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Liberty boys win regular-season NWOC title

Falcons wrap up a perfect record in NWOC duals heading into next week's district championships


For the first time in school history, Liberty’s boys cross-country team swept all seven of its Northwest Oregon Conference opponents on the way to a perfect record and a regular-season NWOC championship.

Now the Falcons just have to do it when it matters the most.

With the NWOC district meet and Class 5A state meet on the horizon, Liberty will look to back up its regular-season league title with a strong postseason performance. Led by senior Michael Francy — who ran a lifetime best of 15 minutes, 50.1 seconds at the Sandelie Golf Course XC Classic in Wilsonville last Friday — the Falcons have the talent to make some noise if they can all run their best on the same day.

“I don’t think we’ve had a meet where all the guys came together and ran their best races,” Liberty coach David Douglas said. “I’ve been talking to the kids this week and we don’t want to be the team that wins the league but doesn’t qualify for state. We’ve got to come through and finish this off. I’d much rather go 6-1 (in dual meets) and qualify for state than go 7-0 and miss out.”

The Falcons will have their shot next Wednesday when the NWOC district meet is staged at Blue Lake Park in Gresham. The top two teams automatically qualify for the state meet as well as the top five individuals. Based on form charts, the Falcons are predicted to finish third as a team.

“Francy really just hammers it out every meet. He’s been consistent throughout,” Douglas said of his senior leader. “Everyone else, pretty much two through seven, has been kind of inconsistent. We’ve got the talent. We just have to live up to our potential. We’ve got to come together and get the job done next Wednesday.”

On the girls side, sophomore Rachel Khaw is in line to return to the state meet after finishing 10th last year, but Liberty likely won’t factor in the team standings after qualifying for state a year ago.

“Rachel should easily qualify for state. Unless she breaks a leg or a tree falls on her, she’ll go back,” Douglas said of Khaw, whose best time of the season is 18:37.4, which she ran last Friday.

Sherwood and Wilsonville are the favorites to capture team titles at next week’s NWOC district meet.



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