Elizabeth Schweiker and Hope Stark battled up the hill leading towards the finish line. For a brief moment they pumped their arms in sync, sharing the hundredth of a second of time and pain. From the outside in it seemed like this one might be locked in a tie.
But Schwieker had other plans...
The Ralston Valley senior broke the trance and popped off her toes, leaning onwards into predator mode. There would be no sharing of the spoils on this day. With each powerful stride she inched forward, ahead of Stark. As they neared the line that invisible tether that held them together several meters earlier broke, and Schweiker was clear of her chaser.
She rode the uphill momentum she created across the line, taking the Division 1 win in 18:07, just two seconds ahead of Stark's 18:09.
Two days earlier Schweiker tempoed over the grass at the Standley Lake Gator Invite, finishing 13th in 20:53. It was a trend among a handful of athletes Saturday morning, who came out and dropped some big time performances.
In the team race Jackson Hole out of Wyoming took the title with 99 points, while Ralston Valley was the runner-up with 133. Legacy was third with 150 points.
Now that the dust has settled, and 24 hours have passed since the first race of the 2019 edition of the Liberty Bell Invitational launched off the starting line, and the traffic surrounding every entrance and exit in the vicinity of Heritage High has cleared, one thing is clear: everyone came ready roll.
Next Page: Bradley Picks Up Win No.4 in Division 1