that kicked up dirt and dust all day long. Not only was the course windy and dusty, the field was also very deep with the best runners in the state of Texas.

On Saturday, the Liberty Hill boys team did something they never had in school history – medal at the state level.

As he had done all season, sophomore Mitchell Germann led the boys’ team finishing in sixth place with a time of 16:52.10. But this time to a bronze medal, a third-place finish, at the UIL State Championships.

At around the quarter-mile mark, Germann and Nikkita Crozier were near the front of the pack as they race headed into the halfway point. Coming down the stretch, three LH runners finished nearly consecutively, giving the Panthers hope of top finish.

The boys were unable to take the title, but they made school history with a gutsy performance on Saturday.

“We are happy about it,” said Germann. “But it’s still disappointing because we were hoping for a win. We ran pretty well today. It was really dusty and windy, but everyone had to run through it so it doesn’t really matter.”

Following Germann was Cameron Cardwell in seventh running a time of 16:52.70 and Crozier with a top-10 result at the No. 9 spot running a 16:54.80 time.

Rounding out the boys, who finished behind Kaufman and Sanger, were Stephen Waller-Delarosa at 17:16.10 and Steven Palmer at 18:29.80.

Liberty Hill cross country Coach Kim Holt was proud and pleased with the boys’ results on a windy and dusty afternoon.

“They are disappointed because they wanted first,” Holt said. “But they made the medal stand and not very many teams get a chance to do that.

“The dust affects the kids that have asthma out here and the wind it does affect the running, but they are all dealing with it. I wish it wasn’t windy and dusty but that’s what we got,” she said.

Germann, who will have two more years to improve, was satisfied with how the season unfolded, saying he was happy with the season.


A hairy situation

Before the regional meet in San Antonio, the Liberty Hill boys’ team decided to show some team solidarity by shaving their heads in a Mohawk-like fashion. Since the school does not allow Mohawks, the shave is very broad, but it proved to be just another example of what a tight-nit group the boys’ team was this season.

It’s debatable whether or not the haircuts proved to be more aerodynamic, but the boys had fun doing it as part of a storied year for the cross country program.


A state champ

On the girls’ side, as expected senior Susie Kemper took the individual gold medal, leading the team to a fourth-place finish in a field that was extremely competitive.

At the quarter-mile point, Kemper was in second place, just behind Lovejoy’s Katie Ruhala. However, down the stretch, Kemper pulled away and finished with a time of 11:42.30.

She was followed by teammates Chelsea Cole who finished 12 at 12:41.20 and Lauren Jackson (13:07.90), Amanda Kelley (13:25.20) and Kourtney Bevers (13:27.30).

“They are a little disappointed; I know they wanted to make the medal stand,” Holt said of the girls. “But fourth out of 12 in the state of Texas is very good and you can’t be too disappointed with that.”

Overall, the Liberty Hill cross country teams had a phenomenal season winning a multitude of meets including the district meet.

This season the boys took first place at the Vista Ridge, Llano, UTSA, Salado, McNeil, Georgetown, Vista Ridge again and the district meet in Salado.

They also took the silver medal at the regional meet in San Antonio and ended the season with a trip to the state championships, capturing third-place out of the top teams in the state.

The girls’ season was just as impressive as the boys as they won meets at Vista Ridge, Llano, Salado, Georgetown, Vista Ridge again. They also won gold at the district meet in Salado and were champs at the regional meet at UTSA. The girls finished a fantastic season placing fourth of 12 teams at the state meet in Round Rock.

Coach Holt was ecstatic about how the season turned out overall.

“This is my fourth year to coach and this is the best season we’ve had,” she said. “The teams did awesome; we had 10 seniors who did whatever we asked them to do. They were determined; we didn’t have to worry about them a whole lot because they were focused on what they wanted to do. It was a great season.”


3A Varsity Boys 5000 Meter Run Team Scores                

1 Kaufman       

2     German Lopez               16:23.60

8     Edwin Munoz                16:53.60

14    Dylon Lowe                 17:12.20

18    Dylan Evans                17:16.80

19    Mauricio Cruz              17:20.50

41    Juan Jacquez               17:50.60*

77    Julian Cortez              19:16.00*

Total Time: 1:25:07

Average: 17:01.34

1-5 Split: 57

2 Sanger 

4     Colt Carlton               16:49.60

11    Brandon Bernal             17:03.00

13    Jacob Perry                17:09.30

23    Derek Key                  17:31.20

29    Grayson Ceballos           17:37.00

39    Sacha Shannon              17:49.50*

57    Hunter Tipton              18:24.50*

Total Time: 1:26:10

Average: 17:14.02

1-5 Split: 47

3 Liberty Hill   

6     Mitchell Germann           16:52.10

7     Cameron Cardwell           16:52.70

9    Nikkita Crozier            16:54.80

16 Stephen Waller-Delarosa


59    Steven Palmer              18:29.80

76    Blake Hare                 19:10.90*

81    Brian Cantwell             19:43.90*

Total Time: 1:26:26

Average: 17:17.10

1-5 Split: 1:38


3A Varsity Girls Two Mile Run

1 Susan Kemper (12)

Liberty Hill                 11:42.30

2 Katie Ruhala (11)

Lucas Lovejoy             11:52.30

3 Olivia Hinojosa (9)

La Vernia                  12:02.70


3A Varsity Girls 

Two Mile Run Team Scores     

1 Lucas Lovejoy

2     Katie Ruhala               11:52.30

5     Rachel Gleason             12:18.40

6     Lindsey Cox                12:23.60

7     Abby Tedford               12:23.90

18    Jenna Locklear             13:00.20

21    Rebecca Gleason            13:02.30*

77    Alex Monroe                14:13.20*

Total Time: 1:01:58

Average: 12:23.68

1-5 Split: 1:08

2 La Vernia  

3     Olivia Hinojosa            12:02.70

4     Madison Trees              12:03.20

9     Bailee Vrana               12:36.80

16    Shaley Trammell            12:55.50

35    Shayler Ring               13:14.80

46    Isabelle Reynosa           13:22.90*

56    Brianna Kruciak            13:27.80*

Total Time: 1:02:53

Average: 12:34.60

1-5 Split: 1:12

3 Decatur   

13    Nicole Neighbors           12:47.50

14    Nancy Torres               12:48.40

29    Bianca Morrison            13:10.70

34    Morgan Haney               13:14.00

41    Natalie Neighbors          13:18.20

61    Bobbi Clemmer              13:42.30*

63    Zuleima Palomo             13:49.90*

Total Time: 1:05:19

Average: 13:03.76

1-5 Split: 31

4 Liberty Hill   

1     Susan Kemper               11:42.30

12    Chelsea Cole               12:41.20

27    Lauren Jackson             13:07.90

50    Amanda Kelley              13:25.20

54    Kourtney Bevers            13:27.30

64    Kaya Alley                 13:49.90*

68    Baylie Bevers              13:57.40*

Total Time: 1:04:24

Average: 12:52.78

1-5 Split: 1:45