Liberty sweeps first cross country meet


Courtesy of Mike Nolte

The Liberty girls cross country team begins the school’s first athletic competition in 11 months. They won the team competition by seven points.

In its first-ever cross country meet on its campus, the Liberty Hawks boys and girls cross country teams took home field advantage to sweep races against Minarets-O’7Neals, Lindsay and Washington Union-Easton high schools.


The Liberty boys team had the closest battle, narrowly beating its neighbor Minarets by two place points. Carlos Briseno was the deciding factor by placing 14th as the fifth Liberty runner across the line.


Ryan Avila led the pack across the finish line to win the boys race for the Hawks with a time of 10:15. Emilio Ortega was 20 seconds back in fourth place.

Liberty’s Quaid Copher and Patrick Ortega placed eighth and ninth, although Copher was 11 seconds faster.

In the meantime, Minarets placed second, sixth and seventh. After Ortega, two more Minarets crossed the finish line to complete their scoring.


Fifteen seconds after the last Minarets runner crossed the line, Briseno crossed in 14th place in a time of 11:54.9 for the team title. For good measure, Spencer Gladders was 16th and Marco Lopez was 17th.


The girls team outpointed Washington Union and Lindsay for the win, though the race was close. Liberty won by seven, but Washington Union edged Lindsay by one point for second.


The Liberty girls team placed three runners in the top seven and freshman Emma Piedra, the daughter of Liberty principal Felipe Piedra, was the key runner, finishing 15th to complete the team scoring.


Freshmen Brook DaSilva and Anatasia Pille were the first two Hawks across the finish line in third and fourth. DaSilva finished in 13:34, more than two-and-a-half minutes behind Fresno Christian freshman Emma Connolly, who won the race in 11:01. Pille followed DaSilva by seven seconds in fourth.


Hailey Bugg was seventh for the Hawks with a time of 14:18.6. Freshman Ellie Sano was 11th and Piedra was 15th to complete the scoring.

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