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Sophomore runner builds off gymnastics background

Sophomore+Eliana+Liebman+warms+up+for+her+relay+in+the+Sectionals+meet+in+Mexico%2C+Missouri+on+May+21.+%E2%80%9CInitially+I+wasn%E2%80%99t+going+to+do+track+since+I+didn%E2%80%99t+like+running%2C%E2%80%9D+Liebman+said.+%E2%80%9CBut+I+like+it+now+because+I+like+to+win.%E2%80%9D+Liebman+will+be+hoping+to+follow+up+an+outstanding+freshman+season+with+an+even+better+sophomore+one.
Sophomore Eliana Liebman warms up for her relay in the Sectionals meet in Mexico, Missouri on May 21. “Initially I wasn’t going to do track since I didn’t like running,” Liebman said. “But I like it now because I like to win.” Liebman will be hoping to follow up an outstanding freshman season with an even better sophomore one.

Sophomore Eliana Liebman warms up for her relay in the Sectionals meet in Mexico, Missouri on May 21. “Initially I wasn’t going to do track since I didn’t like running,” Liebman said. “But I like it now because I like to win.” Liebman will be hoping to follow up an outstanding freshman season with an even better sophomore one.

Sophomore Eliana Liebman warms up for her relay in the Sectionals meet in Mexico, Missouri on May 21. “Initially I wasn’t going to do track since I didn’t like running,” Liebman said. “But I like it now because I like to win.” Liebman will be hoping to follow up an outstanding freshman season with an even better sophomore one.

Liad Lerner

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Sophomore Eliana Liebman is using her background in gymnastics to become a star in track and field, and based off of her results from last year, it’s working.
“The two sports are actually very similar,” Liebman said. “A lot of what I did in gymnastics can be transferred to what I do now for my field events.”
Liebman was a gymnast at Hi-NRG Gymnastix for nine years from kindergarten to eighth grade and built up a pretty impressive resume there.
“During meets, I got first place on bars a lot, and I got first and second all-around a few times too,” Liebman said.
After eighth grade, though, a build-up of minor injuries and a coaching change had Liebman looking for a new sport to stay active during high school.
“Initially I wasn’t going to do track since I didn’t like running,” Liebman said. “But eventually my friend convinced me to try pole vaulting.”
However, pole vaulting did not end up being the right fit for Liebman and she bounced around the team in search of her best events.
“She had excellent flexibility and an explosive vertical leap right off the bat,” high jump coach Cameron Poole said. “In high jump you either have it or you don’t and right away I knew she had it.”
Long jump and triple jump coach Kathleen Burnett also noticed that Liebman had an immediate skill for her events, praising her strong core and excellent balance, which allow her to stay upright during her powerful jumps.
Liebman’s skill in these key areas of the events are due, in large part, to her nine years of gymnastics.
“For high jump we do back-flip motions that I did a lot during floor routines,” Liebman said. “For triple jump we do deer runs which was a common warm-up exercise in gymnastics, and long jump is a combination of pike and sheep jumps, which were beam moves.”
The crossover of skills lead to an outstanding season for Liebman, as she broke the school freshman records for the long jump (16’10”) and high jump (4’10”). She made it to Sectionals for the long jump and Districts for the high jump and triple jump.
But she didn’t stop there. She overcame her objection to running and also qualified for State in the 4X200 and the 4X400 relays.
“As a freshman competing in State I felt a lot of pressure but it was really exciting,” Liebman said.
This season, Liebman wants to break the school’s long jump record of 18 feet, and compete in more running events as well. Her coaches have high hopes for the sophomore and think that she has a great opportunity to qualify for State.
“Last year she had to learn the events and she had to learn all of the mental strategies,” Burnett said. “Now she knows the events and she knows the mental part so I’m expecting great things from her.”

Sophomore Eliana Liebman warms up for her relay in the Sectionals meet in Mexico, Missouri on May 21. “Initially I wasn’t going to do track since I didn’t like running,” Liebman said. “But I like it now because I like to win.” Liebman will be hoping to follow up an outstanding freshman season with an even better sophomore one.

Sophomore Eliana Liebman warms up for her relay in the Sectionals meet in Mexico, Missouri on May 21. “Initially I wasn’t going to do track since I didn’t like running,” Liebman said. “But I like it now because I like to win.” Liebman will be hoping to follow up an outstanding freshman season with an even better sophomore one.

Sophomore Eliana Liebman warms up for her relay in the State meet at Washington University in Clayton, Missouri on May 27-28. “As a freshman competing in State I felt a lot of pressure but it was really exciting,” Liebman said. Liebman will be competing in the upcoming Henle Holmes Invitational on April 12-13 at home. Photos courtesy of Eliana Liebman

Sophomore Eliana Liebman warms up for her relay in the State meet at Washington University in Clayton, Missouri on May 27-28. “As a freshman competing in State I felt a lot of pressure but it was really exciting,” Liebman said. Liebman will be competing in the upcoming Henle Holmes Invitational on April 12-13 at home. Photos courtesy of Eliana Liebman

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Sophomore runner builds off gymnastics background