Cross Country Wins Conference Titles

Boys team has breakthrough performance and the girls continue their dominance


photo provided by Denise Morris

The boys cross country team won their first ever conference title.

Grace Burke and Elektra Lowe

LHS Publications and Vianca Malave

When the cross country team started running on July 1, Coach Glavin noticed a new commitment from the boys team he hadn’t seen before. They showed up every day and that work ethic carried over into the season.

“That’s been the big difference,” Glavin said. “This is a huge step forward for the boys and this has helped change the culture for the team.”

The boys’ hard work has paid off as they won their first conference title in school history Wednesday afternoon at Washington High School.

“It was exciting because I’ve been here for four years and we were never really contenders for conference and this year we got six out of the seven guys in conference which has never been done before,” senior Josh Rossman said, who took fourth place at the meet. Teammate Collin Fay placed third.

“Working with the guys every day, going to workouts, and practice gave us a bond that we’ve never really had before,” Rossman said.

Fay and Rossman have been back-and-forth as the top guy at races this season.

“They’re the leaders of our team and set the pace at the workouts,” Glavin said.

The boys JV team also won conference. Jacob Smith and Alex Djidjev finished first and second, respectively in their race.

“Depth has been huge,” Glavin said.

The girls cross country team placed five runners in the top 10 at the conference meet. (photo provided by Denise Morris)

For the girls varsity team, they took the conference championship, the team’s first since they joined the Central Division.

The Liberty girls controlled the race from the start and put five runners in the top 10 in the race. Ally Kruger was the individual conference champion followed by Molly Morris (third) and Megan Venturella (fifth).

“We put five in the top 10 and I think one of the coolest things is that our number 1 girl Ally Kruger usually has more competition and so she’ll go out more, but since there weren’t girls at her level she got to run with me and our third girl for the first mile,” Morris said.

The team had just come off of a race Saturday at McNair Park. Wednesday’s conference race took place in the afternoon and on a hot day and they weren’t concerned with times. The team performed well in the conditions.

“The girls ran really well; they were awesome,” Glavin said. “We were focused on Washington and Zumwalt South and the girls did a great job getting in front of their counterpart.”

The last time the girls team won conference was back in 2015 when Liberty was in the North Division. The team had finished second the past three years.

The girls JV team placed third in their race. Medalists were Dori Earle (fourth), Emily Barnett (seventh) and Payton Grotewiel (13th).

Next up for the cross country team are districts on Oct. 31 at Big Driver in Washington.

“Another tough course,” Glavin said. “Our kids are tough in general. This is a good course for our kids. Our mental toughness gives us advantage on some of these tough courses.”

Liberty’s All-Conference Runners (Sruthi Ramesh)