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WHS harriers open conference schedule

Whitehall’s harriers rang in the new season on Sept. 12 when the Zephyrs raced in their conference opener against Bethlehem Catholic, Freedom, and Liberty at Freedom.

“We had DeSales Saturday (Centaur Invitational), and that’s a rough course, and it was really, really hot, so a lot of the kids struggled, but I think, today, some saw improvement,” said Whitehall first-year head coach Brandon Hampton. “One girl that definitely stood out to us was newcomer Felicity Coulthard. She was awesome. She ran a really strong race. She started toward the back, and she responded. We said, ‘You should be up further,’ and she ended up being our second runner.”

Coulthard placed 45th overall out of 81 girls with a time of 26:41.

Teammate Tessa Hopkins came in first for the Zephyrs and 41st overall with a time of 26:18.

Marli Jacobus was third for Whitehall with a time of 28:22, followed by Kathy Chen in 28:32, Zienab Azim in 29:27, and Emma Sargent in 29:36.

In team scores, Whitehall’s girls missed beating Becahi by two points with a 28-29 score, and lost to Liberty, 15-46, and Freedom, 19-36.

“On the boys side, it’s two consecutive meets now: Jackson Rozycki has had really great races,” said Coach Hampton. “In terms of time, he’s not where he wants to be or where we would like him to be, but performance-wise, he’s running strong, he’s passing guys, so now it’s just about building his speed and strength.”

Rozycki was fifth for the Zephyrs and 58th overall with a time of 23:01.

Taking first place for Whitehall and 32nd overall out of 85 boys was Aiden Borkenhagen with a time of 20:32.

Seth Pascoe came in second for the Zephyrs in 22.32, followed by Kihan Resto-Melendez in 22:38, and

Habib Leyos in 22:39.

In team scores, Whitehall’s boys lost to Becahi, 18-37, Liberty, 16-47, and Freedom, 15-45.

Coach Hampton and assistant coach Eugene Konno are working to balance the Zephyrs’ individual goals with team goals.

“That’s what we’re working on, helping each individual get their goal, whether it be time or just getting better every week, and then, trying to tighten up some of the gaps and get our kids to run in those packs like you see Emmaus and some of these other schools doing. They’re running in pairs or trios, and that helps the team score,” Hampton said.

Whitehall’s next meet is scheduled for Sept. 19 when they will host Easton, Nazareth, and Northampton.

“It’s fun to be back out here. It’s fun to coach varsity now,” Hampton said. “Varsity’s a different beast, and I feel like there’s more expectations with it, so I had a little bit of nerves at the beginning, but it’s out now. We’re having fun.”

by Katie McDonald Aiden Borkenhagen was the first Whitehall boy to cross the finish line.