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Kids runner Zeke Colyer will head to state meet

Northampton junior Zeke Colyer had three missions last Tuesday at the District XI Class 3A Cross Country Championships at Blue Mountain Ski Resort: to knock off two Alexes and win a silver medal, and he accomplished all three.

“I was expecting (Southern Lehigh’s) Alex Kane to be the biggest competition. The other person was Alex (Heidemann) from Freedom,” Colyer said.

The three harriers, along with other runners from Northampton, Freedom, Southern Lehigh, Easton, Pocono Mountain East, Whitehall, Emmaus, and Pocono Mountain West, raced in the first of two heats.

“I was expecting the race to go out fast, but the first mile wasn’t anything special,” said Colyer. “I was in the front, and around one and a quarter miles, Alex Kane put up a surge, except I passed him on the last part of the downhill.”

Colyer’s teammate, Owen Nahf, had been leading with Colyer for the first half mile.

“On the big downhill in the second mile, we ran past a crowd and that got my adrenaline going,” said Nahf. “Going up the hill on the second loop, Zeke kept up with Alex (Kane) and I faded back a little. In the third mile, I managed to pass a kid and let my momentum take me to the finish.”

Colyer passed Kane on the last part of the downhill with 300 meters to go and was first to cross the finish, recording a time of 17:39.06. Kane’s time was 17:40.62 with Heidemann sneaking in between the two with a time of 17:40.31.

“I was quite delirious. I couldn’t even see,” said Colyer, referring to the punishing course at Blue Mountain.

“I ran it about three times before. My first impression was not really great. It’s really rocky,” he said. “Thankfully, they cleared up some big rocks, but it was really muddy and slippery.”

Nahf had a similar first impression.

“I was kind of scared. The uphills and the downhills- I’ve never seen anything like it,” Nahf said.

Nahf placed sixth and medaled with a time of 18:09.38.

“I’m definitely happy with how I ran it, and I’m proud of how our team did,” he said. “I’m really grateful to have a season, compared to some people who had to cancel. Our team stuck with it, and I’m glad we did as well as we did.”

Nahf and Colyer added that Nahf’s grandfather won a District XI track medal when he attended Whitehall High School, and it is the exact same silver medal as Colyer’s.

Other competitors from Northampton were Jon Breslin, Evan Dempsey, Wyatt Poniktera, and Nick Amato.

Liberty’s Cole Frank won the second heat and placed first overall with a time of 17:31.09.

Frank, Colyer, Heidemann, Kane, and Southern Lehigh’s Dominik Lisicky will compete at the PIAA State Cross Country Championships on Nov. 7 in Hershey.

“It’s my first time going to states, so it will be a new experience,” Colyer said. There’s not much more we can do for training but recover from districts.”

In team results, Northampton, coached by Dan Benner, placed fifth with 94 points.

Parkland took first place with 84 points, followed by Southern Lehigh, Nazareth, and Freedom.

Top Ten Boys Class 3A Medal Winners

1.Cole Frank (Liberty) 17:31.90; 2.Zeke Colyer (Northampton) 17:39.06; 3. Alex Heidemann (Freedom) 17:40.31; 4.Alexander Kane (Southern Lehigh) 17:40.62; 5.Dominik Lisicky (Southern Lehigh) 17:51.92 6.Owen Nahf (Northampton) 18:09.38; 7.Anthony Kositz (Nazareth) 18:35.80; 8.Ben Esquieres (Parkland) 18:39.90; 9.Jack Hollar (Pocono Mountain East) 18:42.10; 10.Alex Hume (Freedom) 18:45.26.