Ryan Renz understood coming into the track and field season that he had high-end talent in terms of sophomores Faith Bender, Rebecca Vanderpoel and his daughter, Reese Renz.
But it was the work of the rest of the team that made this season so enjoyable and successful for the Liberty coach.
The Patriots finished second to eventual CIF State Champions Clovis-Buchanan in the Central Section championships.
Renz is the 2019 BVarsity All-Area Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year.
“It was really special to see the other girls really compete well at a high level,” Ryan Renz said. “We all had fun as coaches to be around these girls.”
While Bender (second in the discus and fifth in the shot put) and Reese Renz (third in 300 hurdles, 6th in 100 hurdles) at state and Vanderpoel qualifying for state in the 200 and 400 where the top athletes for Liberty, Renz’ excitement as a coach came from the competitiveness of the entire team.
Alexa Schacher, who will pole vault at Cal State Bakersfield, broke out of her comfort zone to set personal-bests in the 400 and helped the 1,600 relay team break a school record with a time of 3:50.01, the top time in the section this season, in the state championship prelims in May along with Renz, Vanderpoel and junior Ellen Palmgren.
“It’s just fun thinking about for those kids being a part of the relays,” Ryan Renz said. “That’s what really fun because it’s that time where it’s not all about them. (Schacher) is not an overly confident kid. But she really took it on and was part of the school-record relay team. That’s special.”