Liberal Runners Compete at Nationals in Kentucky

KSCB News - November 24, 2015 9:14 am

Cross Country Runners Compete at Nationals
Six Liberal Cross Country runners competed in the Youth Cross Country Coaches National
Championship at Masterson Station Park in Lexington, Kentucky. The meet consisted of over
2,500 runners ages 6-18. It is the 2nd largest age group cross country meet in the USA.
LHS boys were senior Emilio Tovilla, junior Edgar Moreno, and freshman Antonio
Borunda. While the girls competing were juniors Camryn Slatten, Saw Ahmara, and Chloe
Alling. All the Liberal runners competed for the Brocaw Blazers cross country team out of the
Kansas City area so that they could compete as a part of a team. The first race of the day was
the 17-18 girls with Slatten, Ahmara, and Alling. Slatten who came off a hot streak of WAC
champion, All-Regionals, and All-State kept the streak going with an all-time personal best time
in the 5K and a second straight season finishing with All-American honors. Slatten completed
the 5K course in 19:10 besting her previous best time of 19:32. The time was good enough to
place 12th
. Saw Ahmara was the next Liberal runner to complete the National course in a time of
21:37 in 35th place, while Alling crossed the line in 22:06 for 39th
place. Slatten was a part of the
Brocaw Blazers 1 team which finished the meet with 28 points to win the National
Championship. Jenks America was second with 47 points, Team Kentucky Stampede was third
with 82 points. Indiana Blast was 4th with 105 points, and Brocaw Blazers c2 with Ahmara and
Alling was 5th in the Nation with 117points. Tovilla and Moreno were a part of the 17-18 boys race. Tovilla saved his best race of the season for last as he ran his best time of his high school career to run a 17:09 to place 30th. Edgar Moreno finished the course in 17:21 to be the 38th runner to finish. Both Tovilla and Moreno were on the Brocaw Blazers 2 team with placed 5th in the meet. Antonio Borunda ran in the 13-14 boys race which ran a different distance than the older runners. Borunda ran his first 4K in 14:53. The change of distance can be a tough task for a runner to do to learn pacing and
strategy. Borunda’s time made him the 74th runner out of over 300 in his race. The Brocaw
Blazers finished in 4th place out of the 28 teams competing.
The runners were not just getting to compete in a national meet to gain more racing
experience, they also were able to meet one of the Americas greatest distance runners, Craig
Virgin. Virgin was the first celebrity runner speaker and awards presenter at the National Meet.
Some of Virgin’s running accomplishments include winning 9 Big Ten Championships and two
NCAA National Championships. He is the only American to qualify for the 10,000 meters in
three different Olympics doing so in 1976, 1980, and 1984. He is also the only American to ever
win a World Cross Country Championship, doing it in consecutive years in 1980 and 1981. He
also qualified for the race 10 consecutive years from 1978 to 1988. Virgin also placed second in
the 1981 Boston Marathon with a time of 2:10.26.


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