“And They Shall Mount Up With Wings As Eagles…”
The 2016 Liberty Tour Track & Field Series had one of its best years since the inaugural year of 2005 when there were only four (4) meets that made up the season. In the first year, though, the Independence invitational had to be canceled due to excessive rain storms, which caused the Throwing Fields to be flooded with sewage (NOT Good!). There have been plenty of ups and downs, but since becoming part of the Calendar of Annual Events produced by the Empire State Sports Council, along with the Liberty Games, and now the Empire State Corporate Challenge, it has enjoyed steady growth from a more competitine and athlete friendly infrastructure. “It is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL to choose the right Partnerships, and that was a struggle early on,” stated Anthony Mills, Executive Director of ES Sports. He continues, “The Liberty Tour Track & Field Series always had GREAT potential, and since becoming part of the ES Sports Calendar, each year it has seen expansion in the number of Liberty Tour meets, as well as the geographic area of the state that it encompasses.”
The idea for the Liberty Tour Team Scoring has been a part of the process, and one of the advantages of the Liberty Tour Track & Field Series. It was first brought to the level of providing Gift Certificates in 2010, but the partnerships at that time did not see the benefits to the Track & Field Community. However, the Empire State Sports Council provided a perfect fit, sharing the vision for Track & Field. Thus, in 2015 the Team Scoring for the Liberty Tour Track & Field Series took on a new meaning! Joining forces with Liberty Sports Gear, the Empire State Sports Council is happy to provide more than $1,000 each year for the top four (4) Track & Field Clubs, based upon the Team Scoring. Gift Certificates can be used for Team Uniforms, Equipment, Footwear, Apparel, and more!
In 2016, there was much greater competition, and more than 20 Teams were a part of the scoring. Chatham Gold, the 2015 1st Place Team had the lead for most of the 2016 season, although with only a slight lead over the 2015 2nd Place Team, Country Mills Eagles. However, a surge in the final two (2) meets of the Liberty Tour season proved to be just enough to give the 2016 Liberty Tour Track & Field Series Crown to the Country Mills Eagles, who finished the year with 1,864 Points!
When asked about the success of their 2016 Liberty Tour Crown, Monique Ivey, the Mother of three (3) Eagles (Sydney, Samantha, and Orville Jr.) said, “My husband and I have ALWAYS told our Children that ‘hard work always pays off’. This season they have finally been able to see what we were talking about by helping the team get this 1st Place win. We are so proud!” But the best response came from the Track Mom for the Country Mills Eagles, Latasha Murdaugh, who put in the following terms, “Over the last two (2) years we have become a Family. Last year there were so many new Athletes, but since that time we have bred an atmosphere of success. Even though we had disappointments from time to time this year, we did a much better job of responding at the next meet. I am so proud of the part my four (4) girls played in making this 1st Place finish a reality, that I want to get my Team Uniform back on, Flex my Muscles, and scream, ‘WE DID IT! WE DID IT!! WE DID IT!!!'”
In 3rd and 4th Place there are two (2) newcomers to the Team Standings as The Bolts solidly took 3rd Place away from the Averill Park Road Runners who held that spot for most of the 2016 Liberty Tour Series, and the Glencadia Bullets who mounted an unexpected surge at the Liberty Games Track & Field competition to steal 4th Place away from the Averill Park Road Runners, after they were bumped to that position by The Bolts. According to the Track & Field Sports Chair for ES Sports, Shannon Gawronski, “If there is one thing that each Team should learn from the Team Scoring in 2016, it would be that ‘It ain’t over, until it’s OVER!'” Below are the top 10 Teams in the Liberty Tour Track & Field Series Team Standings, but you can see the complete list by visiting the website at www.Liberty-Tour.com.
1st Place – Country Mills Eagles (1,864 Points)
2nd Place – Chatham Gold (1,680.50 Points)
3rd Place – Norwich YMCA Bolts (960 Points)
4th Place – Glencadia Bullets (580.50 Points)
5th Place – Averill Park Road Runners (552.50 Points)
6th Place – In A NY Minute (432.50 Points)
7th Place – New York Starz (431 Points)
8th Place – Triple Cities Runners Club (176 Points)
9th Place – Clinton Track & Field Club (161 Points)
10th Place – Superstars Track Club – (113 Points)