Special to the Leader & Times
Ten Liberal runners competed in the Cross Country Coaches National Youth Championships in Louisville, Ky. The runners competed for the Brocaw Blazers, a youth team based out of the Kansas City area.
Mercy Perez competed for her third consecutive year. Sammy Obando, Obed Quintana, Luis Medina, Emilio Tovilla, and Camryn Slatten all competed for the second consecutive year, while Alex Chance, Saw Ahmara, Gideon Wright, and Jalyn Jarboe all competed for the first time at this level.
In the boys 6-8 year old division Jalyn Jarboe, age 7, finished the 2 kilometer course in a time of 10:13 finishing 35th for his age. The Brocaw Blazer team finished as the National runner-ups behind the Elgin Sharks from Chicago Illinois.
Gideon Wright age 9 competed in the 9-10 year old division. Wright placed 66th place finishing the 3 kilometer course in 13:21. The Brocaw Blazer team placed 2nd behind Derby City of Louisville, Kentucky.
Saw Ahmara and Camryn Slatten both competed in the girls 15-16 year old age group. Ahmara and Slatten were both competing in their first ever 5 kilometer race; at the high school competitions, they only run 4 kilometers. Ahmara completed the course in a time of 20:36, as the 28th runner to cross the line, just missing being an All-American by 12 seconds. Slatten was the 38th runner to cross the line with a time of 21:07. The Blazers were the National runner-ups behind Team Jenks America from Jenks, Oklahoma.
The boys 15-16 year old division had Emilio Tovilla, Obed Quintana, and Alex Chance all competing in the 5 kilometer course. Tovilla had a time of 17:32, which placed him 36th in the meet. Quintana was the 42nd runner finishing the course in a time of 17:45. Chance’s time of 18:35 placed him 56th place. The 15-16 Brocaw Blazers won the National team championship.
Mercy Perez competed in the Girls 17-18 age division. Perez completed the 5 kilometer course in 20:21, as the 16th runner, earning her All-American honors. The 17-18 girls Brocaw Blazers were crowned National Champions.
Luis Medina and Sammy Obando both competed in the 17-18 boys division. Medina was the 27th finisher in the race with a time of 17:18. Obando was the 30th runner with his time of 17:32. The Brocaw Blazer 17-18 year old boys division won the team National Championship.