Liberty's female athletes lead a renaissance on the athletic fields with several memorable performances

The 2012-13 school year was a terrific one for Liberty girls in team sports.

In the fall, the Falcons volleyball team used an early-season eight-game win streak to propel itself to a 15-8 overall record and a 9-5 mark in league play, good for third place in the Northwest Oregon Conference.

In the postseason, Liberty joined the 16-team Class 5A playoff field thanks to winning a five-set thriller against Silverton in the play-in round. Four days later, the Falcons fell to Pendleton in three sets in the first round. Senior outside hitter Janessa Mast was a first team all-league pick.

On the soccer pitch, Liberty went 9-5-1 overall and 5-2 in the NWOC, also finishing third. In the first round of the playoffs, the Falcons dropped a tough 2-1 decision to Crescent Valley, a team Liberty had beaten 1-0 earlier in the season. Freshman midfielder Rachel Khaw — also a star distance runner for the school — was the team’s sole first team all-league selection.

In the winter, a challenging early-season scheduled produced a 2-8 record over the first 10 games for the basketball squad, but the team gained steam from there, going 13-3 the rest of the way, including a 12-2 record in NWOC play, good for second-place.

After downing Pendleton 50-41 in a play-in game, the team lost 60-51 at Hermiston in the first round of the playoffs. Senior guard Kylie Wruble was a first team all-NWOC pick.

Loncar wins state swimming title, Liberty boys capture state trophy

At the Class 5A swimming state meet, Liberty’s Anton Loncar paced the Falcons boys by winning the 100-yard backstroke. The junior also teamed with Daniel Lupro, Nick Meek and McGregor Sumner to take fourth place in the 200 medley relay.

Lupro, just a freshman, finished second in the 100 breaststroke and third in the 200 individual medley, while Loncar was fifth in the 200 free in his other individual event.

Thanks in part to those efforts, Liberty scored 24 points to score the fourth-place trophy, finishing behind Summit (72), Corvallis (52) and Pendleton (41½).

Falcons rise to the occasion at the Class 5A track and field state meet

Using a bevy of multi-event threats, the Liberty girls track and field team proved itself one of the best in the state this spring.

To kick off the championship portion of the season, the Falcons replicated their 2012 district meet runner-up finish at the at this year’s Northwest Oregon Conference meet in Milwaukie, where they qualified five girls in individual events and both relay teams for state.

And at last month’s Class 5A state meet in Eugene, Liberty delivered. The Falcons took fifth place in the team standings — the best-ever result by the program and just one spot away from a trophy. In fact, every Liberty participant at the meet (which also included the sixth-place boys long relay team) earned at least one medal, given to the top eight finishers in each event.

Rachel Khaw, Eli Pecsok and Sarah Martinez had a lot to do with that success, as all three placed in two individual events.

Khaw, who set school record after school record in the distance events as just a freshman this spring, finished third in the 1,500 meters and sixth in the 3,000. Pecsok was fourth in the 100 hurdles and fifth in the high jump, while Martinez was fifth in the 400 and sixth in the 200.

Martinez and Khaw also teamed up to form half of Liberty’s seventh-place long relay, which included Simone Wilson and Hannah Langbehn.

Ashley Martin also made an event final as an individual, adding a fourth-place finish in the 100. She anchored the Falcons’ sixth-place 4x100 relay, which included Langbehn, Shay Serres and Martinez.

Matthew Langbehn, Michel Francy, James Marshall and Josh Cole made up the boys 4x400 relay.

Liberty girls golf runs away with

team and individual NWOC honors

The Liberty girls golf team raced through Northwest Oregon Conference play practically unchallenged this year.

The Falcons breezed through an undefeated league schedule to win their fifth consecutive NWOC title and they also swept the top three spots in the overall NWOC individual standings.

Sam Miller and McKenzie Oster went 1-2 in the overall standings and at the district tournament (Oster tied for second place), while Stephanie Miller finished third overall and fifth in the league tournament for an unprecedented demonstration of NWOC prowess.

At last month’s Class 5A girls state tournament at Quail Valley Golf Course, Liberty finished sixth in the team standings. Sam Miller, a senior who will golf for Northwest Nazarene University next year, closed out her high school career with a fifth-place individual finish.

Falcons claim first regular-season NWOC championships in boys tennis

Under the leadership of new coach Jason Dortch, Liberty’s boys tennis team went 12-0 in league play, running the table against NWOC opponents and claiming its first league title.

At last month’s district tournament, senior Michael Jensen claimed the NWOC singles crown and junior Sean Thean also advanced to state by finishing fourth. In doubles, the tandem of Cooper Kamps and Aspen Russell took third place in the district tournament and also qualified for state.

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