Harriers conclude season at districts
The Northampton cross country teams recently concluded their seasons with the District 11 meet at DeSales.
It was a bit of a different year for the K-Kid runners this season, which saw them take a step toward getting back to the top of the heap like they have been for the last several years.
“It was a transitional year for us as we had a lot of new runners and freshmen competing at the district race this year,” said head coach Dan Benner.
First time district competitors included junior Deric Fritzges and seniors Bryson Grover and Nate Feichel on the boys side. First time competitors on the girls side included senior Nicole Yellen, junior Nikita Yessen, and four freshmen Liv Jusinski, Rachel Makary, Abby Hacker and Peighton Evengelista.
The team did have five repeat district runners from past seasons and they were sophomore Abel Veltri, seniors Ryder Ault and Liam Galicki, junior Braeden Lower and senior Olivia Horn.
While the Kids are mostly young, Benner pointed out the district race was nice for the upperclassmen.
“It is always nice for seniors to get one more opportunity to race at districts,” Benner said. “In many cases we have had the chance to see their progress from freshman year to senior year. Ryder, Liam, and Nate put in a lot of quality miles over the summer and it was great to see them rewarded with some success. Bryson has been running with us for all six years and it was great he got his first district experience as a senior.”
While it’s always tough to lose senior runners, Benner feels his team continues to head in the right direction.
“Obviously we lose quality seniors every year, but I do feel we have a good returning group as well. Abel, Deric, and Braeden return from our varsity 7 and we have a few returners who just missed out on the district lineup,” he said. “We are hoping freshman Caden Dempsey and junior Nate Lopez can step into those roles next year.
“Our girls team had 5 freshmen and a sophomore this season, so the hope is they come back motivated and work hard to improve.”
At the district meet, Abel Veltri was the boys top finisher taking 29th with a time of 18:25.67. Deric Fritzges was the second NHS runner to cross, coming in 46th in 19:08.25.
For the girls, Liv Jusinski was 30th to lead the NHS runners. Her time was 22:05.68. Olivia Horn was 46th in 23:31.74.