Liberty senior, Raisa Kochmaruk, placed 11th and medaled at the PIAA State Class AAA Cross Country Championships on Saturday in Hershey.
“The state course is a really good course for Raisa,” said Liberty coach Mark Will-Weber. “It’s hilly and tough, but she feels confident on that course. It was a good, solid day for her to run 11th, and she showed that once she’s on, she’s as good as anyone in the district.”
Kochmaruk’s time was 18:50.
“They changed up the course a lot and added on an extra loop in the last mile,” she said. “The two hardest hills we ran backwards, so we ran up a more gradual incline. In the last 800 meters, I tried to pick up the pace. It felt like it; I was attempting.”
Liberty teammate, Grace Haas, also competed at states and finished the race in 21:07.
“I was telling her everything an hour before,” said Kochmaruk. “It was my last race, and she didn’t know what to expect.”
Coach Will-Weber was proud of both runners.
“For Grace, it was to go out and find out what this is all about. Her goal was just to make states,” he said. “I was pretty happy [with Raisa’s race]. No one behind her at the mile caught her, so she paced it correctly.”
In addition to the accomplishment of earning a state medal, Kochmaruk was feeling sentimental about states, her season, and her fellow Hurricanes.
“I’m very glad I placed, but it was more about the trip, and the people I’ve come to love over my four years on this team,” said Kochmaruk.
Over 200 girls competed at the state level.
In Class AA, Bethlehem Catholic’s girls’ team placed 11th overall.
In individual results, Becahi senior, Rowan Pepe, just missed a medal awarded to the top 25, placing 28th with a time of 20:04.
Teammate, Mary Scheidel, placed 56th with a time of 20:47.
Also for the Hawks, Lauren Bunke’s time was 21:23, Hope Brown’s time was 22:22, and Solei Rodriguez’s time was 22:39. Jessica Finney finished the race in 22:46, and Alyssa Regan finished in 23:44.
The Hawks are coached by Kelly Bracetty.