Liberal, KS

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Whitney Hay Wins Pancake Day Race

Brock Kappelmann - February 25, 2020 12:37 pm

Whitney Hay rallied to win the 2020 Pancake Day race.  Hay won the 71st edition of the Liberal leg of the International Pancake Day race in a time of 1:09.  Just off the pace of Olney’s Katie Godoff who ran the race in 1:06 in Olney, England.  It was cloudy and 33 degrees with flurries and a north wind gusting up to 40 miles per hour at race time.

Hay, a former Liberal High School runner and  athlete, is 19 and a student at Seward County Community College.  She graduated from LHS in 2019.   Maria Alba was the runner up for a second consecutive year.  Alba is a 30 year old stay at home mom.  Alba led the race at the first turn from Kansas to 5th and from 5th to Lincoln.  Hay made her move near Equity Bank and would win the home stretch handily.  Mikayla Knudsen placed third.  She is 30 and works at the Liberal VA Clinic.

Olney wins the friendly international competition for the first time since 2016 when Lianne Fisher set the record of 55.02.  Liberal now leads the competition 39-30 with two no contests.

The tradition with Liberal and Olney began in 1950 from a magazine picture of the Olney women racing each other to the church. Liberal Jaycee President R>J. Leete contacted the Rev. Ronald Collins, Vicar of St. Paul’s Church in Olney, challenging their women to a race against the women of Liberal. The event occurs every Shrove Tuesday.


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