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UCHS freshman Peyton Torres-Cruz is first Liberty Quest winner

By Vivian Risch, Contributor

The first Liberty Quest orienteering race drew 25 entries, ranging in age from 4 to 77.

Beginning at the 4-H Fairgrounds in the Jill Butterfield Shelter, Questers received a detailed map of Liberty with 25 marked locations, and a list of 25 questions to be answered.

“At each location, if you looked carefully, you could find the answer to the question for that location,” organizer and Union County Orienteering Coach Mike Minium said.

With maps in hand, runners and walkers spread out across town in search of the answers within the two-hour time limit with a penalty of losing one answer per minute if they were late.

Many of the questions concerned trivia from Liberty’s storied past, including a question about General Burnside (answer from a historical marker on the town square). Other questions took participants to the Union County Foundation, the American Legion, the VFW, the Waterworks, the Depot Museum and the Post Office, churches, restaurants, and other public buildings.

Several temporary “historic markers’ were also strategically placed around town, giving participants the opportunity to learn local lore about other famous folks with Liberty connections including broadcast legend Bob Jenkins, artist and soldier Jay Hall Connaway, poet Joaquin Miller, and of course Mary Alice Smith (the original inspiration for Little Orphan Annie).

Although everyone did not get to every point, eight runners found the answers to all 25 questions, including Peyton Torres-Cruz.

“He completed the course in an astounding 58 minutes,” Minium said.

The UCHS freshman soccer player finished five minutes in front of second place finisher Tom Svobodny of Dayton, Ohio and the Ohio Valley Orienteering Club (1:03.20).

UCHS sophomore Priscilla Kelley was the third-place finisher overall (1:08.52), and the first female to complete the course with all questions answered.

“Several UCMS students also had fantastic finishes, with middle school girls Julie Goecke, MacKenzie Carter, and Autumn Cantrell finding 23 of 25 points, closely followed by 77-year-old Claire Dell of Cincinnati with 21,” Minimum said.

Proceeds from the race will help the Union County Orienteering Team travel to competitions in the coming year.

The middle school and high school teams participate in league competitions from November to March, and expect to go to the national championships near Seattle in mid-April.

The UCMS team won the 2019 national middle school championship this past April at Quantico Marine Base in Virginia. The UCHS team finished 4th in the high school varsity division.

Minium estimates that it may cost from $5,000 to $7,500 to send the teams to next spring's nationals on Whidbey Island near Seattle, Washington.

Liberty Quest results (place, name, score, time, age group)

1.Peyton Torres-Cruz, 25, :58:20, M 13-16, UCHS. 2.Tom Svobodny, 25, 1:03:20, M 60-69, Miami Valley Orienteering Club. 3.Ethan Powers, 25, 1:08:38, M 13-16, UCHS. 4.Priscilla Kelly, 25, 1:08:52, F 13-16, UCHS. 5.Mahlon Page, 25, 1:09:18, M 17-20, UCHS. 6.Braydon Reiboldt, 25, 1:10:23, M 13-16, UCHS. 7.Wyatt Isaac, 25, 1:25:05, M 13-16, UCHS. 8.Mary Jo Reiboldt, 25, 1:39:25, F 40-49. 9.Julianna Goecke, 23, 1:50:02, F 13-16, UCMS. 9.MacKenzie Carter, 23, 1:50:02, F-12, UCMS. 9. Autumn Cantrell, 23, 1:50:02. F-12, UCMS.

12. Claire Dell, 21, 1:55:00, F 70+, Orienteering Cincinnati. 13.Renee Bauer, 17, 1:52:30, F 13-16. 13.Megan Bauer, 17, 1:52:30, F 13-16. 13.Aaron Bauer, 17, 1:52:30, M -12. 13.Stephanie Bauer, 17, 152:30, F 50-59. 13. Steve Bauer, 17, 1:52:30, M 50-59. 18.Chloe Hoog, 14, 1:46:07, F-12, UCMS. 18.Shari Hoog, 14, 1:46:07, F 60-69. 20.Melanie Goecke, 10, 1:31:30, F-12, LES. 21. Teratin Goecke, 9, 1:29:00, M -12, UCMS. 21. Lilly Goecke, 9, 1:29:00, F-12, LES. 23.Aiden Dannaker, 5, :54:00, M -12, LES. 23.Lochlan Dannaker, 5, :54:00, M -12. 23.Brian Dannaker, 5, :54:00, M 40-49.