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Isaac Pollard, center, stands alongside teammates Ben Thomason and Michael Ross as the three Liberty Middle School athletes finished as the top three in the long jump at the recent indoor track meet held in Birmingham. Photo- Drew Bell, James Clemens High

Liberty Track Athletes Shine- Two Qualify For National Championships

BIRMINGHAM- The Liberty Lions track team continued its trek through the current indoor season as the state’s second-ranked squad posted its best combined performance in school history in a multi-school meet held at the CrossPlex in Birmingham.

The squad posted two national championship qualifying marks, 34 state qualifying performances, won 13 medals, set two schools and one meet record. The Lions had more medals than any other team in the meet.

The boy’s squad was led by four gold medal performances- Michael Ross (60-m hurdles) with the second fastest time in school history of 9.26 seconds; Isaac Pollard (long jump) with a school record mark of 18 feet, 2 inches; Dylan Dryer (1600-m) with a school record time of 4:57.12; John Luke Stovall (800m) with a new school and meet record of 2:13.61. His time was the third fastest in state history among middle school athletes.

Both Dryer and Stovall qualified for the Scholastic National Championships to be held March 15 in New York. Liberty remains the only school in the country to have qualified two athletes. The top six in the Junior High Mile Race will be named All-American.

In the just completed meet, the Lions were the first ever to sweep the boys long jump competition winning all three medals. The top performance was Pollard at 18-feet, 2-inches. The silver medal was won by Ben Thomason with a jump of 15-00.25 while the bronze was picked up by Michael Ross at 17-2.50.

Additional medal winning performances for the boys were Pollard (silver- 400m, 56.45), Stovall (bronze- 1600m, 5:07.87, Thomason (silver- high jump, 5-02) and Luca Furfori (bronze- high jump, 5-00).

The girls were led Ashlyn Diehl who continued her dominance in the long jump with a distance of 14-05.50 and a gold medal win. The Lady Lions took the silver medal in the 4×200 with a state qualifier time of 1:57.78. The relay squad consisted of Hannah Adkins, Lauren Adkins, Kayla Thompson and Reynna Mayers.

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