Boys take 2nd, girls take 6th at District as handful of Panthers advance to Area Meet


By Lance Catchings

The Liberty Hill track teams competed at their District 19-4A meet in Burnet last Wednesday and Thursday, where the boys finished second as a team and the girls finished sixth. The top four individual finishers in each event advanced to the Area Meet held Wednesday in Giddings.

Results of the Area Meet were not available by press time Wednesday.

For the varsity girls’ team, senior Bethany McLeod qualified for the Area Meet in three events. McLeod said it was a dream come true to advance in long jump, triple jump and the 300 M hurdles.

“It’s a pretty amazing feeling, getting to advance,” McLeod said. “I remember my freshman year, going to State with the 4×400 team, and it was awesome. I have wanted to go to State in my own event since freshman year. Getting to the Area in three events makes it more possible to go to State and I’m excited for the opportunity I have.”

Brooke Wright also advanced to the Area Meet with a second-place finish in pole vault. Head Coach Gretchen Peterson said she was proud of her team for how they competed all season long.

“It was a different year for us,” Peterson said. “We had a number of our young girls step up and compete really well. Our veterans did a great job of leading and keeping things together throughout the season.”

In the 4×100 M relay, Emily Huppee, Brooke Wright, Leighkay Currey and Dominique Berzin took fifth. In the 800 M run, Madison Sears took fifth, Sarah Bitner took sixth and Aubrey Caskey finished 16th. In the 100 M dash, Kennedy Coleman finished eighth. In the 4×200 M relay Huppee, Berzin, Currey and Haley Polser teamed up for a second-place finish to advance to the Area Meet. In the 400 M dash, Lindsee Miller took first place, followed by Rachel Gallander in third. Bethany McLeod finish third in the 300 M hurdles to advance to the area round. Mikayla Shaw finished fifth and Lizzy Montes finished eighth. Hannah Brown took first in the 1600 M run, while Caskey finished ninth and Eliana Luna finished 17th. Liberty Hill also took third in the 1600 M relay with the team of Coleman, Miller, Polser and Gallander to advance to the Area Meet.

In the triple jump, McLeod took a second-place finish with a leap of 34-08. She also finished third in the long jump with a leap of 16-11. Brooke Wright finished second in pole vault, clearing 9-06. Nya Casebolt cleared 4-10 to finish third in high jump. Amanda Mena finished third in the shot put with a toss of 36-11. Montes finished fifth in the discus with a toss of 90-0.

Head Boys Track Coach Kent Walker said that after the strong showing at district by the boys’ team, he was excited about the possibilities at the Area Meet.

“I’m excited about the Area Meet,” Walker said. “I feel that we have a good shot at getting quite a few of our athletes to Regionals.”

In the 4×100 M relay, Kyle Harrison, Brandon McKissick, Grant Ornelaz and Joseph Pezold finished eighth. In the 800 M run, Alex Albarran finished fourth to advance to the Area Meet, while Ethan Barre finished 10th and Gabriel Diaz finished 11th. Ben White took a third-place finish in the 110 M hurdles to advance. Kelly Robinson, Ornelaz, Walker Gilbert and Pezold teamed up for a fourth-place finish in the 4×200 M relay. Liberty Hill had both Robinson and McKissick advance to the Area Meet in the 400 M dash. Robinson finished third and McKissick took fourth. White took first in the 300 M hurdles to advance to the Area Meet in both hurdle events. In the 200 M dash, Gilbert earned a second-place finish while teammate Ornelaz finished sixth. Three Panthers advanced in the 1600 M run. Albarran won first place, followed by Diaz in second and Kevin Berber in fourth. The 4×400 M relay team of Pezold, Robinson, Gilbert and McKissick advanced with a third-place finish, as well.

Noah Kelly finished second in high jump, clearing 5-10. Hunter Oncken finished fourth in long jump with a leap of 20-08.75. Matthew Carter finished third in the shot put with a toss of 43-11, and Justin Montgomery took sixth with a toss of 41-04.