Liberty Girls Earn Third Place at Sectionals


Cross country is a very difficult sport where you train specifically to run on hilly, wooded two-mile courses in the hope of improving your time and carrying your team to victory.

When we asked runners what they experienced the first time they ran a hilly course, they all said it was very difficult but worth it in the end because they ended up having fun.

Those who run cross country are prepared to experience pain, hardships, and above all, love to run.

“I enjoy it. I get to do it with my friends, and I want to get in shape,” 7th grader Chase Kelley said.

There is no extra-needed equipment besides the shoes on your feet, and you can do it almost anywhere.

Most people think it would be easy, and the sport as a whole is often overlooked. Running in the humid summer heat in the middle of the afternoon really makes this group of athletes rise up above the rest.

The athletes who participate and are a part of Liberty’s cross country team have already competed in all of their meets and the season has ended. Meets have been held in places from anywhere from 15 minutes to almost two and a half hours away. All runners have run at the Edwardsville Inter Squad, the Mountain Goat Challenge, and the Trinity Invite/First to the Finish Kickoff, the Granite City Invite, Alton Invitational, and Chatham Glenwood.  They have also traveled to run at the Edwardsville Invitational, Waterloo, and the Triad Invitational since the start of the school year.  The top Liberty runners, including varsity runners and alternates, have also been given the opportunities to travel to Normal, Illinois, for the Parkside Invitational and were meant to travel to Peoria for the Dunlap Invitational, which unfortunately got cancelled due to bad weather.

When asked what their favorite courses to run were, the most-liked ones overall were SIUE, Parkside, and Triad.

The top seven runners for girls and boys raced at Chatham’s course again to take on the other teams at Sectionals on October 12. Those runners included Olivia Coll, Maya Lueking, Dylan Peel, Alyssa Wise, Thea Dimitroff, Macie McNece, and Sydney Chong for the girls and Ben Perulfi, Cooper Wittek, Declan Delgado, Xavier Wilson, Chase Kelley, Alex Uder, and Jackson Amick for the boys.  Alternates included Maggie Pifer, Madison Popelar, Grace Hughes, Austin Bryant, and Connor Schmidt.  The girls team got 3rd place with a total of 98 points, trailing only behind Chatham Glenwood and Mt. Zion.  The boys didn’t qualify as a team due to getting 6th place, but 8th grader Ben Perulfi qualified as one of five individual runners.  The girls team and Ben ran at State on October 19, and the girls got 23rd overall and Ben placed 134 out of 233 runners with a time of 11:49.3.

After running at sectionals, the girls knew they had qualified for state.

“I was exhausted but super excited!” said 8th grader Olivia Coll.