Area harriers will head to state meet
Liberty runners Belle Weikert, Grace Haas, Darlyn Fermin, and Cole Frank became state qualifiers after competing at the District XI Class 3A Cross Country Championships last Wednesday at Bethlehem Municipal Course.
“I was so excited because last year it felt like it just happened because I was 10th and the last one to make it, but this year I really earned it and I didn’t just squeak in,” said Haas, a junior.
“The first mile I felt really strong and then we hit the hills and it really spread out a lot more. I was really slow on the hills, and that’s a problem I have personally. Then we hit the golf course, which is my strength because I speed up there, and a lot of my family and friends are there to cheer me on, so that helps me go faster too.”
Haas’s time was 20:37.
“I didn’t know where I was [near the end] but I saw that the girls passing me were Easton, Parkland, and I knew they were going to win [in team results] so I’m like, OK, but then I heard people yelling Megan and Crystal, and I think they’re Northampton girls, so I’m like, I have to keep going faster,” Haas said.
Haas did end up beating Northampton’s Megan [Perelli] and Easton’s Crystal [Wilkinson] by a good 10 seconds.
Weikert, whose time was 19:39, placed second, just behind Easton’s Lauren Maddison whose time was 19:30.
“[The end] came down to a kick and that girl had a faster kick, but I felt good, yeah,” Weikert said.
Greta Stuckey finished the race in 21:01, Evelyn Sharkan finished in 22:02, Madison Drager finished in 22:07, Hannah Graybeal’s time was 22:54, and Rachael Byrne’s time was 23:36, all for Liberty.
Easton’s girls placed first in team results, and the Hurricane girls placed fifth.
In boys’ team results, the Red Rovers also placed first placed, and the Hurricanes placed sixth.
Fermin, a Liberty junior, took seventh place with a time of 17:08.
“I went a little bit slower today because last time I went out kind of fast. I had a good pace until the hill. After the hill I started going a little bit slower and then I started to pick up the pace again,” Fermin said.
Frank, a freshman, placed 12th with a time of 17:22.
“I thought it was really important for me to make states because I’ve been working hard this whole season, and that was my goal all year. It was a good moment,” said Frank.
“It was really crowded at the start for me, and I had to keep slowing down and shifting left and right because I thought I was going to get cleated, but after the hills it started separating out more, and then I was really able to pick it up on the golf course and pass people.”
Casey Frank finished the race in 17:59, Paul Jensen finished in 18:10, Devin Amador finished in 19:20, Brady Wied’s time was 19:30, and Sam Graybeal’s time was 20:02, all for the Hurricanes.
The PIAA State Cross Country Championships are scheduled for Nov. 4 in Hershey.