Panthers rack up medals at season-opening meet
By TAYLOR GRAFFT
While the season has just begun for the Liberty Hill Track and Field team, the Panthers already brought plenty of excitement to their home meet last Saturday that should entice fans to keep watching.
Nothing was more exciting than the varsity boy’s 4 x 800 Meter Relay team’s finish. After the team fell behind to Caldwell in the first three legs, anchor Ryan Ray ran one of the most impressive races of his young career to win the race for Liberty Hill.
Ray was trailing the Caldwell runner by 100 meters going into the last 200. While the Caldwell runner started to slow down, Ray picked up the pace and started to close the gap.
Eventually with 50 meters to go Ray passed his opponent and crossed the finish line first amid cheers and applause from the his teammates, coaches, and the Panther fans.
“Ryan was a little disappointed by their finish in the distance medley relay, actually all the boys were,” Coach Gretchen Peterson said. “So they really wanted to go after the Caldwell team in the 4 x 800. (The team) ran hard and Ryan really put it on the line on that last stretch. It took guts and it was awesome to see them come through they way they did.”
Earlier in the day Ray and his three teammates finished in second place to Caldwell in the distance medley relay.
Overall the Liberty Hill teams had a strong showing at the 2015 Panther Relays. The varsity boys finished in second place with 151 points behind Manor (167 points).
The varsity girls finished in second place as well with 146 points behind Manor (166 points).
The junior varsity boys won the meet with 196 points beating Manor who finished with 180 points.
The junior varsity girls placed second in the meet with 190 points and lost to Manor (200 points).
The Panthers had several individual athletes stand out in their respective events.
Dakota Corbut won the varsity boys shot put with a distance of 46 feet and seven-and-a-half inches.
Lucas Rizzotto won the varsity boys triple jump with a distance of 41’ 8 ½”.
Garrett Cummings, Ryan Ray, Vasquez Natividad, and Layne Bolin won the 4 x 800 Meter Relays for the varsity boys team with a time of 9:07.83.
Ana Rodriguez won the varsity girls 300 Meter Hurdles with a time of 48.97.
McKynzie King, Danielle Rimann, Rachel Gallender, and Angelica Mena won first place in the varsity girls Sprint Medley Relay with a time of 4:29.81.
Rimann and King also helped win the varsity girls Distance Medley Relay with teammates Esther Vineyard and Marisa French, who finished with a time of 13:34.57.
Jacob Turek won the JV Boys 110 Meter Hurdles with a time of 17.68. Xavier Williams won the JV Boys 300 Meter Hurdles with a time of 44.49. Williams also placed first in the JV Boys Pole Vault and JV Boys Triple Jump.
The JV Boys 4 x 400 Meter Relay team, consisting of Nathan Kindle, Chance Runnels, Slade Cummins, and Garrett Becker won first place with a time of 3:52.59.
The JV Boys also captured first place finishes in the 4 x 800 Meter Relay, the Sprint Medley Relay, and the Distance Medley Relay.
The JV Girls captured a first place finish in the 4 x 400 Meter Relay with a time of 4:43.06. The team consisted of Rebecca Thrash, Elizabeth Montes, Courtney Peterson, and Victoria Kelley.
The JV Girls also captured first in the 4 x 800 Meter Relay with a time of 12:19.17. The team consisted of Molly Cowart, Jacqueline Holliday, Lauren Brooks, and Amanda Petterson.
The JV Girls also won first place in the Sprint Medley Relay and the Distance Medley Relay.
In field events, Amanda Mena won first place in the JV Girls Shot Put.