Liberty cross country enjoys “best year in recent history”


Cole Hoffman was one of many Liberty runners that enjoyed success this season, advancing to regional competition and breaking a school record. Photo courtesy of Coach Rodman.

Colin Fitzmaurice, Staff Reporter


This year’s Liberty Cross Country team had a very successful season with five boys and two girls qualifying for regionals. Cole Hoffman, Peter Rummel, Owen Rogers, James Lacey, and Aidan Neidich represented the boy’s team in regional competition, while Maya Turner and Kayla Lopez represented the girl’s team. 

Coach Andrea Rodman has been very happy with how serious the entire team has taken this season. 

Getting to race a full season after COVID-19 cancellations last year has been wonderful, especially as success in distance running is so much about consistency,” said Rodman. “ That is how I would describe our season and attribute the success of our young runners.  This group of athletes have been the most consistent in terms of putting in the work each day, taking responsibility for their own nutrition, rest, and well being that a coach cannot control.” 

Runners James Lacey and Maya Turner are very happy with their seasons, as they were two of the athletes that qualified for the regional meet. 

“It’s been a good season so far, I had a goal of getting under 17 minutes and I hit it so I’m proud of myself. I’m also excited I got to run at regionals this year,” said Lacey. 

“I’ve been having a really good year so far and I really looked forward to running at regionals,” said Turner. “I think I’ve got some really good momentum going into regionals as I just set my personal best in our last battle.” 

As further proof of the team’s success, two athletes, Hoffman and Turner, set new school records this year in the 2500 when they ran at the RVA Relays.

“Going into the 2500 I knew it was going to be a race between me and Owen [Rogers] to break the school record since we don’t usually run the 2500. I just really wanted to break a record so I went out and did it,” said Hoffman. 

Liberty’s cross country team faced off against competition at Central High School and Woodberry Forest, where they had seven top 20 finishers and the varsity boys finished 3rd.

They also competed at Sherando, John Handley, Patrick Henry High School, and the RVA Relays in Mechanicsville: where the girls were  very solid in the opening race with Maya Turner finishing 3rd, Kayla Lopez finishing 4th, and Natalie Taylor finishing 14th.

They hosted Kettle Run, where they celebrated Senior Night, and Culpeper High School before back-to-back meets at Millbrook. At the Millbrook Invitational Turner, Lopez, and Alaina Marek ran their season bests before going to the District Meet a week later. At the Virginia Northwestern District Championship Lopez and Turner qualified and so did the Liberty boy’s team. Rogers broke his goal of 17 minutes, Hoffman set a personal record of 17:15, while Lacey set a PR of 17:34. The team went on to compete in regionals to conclude the season. 

“This is the best year Liberty has had in recent history and I think that’s because we all knew we had to step up and become one cohesive unit this year,” said Hoffman.


Alaina Marek competes against a Centreville runner. Photo courtesy of Coach Rodman.