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Knights running toward top spot


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September 27, 2012
University Liggett's cross-country teams are off to a fast start this fall.

"With several weeks of racing completed, we are on track to improve our finish times and team performance from 2011," head coach Trey Cassidy said. "Experienced upperclassmen lead the way and fine group of younger athletes work hard every day so we are experiencing team success."


The girls have competed well in recent races, taking home two trophies and the boys finished just outside the top places by only a few points.

"We are improving our fitness, strengthening our race strategy, and enjoying the experience of racing and training together," Cassidy said.

The last time Liggett competed at the Holly Duane Raffin Nike Invitational was more than 20 years ago when school-record holder Jennifer Miller won her division.

This year did not bring individual victory, but freshman Madison Jerome signaled her arrival with a 10th place finish and was followed by junior Danielle Lorant in 11th.

Senior Haleigh Ristovski joined her teammates on the awards stand by finishing in 23rd place, while sophomore Taylor Slayton and junior Hannah Hodges rounded out the top five for Liggett.

Their individual efforts helped earn them a fourth-place team trophy.

In the boys' race, the close pack of Liggett runners looked brilliant in their red uniforms crossing the finish within 13 seconds.

Senior Kevin Allen was followed closely by freshman Alexander Minanov and junior Dylan Goitz. The trio finished 17th, 18th and 19th.

Sophomore William Loner earned the final medal in the race, placing 35th.

The boys' team finished the day in 5th place, just missing the podium trophy by two points to Plymouth Christian Academy. A rivalry is emerging with this team as Liggett has faced them in each of the first three races this season, losing by small margins each time.  

Last week, Liggett competed in the 16-school Oakland Christian Small School Invite.

Runners competed on Oakland Christian's gently rolling two-loop course on a blustery and partly cloudy day. The traditional scoring system is altered for this meet where six varsity runners compete and only four runners score for each team.

This system helps smaller teams, but even with this adjustment there were several incomplete teams competing. For example, runner-up Evan Carter, one of the strongest runners in the region, did not have enough teammates to qualify for team awards.

Liggett's teams performed well as the girls' squad won the meet and the boys placed eighth.

Jerome again led the Knights, placing eighth. She was joined throughout the race by Lorant and Ristovski. Lorant was 18th and Ristovski took ninth.

Slayton and Hodges both moved up and finished faster than the previous race, placing 33rd and 40th,, respectively.

In the boys' race, Allen was the team leader, finishing in 17th. Minanov's hard charging final mile helped him place 21st overall.

Loner and Connor Borrego ran nearly identical times from their weekend race, placing 41st and 53rd. Joe Renzi and Patrick Bernas rounded out the team of six runners.


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