Liv Moll heads to college with more success in mind
After being recognized as the runner to beat for most of her high school cross country and track races, St. Croix Central’s Liv Moll is looking forward to a level of anonymity as she begins her college career.
Moll is heading to the University of St. Thomas, where she plans to compete in both sports.
“It’s like a fresh start,” Moll said of competing at college. “You get to pave your own path.”
While the sense of anonymity appeals to Moll, she may not stay a secret for long. Her goal for her freshman cross-country season is to make the Tommies’ varsity lineup.
Moll won the Middle Border Conference individual cross-country championship last fall. Moll was also the WIAA individual champion at the Division 2 sectional meet at Hayward, leading Central to its first sectional girls championship in school history. The Panthers also finished in the upper half of the teams at the Division 2 state championship, placing seventh out of 16 teams. Moll was the 17th girl to finish in the state championship race.
That came a year after Moll led the Central girls to their first appearance in the state championship meet. In 2016, Moll placed third individually, leading the Panthers to a second-place finish at the sectional meet. That earned the Panthers the chance to compete at their first state meet at Wisconsin Rapids. The Panthers placed 14th in the team competition at state in 2016, with Moll as Central’s top runner, placing 31st.
Moll was the only senior in the Panther girls varsity lineup this season. She said she enjoyed working with her younger teammates.
“They called me mom, in a nice way,” she said with a modest smile. “I was captain, but we didn’t need a captain. The girls worked so hard. They all had the same goal.”
After the Panthers’ groundbreaking cross-country season, coach Bill Emery received District 1 Coach of the Year honors from the state cross-country coaches association. He so highly prized Moll’s leadership, that he decided to share the coaching award with her. Emery designed a medal, which he presented to Moll.
Emery was asked about what made Moll unique as an athlete.
“It’ll sound like a cliche, but it’s her attitude toward work. It’s an all-the-time thing. She lived the life,” Emery said. “You look at the willingness to work. She was a positive influence. She helped others along. The whole thing makes her special.”
The success in her final seasons was a full-scale turn since Moll’s freshman season. That year, the Panther girls didn’t have enough runners to field a full varsity lineup. Moll said much of the credit goes to the Panthers’ class of 2019, who joined her in causing the program’s rise to success.
The Molls are a close-knit family. Liv and sister Claire, a year younger, are extremely close. Liv completed her high school career by running in three events at the WIAA State Track Championships in June. She sounded most happy about being able to compete in the 3,200 relay, where Claire was also part of the Panther quartet that competed.
In the rare times when the Molls aren’t competing, they are among the leaders in the SCC student fan section that is one of the most vocal and fun-loving in the area.
“Being in the student section is what I’ll miss most,” Liv said. “Everybody wants to cheer at our games. My favorite part of winter is going to basketball games. Everyone in the school are such friends.”