Liberty High Earns First Title With Win at Bob Brown Classic

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Photo by Rob Howe

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

IOWA CITY – For the second straight season Liberty High had the top three individual finishers at the Bob Brown Cross Country Classic.

This time the individual success turned into a team title.

Ashlyn Keeney, Cami Mac and McKenzie Logan finished first, second and third as Liberty High won the first team title in program history at the Bob Brown Classic on Thursday at Kickers Soccer Park in Iowa City.

“It’s amazing, it means even more to win as a team,” Keeney said. “It’s amazing to be able to share a win with everybody and it just builds the bonds of our team when you get to celebrate together.”

Despite having the top three finishers a year ago Liberty High finished four spots behind Solon in the team standings.

On Thursday the Lightning had more than enough depth behind its team-leading trio to hold off the Spartans for the top spot.

Class 5A No. 15 Liberty High had five runners in the top 22 and finished with 48 points, 28 in front of Class 3A No. 11 Solon.

Western Dubuque was third with 88 points followed by 2A No. 13 Monticello with 114. Class 1A No. 2 Regina was seventh with 155 points while Clear Creek Amana was eighth with 189.

“We’ve always had the talent but now we have experience, maturity and they have spent so much time together,” Liberty High coach Tonya McDonough said. “Today was a day I knew when they walked up to that starting line that this was something they really wanted to do. They wanted to make this happen today and I’m just so proud of them and happy for them.”

Last season Keeney was first followed by Logan and Mac but the next Liberty High runner placed 26th.

On Thursday that gap closed significantly.

Keeney won in 18:50.35 and was followed by Mac in 20:20.69 and Logan in 20:33.42.

Sophomores Isabelle Woody and Elizabeth Jaeger rounded out the scoring placing 20th and 22nd respectively.

“Last year we finished first, second and third but got beat by Solon by four points and that seemed to be the theme from there on out last season, we just had a gap,” McDonough said. “The girls worked so hard all summer and we are starting to close that gap and it feels great.

The first team win in Liberty High program history comes after a season filled with close calls.

Keeney believes Thursday’s team title is just the beginning.

“That was our goal was to win this meet and we knew we could do it,” Keeney said. “We’ve gotten second many, many times so it was a big goal for us to win this meet.”

Solon had a pair of runners place in the top 11 on its way to a runner-up finish led by sophomore Emma Bock who was eighth in 21:40.51.

Junior Kiersten Conway placed 11th in 22:01.77.

“The girls are doing a great job and you can see we ran 10 varsity tonight and we’ve got 10 that are all right there and that’s exciting to see,” Williams said. “They are pushing each other and they are working to make each other better. I’m really proud of them.”

Clear Creek Amana freshman Haidyn Barker continued the strong start to her career placing sixth in 21:20.84.

Region junior Annalee Bartels led the Regals placing 15th in a time of 22:21.32.

Bob Brown Cross Country Classic

At Iowa City Kickers Soccer Park

Team scores – 1. Liberty High 48; 2. Solon 76; 3. Western Dubuque 88; 4. Monticello 114; 5. Marion 135; 6. Mount Vernon-Lisbon 146; 7. Regina 155; 8. Clear Creek Amana 189; 9. Tipton 243; 10. Anamosa 267; 11. Wilton 332

Individual leaders – 1. Ashlyn Keeney (ICL) 18:50.35; 2. Camille Mac (ICL) 20:20.69; 3. McKenzie Logan (ICL) 20:33.42; 4. Lauren Klein (WD) 20:37.04; 5. Elly Burds (WD) 20:37.45; 6. Jimena Fierro (West Liberty) 21:09.49; 7. Haidyn Barker (CCA) 21:20.84; 8. Emma Bock (SOL) 21:40.51; 9. Emma Althoff (MON) 21:43.79; 10. Aubrey Frey (MV-L) 21:54.54; 11. Kiersten Conway (SOL) 22:01.77; 12. Peyton Steffen (MAR) 22:09.85; 13. Laura Swart (MV-L) 22:15.15; 14. Karle Kramer (MON) 22:19.72; 15. Annalee Bartels (ICR) 22:21.32

Liberty High – 1. Ashlyn Keeney 18:50.35; 2. Camille Mac 20:20.69; 3. McKenzie Logan 20:33.42; 20. Isabelle Woody 22:43.79; 22. Elizabeth Jaeger 22:54.22; 30. Chaise Lange 23:24.92; 44. Carly Sulwer 24:25.2

Solon – 7. Emma Bock 21:40.51; 10. Kiersten Conway 22:01.77; 16. Meghan O’Neill 22:32.94; 19. Kaia Holtkamp 22:43.32; 24. Mary Fiala 23:05.9; 25. Nicole Shafer 23:10.33; 26. Aira Foster 23:12.26

Regina – 14. Annalee Bartels 22:21.32; 21. Josie Voss 22:49.74; 34. Josie Pursley 23:57.64; 37. Mya Whitaker 23:59.48; 49. Kennedy Scott 24:35.92; 66. Claire Gaarde 26:17.83; 67. Alex Spies 26:25.46

Clear Creek Amana – 6. Haidyn Barker 21:20.84; 18.Emily Coleman 22:37.22; 53. Avery Allan 24:52.91; 54. Kayla Jiras 24:53.26; 58. Allie Kounkel 25:30.34; 60. Karsyn Stratton 25:52.21; 65. Lauren Lasswell 26:17.57  

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