Girls Cross Country State Bound In Dramatic Fashion

Liberty wins tiebreaker over Timberland to advance to Class 4 state meet for the first time

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Girls Cross Country State Bound In Dramatic Fashion

The cross country team reacts moments after learning they advanced to the state meet.

The cross country team reacts moments after learning they advanced to the state meet.

Bridget Morris

The cross country team reacts moments after learning they advanced to the state meet.

Bridget Morris

Bridget Morris

The cross country team reacts moments after learning they advanced to the state meet.

Bridget Morris and Emily Barnett

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Nerves were running high this past Saturday as the varsity girls cross country team prepared to race in sectionals at Jefferson City. They knew going in the team to beat was Timberland and they had a chance to make it to state.

The girls were all warmed up and ready to race, and at the gun shot, they started on the course.

The course, which was the cross country team’s first meet location earlier in the season, featured many rolling hills and a bridge. As the the 3.1 miles were coming toward an end, the girls were crossing the finish line. Live results were showing individual times and team placements on a huge screen. Parents cheered and watched as they saw their daughters cross the line. 

Bridget Morris
Adrienne Rockette was the second Liberty runner to cross the finish line with a time of 21:08 helping her team qualify for state.

Freshman Ally Kruger finished first and took the title of sectional champion with a time of 19 minutes 41 seconds. Freshman Adrienne Rockette also qualified to move on to state individually by placing 22nd in 21:08. The top 30 individuals and top 4 teams advance to state.

Other varsity Liberty runners who helped lead the team were: Hannah Rossman, Lanni Guffey, Megan Venturella, Abbigael Woods and Liv Guffey.

“For sectionals, I wanted to get out with some of the lead runners but save some energy so I could finish strong,” Kruger said.

Following the race, the varsity girls and their parents were watching the team placement scores closely on the screen. The top four scoring teams would be moving on to state, and Liberty and Timberland’s team points kept toggling back and forth. The final team scores showed Liberty and Timberland were tied for fourth place with 107 points each. The tiebreaker is determined by the sixth runner. Woods finished ahead of Timberland’s sixth runner by six places.

“We were all really excited and nervous at the same time because we really wanted to move on, and Timberland and us have been competing closely throughout the season,” Woods said.

The runners weren’t sure if Liberty had qualified as a team, but during the medal ceremony, they revealed the top four teams and announced Liberty had secured fourth place. The team had won the tiebreaker with Timberland and will move on to the state meet. State will take place in Jefferson City on Nov. 3.

“Only 16 teams are going to state and I’m proud to be one of them,” assistant coach Mr. Walterbach said.