The heat and humidity last Saturday couldn’t keep the Lions at bay at the PAAC Cross Country meet at IU-East in Richmond this past Saturday afternoon. Liberty Christian took 1st place at the meet and had four All-Conference runners.
Liberty coach Maxwell Wuethrich was confident in his team leading up to the race saying, “As a team, we had scouted the times of our competition and we knew it would come down to us, University, and Park Tudor. We had consistently beaten the remaining teams in our conference and we were confident in our ability to continue that success against them.”
The Lion’s strategy going into the race was to wait until the later stages of the race to pick off spots to get the win. Coach Wuethrich commented after the victory, “We knew that if we continued with the racing strategy that we have had all year that we would be in a position to pick up some key spots in the final stretches of the race, and that’s exactly what happened. Last year we placed 2nd in the PAAC race and we made it our goal to be first this year”
Noah Price took the top overall spot in the race with an impressive time of 17:55, considering the conditions. Wuethrich said, ” Noah let the top runners set the pace early on and stuck with them until the first mile and then he was able to pull away for the rest of the race and finish as champion.”
Jordan Armogum had a 3rd place finish with a time of 18:16, coming in just six seconds behind Park Tudor’s Jaden Seymour. Armogum stayed in the top ten until after the first mile when he found another gear. “He is the best on the team when it comes to staying competitive and continuing to pick up runners no matter how far away the next one is.”, Coach Wuethrich said of Armogum.
Jordan was quick to praise his teammates, ” I feel more accomplished as a team than an individual. I think that all of our runners performed their best and gave 110% of their effort. It’s nice to know that this was liberty’s first Conference win, and they deserve all of the praise. “
Josh Johnson made an important, and successful, late push in the race. When asked about Johnson, the Coach replied, ” Josh is similar to Jordan in the way his race usually unfolds. He starts off slower than most and is usually too conservative, but he makes up for it in his 2nd and 3rd mile. In the first 400 meters Josh wasn’t even in the top 50, but he fought his way to an All-Conference finish with a dramatic sprint to the finish to edge his way into the top 12.”
Cameron Wihebrink and Ethan Smith also played key roles in the championship victory. Smith said, “It was definitely a great feeling to be able to win. This is my fourth and final year to be on the Cross Country team, so when we won first place, I felt accomplished and proud to be a part of the team. This is the most gifted team that I’ve had the privilege to be a part of. “
The Lions will take part in a meet with Muncie Burris and APA tomorrow evening at Burris starting at 5:15. The team will finish out the season next Monday at University High School and will then rev up for sectionals at Pendleton Heights on 10/12.
Liberty Christian Times on Saturday: