The Liberal Redskins Cross Country Runners traveled to Lawrence for the Kansas State Championships. Lawrence plays host to the class 3A, 5A, and 6A championship races, which are held at Rim Rock Farms, one of the elite cross country courses in the nation. Rim Rock is known for its hills, which gives the Redskins a disadvantage. Most teams in the state get to practice hills in their everyday runs. We have to really get creative on how to get some hill work into our workouts so we can be prepared for courses such as this one.
Senior Daniel Frazier knew this was going to be his last race to run as a Liberal Redskin, and he didn’t disappoint. Frazier led the way for the Redskins beating his personal best time by 41 seconds. Frazier made the All-State team with a 15th place finish running the 5K course in 16:28. Running right on Frazier’s heals was Junior, teammate Angel Viveros. Viveros joined Frazier on the All-State team for his second straight season with a 17th place finish in 16:29, for his fastest time of the season. Junior Sammy Obando was the next Redskin runner, crossing the line in 17:01, beating his personal record by 20 seconds, good enough for 27th place. Sophomore runner Obed Quintana who was still battling a high ankle sprain ran a 17:53, as the 69th runner to cross the line. Quintana had not run since the WAC meet on October 11th, as he had been rehabbing his ankle. His workouts consisted of biking and elliptical training in his aerobic heart rate zone. Senior Marco Espinoza, who got the opportunity to run varsity over the last couple weeks, took advantage of the opportunity. Espinoza was the 5th Liberal runner to finish the race with an 83rd place in a time of 18:16, with his fastest time of the year. Sophomore Luis Medina, running in his first state championship race, capped off his great season with an 86th place and time of 18:24. Freshman Emilio Tovilla, who was still rehabbing a pulled muscle in his ribs, placed 90th, running a time of 18:46. The Redskins ended up 5th in the state, as the top three teams remained unchanged from last year. Bishop Carroll won the title with 45 points, St. Thomas Aquinas 2nd place with 55 points, Kapaun Mt. Carmel came in 3rd with 88 points. This was a very competitive race; looking back at last year’s results, this year’s team would have had 3 runners in the top 11 of last year’s standings.
Liberal also had two girls qualify for the state meet. Mercy Perez finished her junior season on a high note, running a personal best time of 16:20, in 30th place. Senior Destyni Lucero, who competed in her 4th State Championship, finished her impressive high school career with a 34th place finish in 16:24.