Cross Country

Setting season-best times in Tipton


The goal in this sport is cutting time, and West Liberty cross-country athletes did that in spades at last week’s meet at Tipton City Park.

Every high school runner set a season-best time during last Thursday’s Tipton Cross-Country meet, which was rescheduled from Tuesday due to the temperatures.

“West Liberty cross-country got better at Tipton,” Comet coach Nick Frenz said. “All we ask from our athletes is to give us their best attitude and effort each day, and they did that.”

On the boys’ side, West Liberty finished in seventh place with a 186-team score. Solon won the meet with 31 points which Central DeWitt (37) and Tipton (64) were right on its heels.

The Comets were led by freshman Jonathan Juarez (21:39.3) who got 42nd place. Senior Joaquin Elizondo (49th — 22:17.2) and junior Manu Garcia Blanes (22:39.0) were not far behind. Sophomore Ben Tharp (81st — 26:24.2) and freshman Wesley Heath (85th — 28:12.5) helped round out the team scoring.

Only two girls ran for West Liberty on Thursday, making the school ineligible for a team score.

However, the two freshmen still posted solid results with Addison Guerra finishing in 42nd (26:54.5) and Madelyn Deahr placing 54th (29:10.8).

The Comets also had a number of middle school runners participating in their first race of the season.

Eighth-grader Carlos Meraz (8:47) placed third in the boys’ race while seventh-grader Maddex Mauer (9:21) placed tenth.

On the girls’ side, eighth-grader Aileen Aragon (10:52) led the way with a 14th-place finish.

“After a run of a few down years, Coach Tim Foley and I are working really hard to build the program back up,” Frenz said. “We continue to add more and more runners to our roster and they continue to work very hard. We think in a few years we will have a very capable and very successful cross-country team.”