Both Liberty North cross country teams qualified for last year’s Class 5 state meet. The boys finished third and the girls placed 12th.
The boys team graduated its top runner, Ethan Lee, but now junior Sage Wilde was one spot behind him at state, placing third overall. Wilde was 14 seconds behind Rock Bridge’s Andrew Hauser, who is also beginning his junior season. Wilde will lead the Eagles this fall, and they will likely be one of the best teams in the state again.
Reigning state champ Kickapoo only graduated its seventh runner, while Rock Bridge lost three from its runner-up squad. Liberty North should be a contender to take home hardware in November.
On the girls side, Liberty North placed 12th at state, and returns most of their squad this fall. The Eagles have a chance to move up in the standings in November.
Liberty North coach Dave Chatlos answered a few questions about this teams entering the season.
How did the summer go for your teams?
This summer was a good opportunity for both teams to bond as a unique team with the new seniors embracing their new role as the leaders and really forming the team to how they want it to look. The training went well and the athletes are coming into the season very fit.
Who is returning from your varsity squads from last fall?
We did not lose many kids from last years squads: Here are the returning varsity contributors to each team:
Girls (4th at Districts, 12th at State): All of these girls have varsity experience in either track or cross country
– Shelby Harris
– Marissa Roberts
– Riley Oshel
– Ally Grow
– Natalie Coleman
– Caroline Dilts
– Caroline Witte
– Jasmine Meza
– Josie Hilton
– Mary Kimmerle
Boys (Conference champions, District champions, 3rd at State)
– Sage Wilde
– Grayson Tapp
– Jorge Perez
– Asher Curp
– Collin Kleinhen
– Kaden Kleinhen
– Sean Forquer
Who are some newcomers or up-and-comers to varsity that you think might make an impact this season?
We have some incoming freshmen that may help us out. With the returners that we have, it is hard to say who will have an impact though.
What excites you most about each of your teams?
I am excited about the amount of experience that our teams have. Many of them have experience competing at state. Some have competed at state multiple times, and some in both cross country and track and field. It is a veteran group. They are a very fun group of hard working kids that are a joy to work with.
Schedule: Sept. 3 – Tim Nixon Invitational Sept. 10 – at Olathe Twilight Sept. 17 – Missouri Southern Stampede Sept. 24 – at Gans Creek Oct. 1 – at Ray-Pec Oct. 6 – at Midwest Cross Country Carnival Oct. 15 – Conference Oct. 29 – Districts Nov. 4 – State