Cross-country races into school history

Taylor Jackson

After having their most successful season in school history, the Liberty Patriot Cross-Country team capped it all off with an eventful State meet.

Earlier in the season, a few new freshmen and returning varsity runners upped the tempo for the Patriots, pulling improved times from last year. With wins in important jamborees and invites to set the mood for the rest of the season, the teams headed into KingCo undefeated.

The runners kept getting better as the season went on, and by KingCo the runners were at their peak. Freshman Brigette Takeuchi became Liberty’s first individual KingCo champ for the women, and both senior Aaron Bowe and senior Collin Olson led their team, with the men finishing 9th and the women in 6th.

In Districts, the women’s team remained unbeaten and men sent their first-ever team onto state. Men took 4th overall and women placed 1st.

State in Pasco was another accomplishment for the Patriots this season. With both teams making an appearance, hopes were high for the runners. An injury to Sarah Bliesner, Liberty’s number 3 runner, and faster competition landed the women’s team in 6th place. Brigette Takeuchi ran a personal best to come in 4th overall, becoming Liberty’s first individual medalist and earning herself a spot in Borderclash, a meet combining top Washington and Oregon runners, in Beaverton, OR. Aaron Bowe earned the best individual placement ever for the men’s team, coming in 19th with Collin Olson close behind in 27th. The boys finished 9th.

“They ran hard and placed well. A coach can’t ask for much more than that,” Coach Lisa Beck said. “What I admire most about our kids is their commitment to each other and to the sport itself.”

Six varsity runners will return for next year’s season.