L&T staff report
The Liberal Redskins cross country team was in Great Bend Thursday for the WAC championship, and once the dust had settled, the boys team had won themselves a conference title.
This marked the second time the Redskins have run the course in Great Bend this season. Running a course two times in a year is always an advantage, so the runners knew what to expect coming into the race.
The varsity girls were without co-captain Vanny Diaz who was in the hospital for a medical procedure. Each of the Redskins ran with pink face paint under their eyes with the phrase, “Running4Vanny.”
As soon as the race started, two runners from Great Bend set the pace by taking the lead. By the first mile mark, senior Mercy Perez had made her way to the front pack. Perez would stay in that spot for the rest of the race placing fifth in a time of 16:32, earning her All-WAC honors.
Camryn Slatten continued her impressive freshman season by placing 10th with a time of 16:41, earning her the title of All-WAC honorable mention.
Sophomore Kacie Matthews finished the course in 17:25, good for 18th place. Freshman runners Saw Ahmara and Yanelly Yuardo placed 20th and 22nd, with times of 17:32 and 17:38.
Allyson Nondorf was the next Liberal runner, and although she is a junior, Nondorf is in her first season of cross country. Nondorf placed 26th with a time of 18:22. Senior Madison Butler was 28th place in 18:38.
The girls ended the day with 75 points. Garden City won with an impressive score of 21, Dodge City was second with 66 points, Liberal third with 75, Great Bend fourth with 89, and Hays fifth with 102 points.
The boys cross country team had hopes of bringing the WAC title back to Liberal after two years of runner up finishes.
As in the girl’s race, a group of Great Bend runners and Garden City runners took the race out fast. At the half mile mark Liberal had no runners in the top ten of the race, but by mile one Liberal had their top four runners in the top ten.
Junior Obed Quintana along with three other runners started to break away from the pack and the four stayed close all the way to the finish. Quintana took the lead with 800 meters left in the race, and stayed there all the way to the finish line. Quintana was WAC champion with a time of 16:36. Quintana improved drastically from a year ago at WAC where he placed 24th with a time of 18:54.
Earning a spot on the All-WAC team with Quintana was senior co-captain Sammy Obando. Obando placed fifth in 17:07.
Earning All-WAC honorable mention recognition were junior Luis Medina and Sophomore Emilio Tovila with eighth and ninth place finishes, and times of 17:26 and 17:33.
Freshman Edgar Moreno crossed the finish line in 18:03 in 15th place. Senior Erving Altamirano who fell during the race, losing some time and ground on the field, came back to finish 18th with a time of 18:05.
Sophomore Greg McClurg’s time of 18:16 was good enough for 22nd place. McClurg finished the race before any other teams number five runner finished.
After the scores were tallied, the Redskins captured the WAC Championship with 38 points. Garden City was second with 48 points, Great Bend third with 66 points, Hays fourth with 82 points, and Dodge City fifth with 109 points.
The Redskin varsity squads will head to Goddard Oct. 26 for their Regional meet hosted by Bishop Carrol. The top three teams from Regionals will qualify for the State meet on Nov. in Lawrence
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